ESPN’s latest mock draft has Knicks picking Big Ten Player of the Year

New York Knicks, Johnny Davis, ESPN (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Johnny Davis, ESPN (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Draft SZN is always an exciting time for fanbases, but it’s usually a bit more fun for the teams who didn’t have the success that they’d wish they’d had. As a New York Knicks fan, I couldn’t have possibly imagined I’d be talking about who the team could draft in the top 10 of the 2022 draft — especially after last year’s Cinderella season.

I’m outwardly upset about the Knicks not improving over last season and making it into the playoffs but secretly, I’m kind of happy that they didn’t. The fact is and always was that New York overachieved last year and should’ve been in rebuild mode ever since the new front office regime took over the reins.

Yes, it’s true that when a team stockpiles draft assets the way the Knicks have over the past few years, the end goal is to ultimately trade for a superstar. But frankly, there hasn’t been a ton available in recent seasons so therefore, New York’s doing the next best thing which is gathering young, promising talent.

Should the New York Knicks draft Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis?

Who knows? Maybe they don’t even use the first-rounder that they have left in this draft after trading the other one they had to Atlanta for Cam Reddish. A top 10 pick is valuable no matter how you look at it and could very well turn into another star to build the team around for the future. But I digress.

ESPN released their 2022 Mock Draft (subscription needed) on Feb. 23 and it had the Knicks picking seventh overall.

While New York is currently projected to have the ninth pick as this is being written, the team could easily fall in the standings as there are 17 games left to play during the regular season with several tough matchups along the way.

With the seventh overall pick, ESPN has Wisconsin guard and 2021-22 Big Ten Player of the Year Johnny Davis being selected by the Knicks. The 6-foot-5 combo guard is regarded as one of the top point guard options in the class so it’s obvious why ESPN has him going to New York.

Davis came into his own during his sophomore campaign, improving in absolutely every area imaginable by a wide margin.

Most notably, his scoring output increased from 7 PPG to 20 PPG. He’s always been a tremendous rebounder at the guard spot but this past season he became one of the best, if not THE best rebounding guard in the country by averaging over eight boards per game.

This is the exact kind of do-it-all point guard that would flourish in a Thibodeau-ran offense.

The problem with Davis is that he projects to be more of a shooting guard at the next level so it surprised me when ESPN mocked him to the Knicks (of all teams).

New York has so many ‘secondary ballhandlers’ between RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks that adding one more into the equation would be redundant.

The Knicks have been lacking a true facilitator for years now and I think that they’d be silly to pass up on the opportunity to take TyTy Washington out of Kentucky at this spot instead.

Washington is by no means the second-coming of Chris Paul but he’s a far better playmaker than Davis is today and he projects to be a much more capable quarterback in the future.

Considering all of the New York/Kentucky-ties, I’d be shocked if the front office took Davis over Washington if both are available on the board when they pick. But what do I know? Is Davis’ upside too high to pass on or should the Knicks go with the most glaring area of need?

All in all, I hate that New York is once again selecting in the lottery but let’s hope that this year is the last time that it’ll happen for a long while.

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