Contrary to popular belief, the second round of the NBA draft still exists. This is a unique, distant land after the thirtieth peak, when many people cut off the thrust. It is a place where far-reaching dreams and career-defining moments come true. Unknowns appear, outsiders have their day, and the G-League rosters for the upcoming season are full.
Most importantly, this season, the Knicks once again have a second-round pick – 42nd overall – and it’s a big chance to improve a roster that really needs it.
If you take into account the history, the Knicks have a very mixed situation in terms of the quality of the players they selected in the second round. Andy Rothins’ strange choice in 2010 and the smell of Cleantoni in early 2014 come to mind. On the other hand, the selections of Landry Fields in 2010 and Mitchell Robinson in 2018 were somewhat more successful for the Knicks. Last year’s second round trio of Jericho Sims, Miles McBride and Rokas Jokubaitis certainly looks promising.
It’s worth taking a look at the players who could be on the Knicks’ radar in the second round for a chance to make an impact on the team. As far as we know, the front office may have another trick up its sleeve.
Here are five second-round prospects the Knicks could consider with the No. 42 pick to potentially solidify the roster, or at least fight for a place on it.
Let’s start with a player who, until recently, few people saw live. Michael Foster Jr decided to drop out of college and play for G League Ignite. Foster’s numbers in his first pro season were pretty impressive, with the 6-foot-9 prospect averaging 14.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Foster Jr. was originally a top 10 NBA prospect in high school before reaching potential second round status. He also received some very interesting NBA player comparisons.
NBA G League Ignite head coach Jason Hart spoke to The Field of 68 Media Network’s Jeff Goodman on Foster Jr. “Right-hander Julius Randle”.
During the same interview, Hart smashed Foster Jr.’s game, citing his strong perimeter ability and his great influence during the transition.
Hart also compared Foster Jr. to Boston Celtics standout and former Tennessee Volunteer star Grant Williams in how he could transition and find his place in the league.
Nathan Grubel of noceilingsnba.com even going so far as to say that Foster Jr. could be a hidden gem in the NBA draft this year.
The excitement about this is strong.
Looking at Foster Jr. on the NBA team, he seems like a good three-pointer and a great athlete, but he needs to adapt to defense in the paint to be able to handle the physical strength that only the NBA can provide.
The Knicks really need a point guard.
However, there’s also a very good chance they won’t take him in the first round, meaning Duke’s Trevor Keels could be an intriguing option in the second round. A combination guard originally from Clinton, Maryland, Keels led Duke to the Final Four last season and captured the ACC regular season title as a freshman.
The 6-foot-4 defenseman averaged 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season but retained some of his best performances in the latter stages of a long collegiate campaign.
Keels shot just under 42 percent from the field last season, but he shot just 67 percent from the free throw line.
There are some people who are unhappy with Keels, including 247sports’ Travis Branham, who gave the prospect a “D” rating among players who have been successful. “loud announcements of stay or departure” earlier this month. Branham added that Keels will likely spend most of next season in the G-League.
Keels’ biggest blow has been his inconsistency and poor physical testing at the mill, but despite some reports from scouts suggesting he return to Duke, he’s set to pursue his NBA dream in this year’s draft.
Will Mecca be in his future? Time will tell.
Speaking of Madison Square Garden, we stay local for this next vista. Brooklyn, New York native and St. Johns graduate Julian Champagny is next in line. Champagne graced the Red Storm’s garden court numerous times during the Big East Conference regular season and conference tournaments during his time in Queens.
Last season, the 6-foot-8 junior averaged 19.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in the consistently physical Big East Conference. This is even more impressive considering he came from an impressive sophomore year averaging 19.8 points per game.
The biggest plus when looking at Champagne’s game is the ability to score from all three levels on the floor. His close-range scoring, mid-range play, and long-range shooting are generally very strong. A bit of a blow to him is the fact that Champagne’s three-point percentage dropped from 38 percent as a sophomore to just 33.7 percent as a junior, while his average attempts were nearly identical.
The Knicks are definitely in need of scoring and they could look to their city for solutions to this problem.
Staying in the Big East, we turn to fellow gardener Justin Lewis, who occasionally played MSG with Marquette last season.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the field for the Golden Eagles under coach Shaka Smart. It was a huge jump from his rookie season, when he only averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting just under 42 percent from the field.
At one point this season, Lewis was considered a Conference Player of the Year candidate and was extremely versatile offensively. He is also an excellent shooter for his size and seems to be aiming for the top at a very important time in his basketball life.
Another great quality that many see in Lewis is his fluidity and body control on the court. This skill might be rare for a player who turned twenty in April. His height also made him an excellent ball-handler, especially on the perimeter.
For a while, many compared him to fellow former Marquette star Jay Crowder, who plays for the Phoenix Suns. If Lewis works on his consistency and can stay healthy, he could reach the same heights in the NBA.
As rumors continue to swirl about Mitchell Robinson’s future with the Knicks, it may be time to consider replacing him. Accordingly, the second round may be the ideal place for this.
Christian Koloko is wrapping up a very promising junior season in Arizona as he helped lead the program to one of its best seasons in recent memory. Campaign that saw the Wildcats reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017 in the NCAA Tournament.
Koloko’s role has grown with the Wildcats every season he has been in the program leading up to the 2021–22 season, where he averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. The nearly 7ft 1in center also shot 63.5 percent from the field and a very impressive 73.5 percent from the free throw line.
If the Knicks deem it necessary to put Robinson in his place, Koloko’s athleticism, efficiency, and potential may be just what the doctor ordered to fill that place on the list. The only question is whether he will live to 42 years.
All in all, the second round has really good prospects in this year’s draft. The Knicks have some good options to fill some needs or add talent to the team. The front office and coach Tom Thibodeau will have to pick the right players to bring this team back to the playoffs.
Our job will be to stay up after we go to bed to see who the Knicks pick before falling asleep, and the next morning we’ll have to check social media again to remember who they really are. actually chose.
Another perk of the second round of the NBA draft.