What are the mock drafts saying about the New York Knicks ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft?
The NBA draft is right around the corner and the first time in my life I have no idea who the New York Knicks are going to take. For the past three drafts, the fans had a good idea who the team was most likely going to take about a week before the draft.
In 2017, the Knicks had the 8th pick and it was almost certain they were going to select Frank Ntilikina. Then in 2018, we knew Kevin Knox had impressed the team in workouts and was going to be chosen 9th over Michael Porter Jr.. Last season, we knew almost immediately after the lottery show that the Knicks were going to draft R.J. Barrett with the 3rd overall pick.
Part the issue this year is that there isn’t bona-fide star talent in this draft class. There is the unusual circumstance with the teams at the top of the draft, Minnesota and Golden State, wanting to trade their pick since they are in win-now mode. These two factors make this the hardest draft in history to predict.
Mock Draft Site Guide
So instead of trying to guess, like everyone else, I figured I would just summarize what the major sites are predicting. I went to 10 different sites, which are listed below. There isn’t a consensus opinion among them, there are six different players predicted to go to the Knicks. But it cobbles together where different players are slotted from different sources.
- ESPN – Tyrese Haliburton
- CBS Sports – Killian Hayes
- Yahoo Sports – Patrick Williams
- NBC Sports – Devin Vassell
- The Athletic – Isaac Okoro
- NBA Draft Junkies – Obi Toppin
- NBA.com – Killian Hayes
- Tankathon – Isaac Okoro
- The Ringer – Tyrese Haliburton
- Bleacher Report – Devin Vassell
Based on my interaction with other Knick fans, I have the impression that Haliburton and Toppin are the only players on the list that most fans do not want their favorite team to select. The ironic thing is that there is a 7th player that has been rumored that isn’t on the list, and that is Kira Lewis Jr..
So who are the New York Knicks going to select?
I couldn’t help myself, I had to join the party, so here are my predictions. The first is that these mock drafts will be as accurate as the Presidential election polls. The second is that there will be lots of trades in this draft, especially at the top. The third is that there is a good chance that the Knicks will trade back since Devin Vassell will be chosen before the 8th pick and the Knicks won’t be able to trade up to get him.
Devin Vassell Effect
Golden State and Minnesota will both be looking to get a player that can contribute right away. There are only two players you can plug-n-play with right away on a playoff team. Those two players are Devin Vassell and Onyeka Okongwu.
Both teams covet Vassell, but do not want to make him the 1st overall pick. I predict Minnesota will trade back with Chicago. It is easier justifying selecting Vassell with the 4th pick instead of 1st overall.
- Chicago – LaMelo Ball
- Cleveland – Anthony Edwards
- Charlotte – James Wiseman
- Minnesota – Devin Vassell
- Golden State – Onyeka Okongwu
- Atlanta – Tyrese Haliburton
- Detroit – Patrick Williams
- New York – Killian Hayes
Minnesota will also pick up some assets in the transaction. Then Golden State will trade back with Cleveland and select Okongwu with the 5th pick for the same reasons. You can see above my scientific mock draft up to the 8th pick, hope you like it.