The NY Knicks front office will keep an eye on March Madness, which returned last weekend after its COVID-related postponement in 2020 and it did not disappoint. There were plenty of dramatic finishes, nutty upsets, and breakout performances.
Down to just sixteen teams, the tournament resumes on Saturday in Indianapolis.
But you’re not here for random musings about the majesty of the NCAA Tournament. No, dear Knicks fan, you want draft content and that is what I will provide you.
The NY Knicks can add multiple impact players in the 2021 draft
Last week, I previewed three prospects in the tournament that was theoretically within the Knicks’ draft range and on alleged championship contenders. These players were Moses Moody of Arkansas, Cam Thomas of LSU, and Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois.
Of the three, only Moody made it through to the Sweet 16, shining in games against Colgate and (particularly) Texas Tech with his usual efficient scoring. Continued success in this tournament will vault him further up the draft board, and it is entirely possible that he will be taken quite early on draft night, well before the Knicks have their turn.
Cam Thomas played his ass off in games against St. Bonaventure and Michigan, scoring 57 points between them. His performance, even in a losing effort in round two, cemented his status as one of the elite scoring talents in the draft, if not the very best. As noted in my last post, next-level success will depend on the extent to which he can become a more all-around player. In his 30 point effort against Michigan, for instance, Thomas did not register a single assist.
Ayo Dosunmu had by far the most disappointing performance of the three highlighted players. Yes, he shone with 17 points on 57% shooting, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in Illinois’s first-round 1 v. 16 cupcake matchup with Drexel, but Dosunmu was woeful in round 2 against Loyola Chicago. In that game, Ayo scored all of 9 points and had 2 assists on 6 turnovers. It was a disappointing afternoon for Dosunmu and his team, which going in had national championship aspirations. Regardless, a one-off game won’t kill Dosunmu’s draft stock and he remains an intriguing, Thibs-friendly prospect for the NY Knicks.
This week I’ll be highlighting three new prospects, all of whom will be taking part in this weekend’s Sweet 16. I’ve selected three players with the Knicks draft needs in mind; namely preliminary playmaker and/or big wings.