The Knicks need to focus on selecting a point guard in November’s draft, but whether or not they should use the 8th or 27th pick to do so remains less certain.
There are a number of point guards the Knicks seem to have on their radar. The Knicks’ official Instagram page has been posting prospect previews of some of the best guards in the draft.
If nothing else, this should at least give fans a glimpse into who the Knicks are keeping an eye on.
Though most of these players are expected to be available at the 8th pick, whether or not the Knicks should pull the trigger on a point guard that early in the draft is up for debate.
Kira Lewis Jr.
Kira Lewis Jr. has the attention of many Knicks fans right now. The 6’3’’ Alabama point guard averaged a solid 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists on 45.9% from the field and 36.6% from three last season for Alabama.
With those type of numbers you’d expect him to be a lottery pick. Yet, Lewis Jr. is consistently projected outside the top 10 and, in some cases, falls outside the top 20.
The idea that Lewis Jr. could fall to the Knicks’ 27th pick seems unlikely. A point guard with his ability across the board probably won’t fall that far in the draft. If the Knicks think that he might be their guy, they should select him with the 8th pick.
Some people are bound to think that selecting Lewis Jr. at #8 is too early, but there aren’t many point guards in the draft with his versatility. He’s a well-rounded shot-creating point guard with exceptional speed who can create plays for others and consistently drain the three.
He’s considered a solid team defender with good instincts and decision making. He averaged 1.8 steals per game last season for Alabama.
So what are the downsides in Kira’s game?
Some are concerned that his weight might make him a liability on defense, but there’s always room to add strength. In fact, Ian Begley of SNY reported that Kira has added 15 pounds to his frame during the off-season which puts him at about 180 lbs. His light weight and frame help him reach De’Aaron Fox levels of speed.
In other words, if weight is the biggest knock on Lewis Jr., then that’s a good thing. Don’t forget that Ja Morant only weighs 174 pounds.
Some are also worried that his speed is his only elite skill, but a closer look shows that he’s a well-rounded player on both sides of the ball. He could be the spark the Knicks need at point guard.
He’s also proven he has the ability to develop his game over time. He’s entering the NBA draft at 19 years old coming off of his second year at Alabama as their starting point guard and improved across the board from his rookie season. This gives the Knicks an extra year of proof that his game is legit and has room to grow.
Guards late in the draft
It’s unclear whether or not the Knicks are sold on Kira Lewis Jr., but if they are, don’t expect him to be available at the 27th pick.
If they decide to go a different route with the 8th pick and don’t select a point guard, there are still some interesting young guards to choose from around pick #27.
Jahmi’us Ramsey, for example, may also be a good fit for the Knicks. He’s a 6’4’’ Texas Tech Freshman point guard with tremendous size and strength. He also shot the ball 42.6% from deep last season. Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey are also worth considering later in the draft.
Each of these players have consistency issues, though, and their ability to be a lead point guard for an NBA team is in question.
The Knicks would be better off using their top pick on a potentially elite point guard because that’s the position they most desperately need.
Lewis Jr. might not be an elite point guard yet, but it’s a strong bet that your chances of finding one diminish with each pick that passes.
He would be a great selection for the Knicks because he has a strong foundation of skills to build around. The playmaking ability, three point touch, and defensive instincts Lewis Jr. has would fit smoothly alongside R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.
At the end of the day, you just have to play the cards that you’re dealt. This year the Knicks were dealt the 8th pick and have a desperate need for a lead point guard.
There are other players that would be worth drafting ahead of Lewis Jr., but they aren’t expected to be available at #8.
Killian Hayes probably won’t be available at the 8th pick either. Even so, the 18-year-old French point guard lacks the three-point shooting ability the Knicks desperately need.
If the top 7 picks in November’s draft go as projected, the Knicks should just draft Kira Lewis Jr. at #8 and call it a day.