The main goal of this New York Knicks draft process seems to be adding young wings/guards to this already talented young core, but one issue they may need to confront with the No. 11 overall pick is the potentially impending departure of No. 23 Mitchell Robinson.
Enter Duke big man, Mark Williams, who measures in at 7-2, with a reportedly huge wingspan of 7-7, which would rank him fifth among all current NBA centers if this measurement at the combine is to be believed.
Williams is a very intriguing option for the Knicks, and while it’s still possible that New York will bring back the beloved (yet divisive) Robinson, you have to imagine that someone as intriguing as Williams will weigh on their minds while making such a decision.
How does Mark Williams fit with this current New York Knicks squad?
Given New York’s need for a center that can stretch the floor, Williams may not be the ideal candidate to replace Robinson. But long-term, he figures to be a good-to-great starter at the NBA level.
While Williams is renowned for his rim-running, length, and defensive abilities highlighted by his incredible footwork, he has shown flourishes of an offensive game that we haven’t seen in four seasons with Robinson.
Williams shot over 72% from the free-throw line during his sophomore year at Duke and has also shown a great touch around the rim, all solid indicators that he could expand his range as he grows his game at the next level.
If the Knicks do indeed move on from Robinson, Williams would be the perfect candidate to replace him. With this group of kids looking to lead the team going forward, the duo of Williams and Jericho Sims would be arguably the most athletic center pairing in the NBA today.
Will Mark Williams be available when the New York Knicks draft at No. 11?
Given all the mock drafts that are out there, the range on Williams, like so many players in the 6-15 range in this upcoming draft, is all over the place. But the majority of analysts and draft experts have Williams being available at No. 11, which would give Tom Thibodeau and New York an interesting option in the first round.
This draft is going to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory, and while Williams is going to impact any team he joins immediately, there’s almost a 100% chance that the Duke star will be on the board when the Knicks have their turn to pick at No. 11.
Should the New York Knicks draft Mark Williams if he is on the board at No. 11?
New York certainly has some needs to fill in the upcoming draft, and if the team does indeed stick to pick No. 11 (which may not be the case given the reports and predictions in recent days), Williams is a solid option with plenty of upside.
If the Knicks’ top targets at wing, such as AJ Griffin, Bennedict Mathurin, and Johnny Davis, are off the board, which is a definite possibility, then Williams would suddenly become much more of a focus for this young squad.
Ultimately, unless the draft becomes a nightmare for New York with all of its top choices off the board, it’s unlikely that the Knicks will take Williams. But if they trade up and can somehow retain the No. 11 pick as well, then this becomes all the more realistic and impressive of a pick.