NBA Mock Draft: Knicks add much-needed frontcourt depth with No. 19 pick

Wright State v Indiana
Wright State v Indiana / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Rather than sign or trade for another forward after moving on from Obi Toppin, the New York Knicks opted to run Josh Hart as the backup four. It's a role Hart has struggled in to start the season, something he openly admitted.

New York could look to the draft to add to its frontcourt depth. The Knicks will likely have two first-round picks if they don't include them in a trade. Along with a top-10 protected pick from Dallas, New York has its own pick.

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Knicks use the Mavericks' pick to select forward/center Kel'el Ware with the No. 19 overall pick. The seven-footer spent his first collegiate season at Oregon but transferred to Indiana, where he's flourishing.

Ware is averaging 17.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game, shooting 63.9% from the field.

Knicks select F/C Kel'el Ware in Bleacher Report's 2024 mock draft

Kel'el Ware's amid a breakout season. With the Ducks, he averaged only 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per contest. He started in only one of the 34 games he appeared in. With the Hoosiers, Ware's thrived in a larger role, as he's averaging 30.9 minutes per game.

It's certainly worth mentioning that Ware's shooting 50% from three on an average of 1.3 attempts per game. In Oregon, he averaged 1.6 attempts per contest and only shot 27.3% from deep.

Last season, Oregon coach Dana Altman said he was disappointed in Ware's effort. Indiana coach Mike Woodson has been able to tap into a different version of Ware.

Effort hasn't been an issue with Ware in Indiana. In fact, he's been one of the Hoosiers' most active players, doing all of the right things.

The 19-year-old wasn't on any draft boards entering 2023-24, and now he's projected to be a first-round pick. If his play keeps up, he'll be off the board before No. 19. It wouldn't be a surprise if Kel'el Ware's name is called in the lottery.

In the same mock draft, New York selected Duke guard Caleb Foster with the No. 23 pick. The 19-year-old is averaging 9.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game, shooting 48.2% from the field and 34.8% from three.