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  1. #1
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    Default 2020 NBA Draft: NYK target a PG

    A decade go, we came so close to having a Westbrook/Curry backcourt. If we didn’t botch our recent spat of lottery selections.... we could boast a Donovan Mitchell - SGA backcourt.

    Unfortunately, we root for the moribund KNicks.... So, as we prepare for the upcoming decade.... We have 3 of the top 35 picks.... unfortunately, again, this is a terrible draft.

    So, with that said.... here you go:

    ———————-
    The point guard who could be Knicks’ safest NBA Draft option

    By Marc Berman

    March 19, 2020 | 2:19pm

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost....ft-option/amp/

    Five point-guard prospects have emerged as lottery options for the upcoming NBA Draft — whether it is held on June 25 or pushed back because of coronavirus.

    In what is considered a mediocre class, LaMelo Ball, Cole Anthony, Tyrese Maxey, Tyrese Haliburton and Killian Hayes have separated themselves.

    Knicks president Leon Rose has a giant decision to make as the franchise tries to solve what is its greatest need.

    “There’s no Ja Morant in this draft,” ESPN’s top college-basketball analyst Seth Greenberg told The Post. “It’s not a good draft.”

    The Post reported Knicks scouts earlier this season were given an edict to keep all eyes open for a scoring poing guard.

    While Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards has climbed up the draft boards to as high as No. 1 based on upside, he put up inefficient numbers on a dreadful team, is a poor outside shooter, has low basketball IQ and the Knicks already have a bedrock piece in RJ Barrett at that position.

    Greenberg, the former Virginia Tech coach who hails from Plainview, Long Island, has his own choice for the Knicks. It’s not the sexiest but safest.

    “I really like Haliburton,” Greenberg said of the Iowa State point guard.

    Greenberg admits he hasn’t seen enough of Hayes, an 18-year-old from France who skipped college to play professionally in Germany, but has concerns with Ball, Anthony and Maxey.

    He has questions on whether Anthony and Maxey have the vision of a pure point guard. Greenberg wonders if the flashy Ball has too much baggage because of his father, LaVar.

    “The best of the group is Haliburton,” Greenberg said. “He’s a pure point guard who will end up being able to shoot the ball, does have a runner. He’s got really, really good vision. He sees plays develop, has tremendous size, will be an excellent defender. He could potentially be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.”

    The Knicks could have had Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 9 in the 2018 draft, but passed on him for the disappointing Kevin Knox. They have to get this right.

    Haliburton, 20, was averaging 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was shooting 50.4 percent (41.9 from 3) before a Feb. 10 wrist injury felled him in his 22nd game. He wouldn’t have been ready for the canceled Big 12 tournament or the NCAA Tournament.

    “He’ll be an adequate scorer eventually,” Greenberg said. “I like his feel, presence. He’s got to get a little more bounce into his 3-point shot. I like that he comes with absolutely no baggage.”

    Which brings us to the 6-foot-7 Ball, who shut down his season Dec. 7 after bruising his foot in Australia’s National Basketball League.

    “LaMelo is a freak with his size, vision and speed,” Greenberg said of Lonzo’s youngest brother. “But he doesn’t shoot it well and his decision-making is not great in terms of shot selection. His creativity is at another level.

    “But I think LaMelo in New York would either be feast or famine. I’d only draft LaMelo in New York if there was a promise LaVar wouldn’t come with him. If you have a new Knick front office, do you want to deal with that? The second-guessing from a guy who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He’s a disaster.”

    Ball, 18, signed with Creative Artists Agency, Rose’s former agency, but the new Knicks prez wasn’t his primary rep.

    Another potential point guard stud with a Knicks connection is Anthony, the New York product and son of ex-NBAer Greg Anthony. Anthony’s freshman year was an injury-riddled disappointment on a mediocre North Carolina team, but he showed flashes.

    Greenberg doesn’t believe Anthony will turn out as well as Bulls lottery pick and fellow UNC product Coby White.

    “He’s a poor man’s Coby White,” Greenberg said. “I think he’s physically strong, he could be a good defender, but he’s not a point guard. He’s a ball guard. He doesn’t see things very early, doesn’t have great natural vision. He’s an average-at-best shooter. His shot selection wasn’t good, but his team wasn’t good. It’s not like he has this dynamic playmaking ability.”

    Greenberg continued the critique of the 19-year-old Anthony, who averaged 18.5 points on 38-percent shooting. “He’s got a good first step, but not great and he’s not a freak athlete,” Greenberg said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen at any level great vision and he’s undersized.”

