It would be a good night for the Knicks if guard Stephen Curry fell to No. 8.
It would be a great night for the Knicks if Arizona power forward Jordan Hill fell, too.
The Post has learned Knicks president Donnie Walsh has secretly coveted Hill, the 6-foot-10 big man whom they would take in a heartbeat over Curry. Walsh told confidants that after the draft order was established he thought a better chance existed of Hill slipping to them. That's because some teams picking before the Knicks weren't in the market for bigs.
There have been recent reports Hill was slipping, but chances still are Hill will be gone by No. 8. Walsh has eyed trading up and still has hope. Walsh will watch Hill today during a solo workout at their Westchester compound. It is Hill's second workout for an NBA team.
It has been stated the Knicks' priority has been a point guard, but Walsh says that perception is there only because a slew of point guards are considered viable in that range.
Sources indicated Walsh flew across the country for the Pac-10 Tournament to view Hill at Staples Center. Hill didn't disappoint, scoring 20 points with 13 rebounds in Arizona's loss to Arizona State.
"If draft day comes and goes and he's on their roster, it's a very good day for the Knicks," said one NBA GM who has spoken recently to Walsh. "He rebounds, defends, scores, and the key is he can run. Bigs that can run is a requisite in Mike's [D'Antoni's] way of playing."
The Knicks are stacked at power forward, but not with sturdy interior defenders. A Hill acquisition would allow them to let free agent David Lee exit and open up more cap space. Hill, who measured 6-10 without sneakers at the Chicago combine, averaged 18.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots.
"Forget all the commotion this time of year, it's not a good draft," the GM added. "And Hill's a good player. He will be a guy who can sign a large second contract in this league. I just don't see him not being a top-five guy, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
Perhaps Hill's reported slip hastened his decision to work out.