NY Knicks: 3 key players NY could be replacing during 2021 NBA Draft

Alec Burks, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Alec Burks, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft
NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Could the NY Knicks be replacing Elfrid Payton in the 2021 NBA Draft?

Is it crazy to say that if the Knicks came away with literally any point guard that’s projected for the first round this year, they’d be getting a player who’s already better than Elfird Payton?

I think that’d be the case, but who am I to judge?

Either way, Payton is all but gone after the horrendous season he had with the Knicks in 2020-21.

Some attribute his downgraded play this past season to the system fit and while that may be true, I don’t see Payton as anything more than a solid backup in this league and that’s only if he has the perfect complementary pieces surrounding him.

Thursday will showcase two tremendously talented point guards with incredible upside in Cade Cunningham and Jalen Suggs.

After that, in my opinion, the talent at the point kinda falls off a cliff.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the 2nd and 3rd tier point guards from this year’s class, I do think that guys like Auburn’s Sharife Cooper and Baylor’s Davion Mitchell would be huge upgrades over Elfrid Payton from day one.

Neither of them is likely to start right away because Coach Thibs has his rookies on pretty short leashes until they prove themselves more worthy of playing time.

But if the team was dead set on bringing back another one of its impending free agents in Derrick Rose, he would likely be the quasi-starter with limited minutes.

Whichever rookie the team potentially drafts would share the backup role with the newly acquired Argentinian playmaker, Luca Vildoza.

In my opinion, I think the Knicks are better off not drafting a point guard from this year’s class and instead, replacing Payton’s minutes with a veteran via trade or free agency.

The point guards outside of the two big names at the top all have big question marks next to their names and would likely require the Knicks to trade up to get them.