    Kentucky’s Maxey, 19, is higher on Greenberg’s list, but he sees him also as a combo guard. In his freshman debut, the 6-foot-3 Maxey came off the bench to explode for 26 points at the Garden.

    Greenberg calls Maxey “a poor man’s Jamal Murray.” Maxey averaged 14 points on 42.7 percent shooting.

    “He can make plays, can penetrate, not a great shooter, but can make shots,” Greenberg said. “He’s got good speed with all kinds of floaters — a very good athlete, not a great athlete. And he’s a great kid, great enthusiasm. He’s far from a pure point guard. He’s a ball guard, but a little undersized for a ball guard. But has a burst, a pretty good passer off the bounce, but not with instinctive vision. He’s no Morant.”

    Nobody is in this draft – whenever it will be.

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    Hidden point-guard gem Killian Hayes may be answer for Knicks

    By Marc Berman

    When ESPN’s college basketball maven Seth Greenberg gave his draft recommendation for the Knicks to select Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton, it came with a caveat.

    The former Virginia Tech coach hadn’t seen enough of 6-foot-5 point guard Killian Hayes, who skipped college ball to play in Germany.

    Greenberg said he’d have to check in with his brother, Brad Greenberg, the former 76ers GM who has been coaching in Europe the past several years, most recently as head coach of the Israeli League’s Maccabi Ashdod.

    As it turned out, Brad Greenberg flew back from Israel late Friday night after the Israeli League suspended play because of the coronavirus pandemic and offered his assessment to The Post.

    One of Israel’s club’s, Rishon LeZion, faced Hayes’ Ratiopharm Ulm in the EuroLeague.


    “He’s got good size for a young point guard, close to 6-5, and he’s got a feel for the game,’’ Brad Greenberg told The Post. “He’s used to having the ball in his hands and playing in a ball-screen offense. A very nice feel.’’

    While Hayes was born in Lakeland, Fla., the southpaw has spent much of his life living in France, where his father, DeRon, became a professional player after graduating Penn State.

    The younger Hayes reportedly wanted to move back to the U.S. to play for a high school basketball academy, then move on to play college ball. His father thought his NBA prospects would be better served turning pro at 16 and competing for the local French team, Cholet.

    “I feel like I’m from both places,” Killian told Bleacher Report in August. “I try to bring the best of America and the best of France with me when I’m on the court.”

    The Knicks already have a French-bred lottery-pick point guard in Frank Ntilikina. He hasn’t yet proven he is suited to being a starter, despite showing slight progress as a penetrator before last week’s suspension of the NBA season.

    Hayes, who will turn 19 in July, seems to have the smarts and smoothness but not the outside shot, according to Brad Greenberg.

    “[Hayes] really has a great touch on the pass to rollers,’’ said Brad, a native of Plainview, Long Island. “He has some range, but really has to improve his 3-point shooting. It’s not reliable right now — not a really good shooter yet.”

    In 33 games, Hayes averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 assists in 23 minutes. He shot 48.2 percent from the field — just 29.4 percent on 3-pointers.

    Brad says Hayes is more pure point guard than one with a scoring mentality.

    “That’s not his first instinct to use ball screen to create for himself,’’ Greenberg said. “He wants to get more defenders involved in stopping a play. He doesn’t want to be a volume 3-point shooter.

    “When you defend him, you’re not thinking about fighting through that screen, but he’s not going to automatically shoot it when you lay off.”

    Indeed, Hayes sounds a little like Haliburton, whom Seth Greenberg considers the best pure point guard in college. Some in the Knicks organization believe the first priority is to find their starting point-guard-of-the-future in the draft. Neither Ntilikina, nor Elfrid Payton, nor Dennis Smith Jr. has seized the moment to its fullest.

    The draft process, meanwhile, will be challenging now that the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out the conference and NCAA tournaments. There’s a strong chance, as first reported by The Post, the draft combine won’t come off as scheduled May 21-24 in Chicago.

    The most important aspect of the combine in evaluating lottery picks is the sit-down interview in the Chicago hotels. Under the current lottery standings, the Knicks can pick anywhere from first through 10th.

    According to an NBA memo distributed to teams Thursday and obtained by The Post, the suspension of the season should not be used as impetus to start sitting down with draft prospects. The recommendation, the memo stated, is employing virtual interviews.

    “We recognize that recruiting season is upon us,” the league said in the memo, “but to the extent there is still any question, you are strongly encouraged not to engage in any face-to-face recruiting sessions, and to conduct all such activities in an alternative manner.”

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    I like LaMelo who supposedly is better than his brother Lonzo who has put together a nice year for the Pels. Lonzo has proven to be very coachable changing that jump shot of his, not an easy thing to after a lifetime of shooting it the way he did. A better LeMelo than Lonzo, I’ll take it.

