In the 2022 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks will have plenty to think over, selecting 11th overall. There have been many uncertainties as to who will be available when the Knicks are on the clock. In ESPN’s latest mock draft (subscription required), they have the Knicks picking AJ Griffin, who would be a steal in this year’s draft and an overall great pickup for New York.
The son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin, AJ played high school basketball at Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, N.Y., before committing to Duke University as a five-star recruit.
At Duke, Griffin embraced a 3-and-D type of role, taking the backseat on a Blue Devils team that featured Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams, among others.
Despite not being the team’s first option, he had a great 2021-22 campaign, averaging 10.4 points per game on 44.7% from beyond the arc, showcasing his sharpshooting in every aspect.
How would AJ Griffin fit within the nucleus of the New York Knicks?
Adding another Blue Devil to New York’s roster would mean good chemistry between Griffin and rising star RJ Barrett.
Griffin would thrive in a spot-up shooter type of role, as he does a great job moving off the ball constantly relocating to find the open shot.
With Barrett looking to score on the inside at will, pairing him with Griffin would make the Knicks a very scary offense to defend.
Griffin will excel if he’s in New York because of the attention his teammates will garner, similar to the situation he was in at Duke.
It’s important to mention that Griffin is an NBA-ready prospect, which would give the Knicks a boost going forward with the potential for him to grow as a player and become a three-level scoring threat in the coming years.
While he’s mainly been utilized as a shooter, Griffin also possesses the physical tools to finish inside the paint and outmuscle other guards with his large and lean frame.
Take a look at his 27-point performance versus North Carolina back in February, where his finishing and shot-creating ability were on full display:
Griffin may not possess the foot speed to blow by defenders, but with his crafty handle and physical stature, he has no problem scoring in various situations.
Although he is a proven scorer, Griffin will need to improve defensively to make an impression on Tom Thibodeau.
Lucky for Griffin, he possesses a 7-foot wingspan that will certainly give him the potential to also become a great defender in the league as well.
The Knicks are in desperate need of a point guard, but most likely will not be in the position to take one off the board, leaving them to select the best player available, which will most likely be Griffin, Johnny Davis, or Dyson Daniels. It depends on who slips outside the top 10 as many names have been thrown around.
Selecting Griffin would be a step in the right direction for New York as the team continues to bolster its young talent.
And should it not pan out, utilizing the youth to target a star-caliber player will be a focus, should the Knicks’ front office feel the need to do so.
Tune into the NBA Draft tonight at 7:30 on ESPN to see who New York selects at No. 11 overall.