Ochai Agbaji is a name that is flying under the radar as a potential draft pick for the New York Knicks. But the 6-5, 215-pound shooting guard out of Kansas could end up being the perfect selection for this Knicks team, who are looking to round out a starting lineup with their young, exciting core.
Agbaji was a four-year player at Kansas, but it was his final year that stands out above the rest, as he put up an impressive stat line of 19-5-2. This, along with his clear talent as a physical wing with a great shot, has catapulted him into contention for a top 10 pick in this year’s draft.
Unfortunately, as of right now, the Knicks don’t have a pick in the top 10, as their pick falls at No. 11. Given how wild and unpredictable this draft could be, they have to be studying everyone. And while Agbaji hasn’t been mocked to New York that often, he would be an interesting choice and one that all fans need to keep their eye on.
How does Ochai Agbaji fit this current New York Knicks squad?
The current state of the Knicks’ starting lineup going forward is a bit rocky at this point, as it all hinges on whether stubborn coach Tom Thibodeau wants to run with the young lineup of Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin while trading away Julius Randle.
If that is the case, like many fans expect and desire, then Agbaji would be the perfect fit next to Quickley and RJ Barrett in the starting lineup, as he is expected to be able to make an impact at the NBA level almost immediately.
Agbaji has been compared to the likes of Desmond Bane, and if New York can get someone like that to fill out its starting lineup, then the team would be over the moon as they could grow together into what Knicks fans have been begging for – a consistent winning team with a bright future.
His 3-point shooting makes him a standout, as well as his physicality and athleticism on both ends. While Barrett isn’t much of a comparison, together, they would be a fantastic wing duo for the next decade in the Big Apple.
Will Ochai Agbaji be available when the New York Knicks pick at No. 11?
This one is quite hard to predict, as Agbaji isn’t the biggest name, but also, he fits the modern NBA game perfectly. In recent mock drafts, he seems to be falling anywhere between the No. 7 and No. 12 pick, which means there’s a decent (but not great) chance that the Knicks will have the opportunity to draft him come June 23.
We’ve seen guys rise and fall every year in the draft, and given his skill set, no one would be shocked if Agbaji was the first guy outside the consensus top five (Holmgren, Smith, Banchero, Ivey, Sharpe). But on the other hand, not many would be shocked if his name was called by New York, or a pick or two after that.
Will the New York Knicks draft Ochai Agbaji if he is available at No. 11?
Like most of these player previews, this all depends on which of the Knicks’ top targets remain on the board, as there are likely three to four players ahead of Agbaji on New York’s big board.
However, if they are all off the board, given Agbaji’s mental makeup, his experience at the collegiate level, his physicality, and his skill set that matches the modern NBA, as well as his immediate potential impact, this couldn’t be a better fit for New York.
Many fans will be indifferent towards this pick if it’s the way Leon Rose and the front office decide to go because he certainly isn’t the biggest name amongst draft prospects, but he could be great on this team. Whoever does land him is going to be incredibly happy going forward.