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    I would lean in that direction as well, but his Dad is a major red flag to me. I think after his 2 brothers tho, everyone has caught on to His father’s fraudulent ways.

    Knicks need stars. I was reading about how a lot of league execs and scouts raves about RJ’s rookie year, despite the obvious shooting woes and defensive shortcomings. They see a good player who can contribute to winning who embodies the NY blue collar ways. If he develops a mid-range jumper and improves his FT shooting.... he’s an all star. If not, he’s a reliable role player for next 10 years.

    This is probably the ceiling for Knox, Knits and MRob.

    So, with all things equal.... I prefer Ball to Hayes and Haliburton, bc he has the highest ceiling.

    Sure, shooting will suffer for NYK next 2 years with Ball, RJ and MRob.... but that’s on GM to surround them with shooters.

    This is why I would target Joe Harris in free agency. Get Harris and Woods and that fits with this roster’s timeline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    I would lean in that direction as well, but his Dad is a major red flag to me. I think after his 2 brothers tho, everyone has caught on to His father’s fraudulent ways.

    Knicks need stars. I was reading about how a lot of league execs and scouts raves about RJ’s rookie year, despite the obvious shooting woes and defensive shortcomings. They see a good player who can contribute to winning who embodies the NY blue collar ways. If he develops a mid-range jumper and improves his FT shooting.... he’s an all star. If not, he’s a reliable role player for next 10 years.

    This is probably the ceiling for Knox, Knits and MRob.

    So, with all things equal.... I prefer Ball to Hayes and Haliburton, bc he has the highest ceiling.

    Sure, shooting will suffer for NYK next 2 years with Ball, RJ and MRob.... but that’s on GM to surround them with shooters.

    This is why I would target Joe Harris in free agency. Get Harris and Woods and that fits with this roster’s timeline.
    Lavar is irrelevant, made a lot of noise when Lonzo was getting drafted but he's toned down since. He's taken a beating with his BigBallerBrand with LaMelo in negotiations with Nike for a shoe deal and Lonzo sure to follow. He may have a big mouth but has he affected anything, Lonzo still got traded to a team he didn't want Lonzo to go to, if the Knicks think LaMelo is their guy you select him despite Lavar.

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    A trade down target perhaps:

    Precious Achiuwa, Memphis Tigers

    The Memphis Tigers have another prospect who’s garnering headlines, but don’t lose sight of Precious Achiuwa’s upside. A 6’9″ power forward with a modern skill set and a massive 7’2″ wingspan, Achiuwa could be the steal of the 2020 NBA Draft.

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    Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv

    The top international prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft is Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija. Avdija stands at 6’9″ with a rather slender frame and a dynamic skill set that not only lends itself to the modern era, but would fit well with the New York Knicks.

    What makes Avidja such a compelling prospect is that he has the ball-handling and court vision of a lead guard. That may be a slight stretch in praise, but at the 4 spot, it’s a testament to how unique his ability to set the table for others truly is.

    It’s also worth noting that one of the primary focuses of his most recent European season was learning how to function without the ball in his hands—including improving his jump shot.

    Defensively, Avidja is a similarly promising prospect. He plays with intensity and aggressiveness, fights over screens, and does his part to disrupt the passing lanes. There are certainly concerns with how that will translate to the NBA, but the tape is encouraging.


    As is the athleticism that one typically doesn’t see on a European player’s scouting report.

    Throw in the fact that Avidja is the unique pick and roll package who can both roll or facilitate, he and Robinson could create a unique 4-5 combo to build an interior around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    I would lean in that direction as well, but his Dad is a major red flag to me. I think after his 2 brothers tho, everyone has caught on to His father’s fraudulent ways.

    Knicks need stars. I was reading about how a lot of league execs and scouts raves about RJ’s rookie year, despite the obvious shooting woes and defensive shortcomings. They see a good player who can contribute to winning who embodies the NY blue collar ways. If he develops a mid-range jumper and improves his FT shooting.... he’s an all star. If not, he’s a reliable role player for next 10 years.

    This is probably the ceiling for Knox, Knits and MRob.

    So, with all things equal.... I prefer Ball to Hayes and Haliburton, bc he has the highest ceiling.

    Sure, shooting will suffer for NYK next 2 years with Ball, RJ and MRob.... but that’s on GM to surround them with shooters.

    This is why I would target Joe Harris in free agency. Get Harris and Woods and that fits with this roster’s timeline.
    Adding young talented players with great potential in their performance to the Knicks roster will not bring Knicks wins.

