Knicks draft 2024's best passer in Tyler Kolek: Instant reaction and analysis

The New York Knicks have selected Tyler Kolek at No. 34 overall. It could be one of the biggest steals of the 2024 NBA Draft.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Indianapolis
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Indianapolis / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The New York Knicks entered the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft with the clear intention to add depth to the roster. After shoring up a tremendous perimeter by re-signing OG Anunoby and trading for Mikal Bridges, the goal became improving at point guard.

At No. 34 overall, the Knicks selected Marquette Golden Eagles point guard Tyler Kolek—the best passer in this class.

Kolek, 23, projects to be one of the biggest steals of the 2024 NBA Draft.

Kolek led all Division I players with an average of 7.7 assists per game during the 2023-24 season. His elite court vision and dynamic passing ability became the driving force behind the Golden Eagles' best season in over a decade.

With Kolek leading the charge, Marquette won 27 games and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2012-13.

Kolek will now look to play a similar role for the Knicks. He could struggle to secure early minutes behind All-NBA superstar Jalen Brunson and breakout performer Miles McBride, but his presence creates necessary depth at the position.

In the event of an injury, Kolek could step in and be the stabilizing force that New York needs as a facilitator with off-ball value and the experience of playing in a defensive-minded system.

Tyler Kolek ranks among the biggest steals of the 2024 NBA Draft

Kolek finished the 2023-24 season averaging 15.3 points, 7.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.5 three-point field goals made per game. He did so while shooting efficiently, accumulating a slash line of .496/.388/.851.

A tough and determined player who's willing to fight through contact when he isn't spacing the floor, Kolek is a perfect fit for Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks.

With Kolek in the fold, New York now has one of the best bargains of a point guard depth chart in the NBA. Brunson will make a fraction of his worth at $24,960,001 in 2024-25, while McBride is entering the first season of a three-year, $13 million deal.

It's also worth noting that McBride could be a late addition to the Bridges trade as the Knicks look to make the math work on maximizing their success this offseason, per Fred Katz of The Athletic.

If that proves to be the case, then the addition of Kolek could provide immediate value. Losing McBride would be a tremendously disappointing outcome, but drafting his potential replacement is an example of smart team management.

In the meantime, New York can smile knowing it added one of the best point guards in the 2024 NBA Draft in a steal of a spot at No. 34 overall.