Knicks land college basketball phenom in Bleacher Report 2024 mock draft

The Knicks have two first-round picks.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks fans aren't wondering who will win the NBA Finals, but what the front office will do in the 2024 NBA Draft. ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported that New York is trying to trade its two first-round picks, while SNY's Ian Begley reported that there's "internal concern" about the team's depth, a need that could be addressed in the draft.

Whichever avenue the Knicks take, they should walk away from the draft with at least one new player, even if it's just from their second-round pick. Maybe they'll trade only one of their first-round picks. If that's the case, one of college basketball's top players could still be on the board.

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, New York selected Terrence Shannon at No. 24 and Zach Edey at No. 25. Zach Buckley wrote that the Knicks don't have an opening at center, but that could change depending on what happens with Isaiah Hartenstein. He'll be an unrestricted free agent, and other teams (like the Thunder) can offer him more money than the Knicks.

New York can negotiate with its own free agents the day after the NBA Finals ends, so if the front office believes Hartenstein will go, Edey could be a Knick.

Knicks select Zach Edey with No. 25 pick in Bleacher Report mock draft

Edey spent four seasons at Purdue. He finished his collegiate career with 2,500 points and 1,300 rebounds, making him one of eight players to do so in NCAA history. He won National Player of the Year in 2022-23 and 2023-24, the first player to win the award in consecutive seasons in 50 years.

The seven-foot-four center averaged 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game in his final season at Purdue, shooting 62.3% from the field.

Between those numbers and Edey's accolades, fans might wonder why he isn't projected to be a top pick, especially in what's considered a weak draft class. USA Today's Jon Hoefling wrote why that's the case:

"Edey appears to be a late-first or early-second round pick according to most predictions. While Edey is immensely talented, scouts appear concerned over whether or not his physical play down low will translate to the NBA when everybody is bigger. Still, his scoring prowess and ability to draw fouls cannot be ignored."

Jon Hoefling, USA Today

One aspect of Edey's game that he's been working on is his three-point shot. That part of his game was nonexistent in college, but it's common in today's NBA for big men to pull up from the perimeter. It's worth noting that Tom Thibodeau likes traditional big men, but no doubt being a threat from deep would help Edey and New York.

If he's still on the board when the Knicks make their pick at 24 or 25, drafting Edey that late in the first round could be a steal. Who knows, he could find his way into New York's rotation if Hartenstein leaves or if the Knicks deal with more injuries.