    In the past decade the Knicks has been in desperate NEED of a coaching-staff that has at least a Grade C+ plan/system for the players, plus a GM that's on the same-page with the coaching-staff. Example: GM Perry spent all his time kissing-up to Mills every decision, while Fizdale were breaking records being a LOSER for two seasons.
    The Knicks does not have the right coaching-staff or GM to draft a PG!

    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    A trade down target perhaps:

    Precious Achiuwa, Memphis Tigers

    The Memphis Tigers have another prospect who’s garnering headlines, but don’t lose sight of Precious Achiuwa’s upside. A 6’9″ power forward with a modern skill set and a massive 7’2″ wingspan, Achiuwa could be the steal of the 2020 NBA Draft.
    He's the next complimentary big all-star player entering the NBA (another Jaren Jackson Jr.) in the 2020 draft. He will be picked 1 thru 4 in the draft.

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    Per Rotoworld, from The Atlantic:

    The Knicks were reportedly one of the teams that sent scouts to watch Killian Hayes this season.

    The Knicks are still desperately searching for a "point guard of the future," which is why many pundits predict they will select a PG with their lottery pick in the 2020 draft. Based on current lottery odds, NY has a 9.0% chance of winning the lottery, a 37.2% chance of getting a top-four pick, and there is a 50.4% pick seventh or eighth. Hayes, a 6'5" point guard, averaged 12.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season in EuroCup games. He shot 45.5% from the floor, 39.0% from downtown, and 90.9% from the free-throw stripe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    Per Rotoworld, from The Atlantic:

    The Knicks were reportedly one of the teams that sent scouts to watch Killian Hayes this season.

    The Knicks are still desperately searching for a "point guard of the future," which is why many pundits predict they will select a PG with their lottery pick in the 2020 draft. Based on current lottery odds, NY has a 9.0% chance of winning the lottery, a 37.2% chance of getting a top-four pick, and there is a 50.4% pick seventh or eighth. Hayes, a 6'5" point guard, averaged 12.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season in EuroCup games. He shot 45.5% from the floor, 39.0% from downtown, and 90.9% from the free-throw stripe.
    Not high on him. He’s young and Frascilla said you might have to wait 4 years to see what kind of player he becomes and he played against Euro competition with the shorter 3 pt line. Not super athletic either, give me LaMelo for his size and playmaking instead of rolling the dice on another kid who played in France.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    Hidden point-guard gem Killian Hayes may be answer for Knicks
    I am in Germany. The kid is the real deal. His court vision is off the charts for a 18 year old player. He is so intelligent and his decision making is unbelievable. He has a step back in his arsenal and he can stop on a dime.
    "Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."
    Kurt Vonnegut

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    Quote Originally Posted by pat View Post
    I am in Germany. The kid is the real deal. His court vision is off the charts for a 18 year old player. He is so intelligent and his decision making is unbelievable. He has a step back in his arsenal and he can stop on a dime.
    Lamelo arguably has the best court vision of any of the PGs in this draft. I'm enamored with the kid because of the comparison with his brother and people saying he's the better player, wasn't a big fan of Lonzo when he first entered the league, part of it was that odd shot he came into the league with and my thinking that he'd never improve with that mechanically unsound shot but he's completely altered his shot and improved it. Showed me he's very coachable with most saying he shouldn't tamper with his shot after having spent his whole life shooting it like that and citing guys like Marion and Martin who played with ugly shots like that their whole careers. He's also become a terrific defender.

    LaMelo isn't handicapped with quite the ugly shot Lonzo had though it could use improvement but I love his size which I think will make him.a terrific defender at the next level just like his brother, not only in his matchups against typically smaller guys playing PG but his ability to switch on to bigger players allowing him to guard multiple positions.

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    It’s all about Haliburton in my book.

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    Berman said RJ Hampton is in the mix. He might be a Jamal Murray type player I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wargames View Post
    It’s all about Haliburton in my book.
    Quote Originally Posted by tiger0330 View Post
    Not high on him. He’s young and Frascilla said you might have to wait 4 years to see what kind of player he becomes and he played against Euro competition with the shorter 3 pt line. Not super athletic either, give me LaMelo for his size and playmaking instead of rolling the dice on another kid who played in France.
    NY Post had a mock with LaMelo going to the Dubs as the top pick. He wouldn’t be the biggest need for the Dubs so I think they go with Wiseman, Knicks pick Halliburton 6th, even if the Dubs pass on LaMelo he doesn’t make it to 6 for the Knicks.

    Said I wasn’t high on Hayes, he goes 11 with a scout echoing my view of his athleticism as "he's a little slow". Hayes has intangibles though but I wouldn't overvalue him by taking him 6.

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