Kansas guard's NBA comp means he could be great Knicks 2024 draft pick

He could still be on the board when the Knicks make their first pick.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The New York Knicks will have two first-round picks in the 2024 NBA Draft. The front office will decide whether to use them in a trade or to select a couple of new faces.

The Knicks have been linked to players like Jared McCain, Donovan Clingan, and Kevin McCullar Jr. in mock drafts from various sites. The latter missed the 2024 NCAA tournament because of a nagging knee injury. Kansas made it past the first round without him but was blown out by Gonzaga in the second round.

The 23-year-old finished his fifth collegiate season averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 45.4% from the field and 33.3% from three. He was named an Honorable Mention AP All-American and made the All-Big 12 First Team.

Because McCullar Jr. didn't play in the tournament, he didn't get a chance to up his draft stock. Teams like the Knicks, projected to have mid-to-late first-round picks, will benefit. In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, New York selects McCullar Jr. at No. 22, two picks after they select Tyler Smith at No. 20. Jonathan Wasserman said McCullar Jr.'s pro comp is none other than Josh Hart.

2024 draft prospect Kevin McCullar Jr. compared to Knicks' Josh Hart

The guard's three-point shooting is a weakness (like Hart), as are his turnovers. McCullar Jr. averaged 2.5 per game with the Jayhawks this season. His age is another flaw, as he turned 23 a few weeks ago. For reference, two of the NBA's top rookies this season are Victor Wembanyama (20) and Chet Holmgren (21). Holmgren was 20 when he was drafted in 2022.

Like Hart, McCullar Jr. can do a little of everything, one of his biggest strengths. He can score, defend (he's a two-time Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist), and rebound. His age will be held against him, but the collegiate experience he gained at Texas Tech and Kansas will help McCullar Jr. at the next level.

Depending on where he's at with his knee, he could even fall into the second round of the draft. If he's a player the Knicks like throughout the draft process, McCullar Jr. could call New York home. Even better, he'd get to learn under Hart. If you asked someone like Brunson, he'd say that isn't a good thing.

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