The New York Knicks have plenty of options to choose from with the ninth overall selection in next week’s NBA Draft. Management has done well with their last two lottery selections Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina. They are looking to do the same in this year’s draft. With Porzingis’ health in question for next season and a new head coach David Fizdale selecting the right player is essential. If available, selecting Michael Porter Jr. will be another monumental step forward in the rebuilding process.

Supreme Talent

2018 NBA Draft Michael Porter Jr.Before this college basketball season, many analysts expected Porter to be the number one selection in this year’s draft. After a back injury limited him to only three games all season his stock has begun to drop, but he is still considered a guaranteed lottery pick by many experts.

This year’s draft class is extremely deep and talented and Porter is arguably the most talented scorer in the class. He fills an immediate need in the frontcourt playing either the small or power forward position. He can challenge opposing defenders attacking the basket, or act as a stretch four forcing defenders to extend out on his perimeter shot. In addition, his insane athleticism and explosiveness allow him to blow past defenders for ferocious jams.

Had Porter been able to play a full college season and showcase his full offensive repertoire, there is no way the Knicks would even have the possibility of selecting with the ninth overall pick.

Playing Alongside Kristaps Porzingis

Fully healthy Porzingis is one of the toughest covers in the NBA, with his immense size at seven feet three inches tall as well as a great ability to shoot from the outside and attack off the dribble. Last season, he had the eighth highest usage rate in the league at 31.2% despite missing the last three months with a torn ACL.

Coming off an injury management and the fans should not want him to be the focal point of the offense right away, limiting the risk of reinjury. Drafting Porter, allows him to be the focal point of the offense until Porzingis feels comfortable enough to take over that role once again. While this is a big responsibility Porter is not a stranger to the spotlight, he was the No. 2 recruit in the country coming out of high school.

The addition of Porter takes some of the pressure off of Porzingis because defenses will have to respect his shot and ability to beat them off of the dribble. Once Porzingis returns fully healthy him and Porter together will create an extremely dynamic duo in the frontcourt that opposing defenses will have nightmares about.

Building the Young Corps

One of the most important things that a rebuilding team can do is build a roster that is mixed with talented youth as well as some veteran leaders. However, for a successful long-term rebuild, the foundation of the team should be made up of younger players with great potential.

Porzingis has already showcased he is a budding star and Ntilinka showed some great flashes particularly defensively in his first season. Adding Porter to the mix will give the Knicks a third young player with immense potential reinvigorating some optimism back to basketball in the Big Apple. Three extremely talented young players, along with Tim Hardaway Jr, and possibly Enes Kanter allows the Knicks to contend for a playoff spot in the extremely weak Eastern Conference.

Drafting Porter does not make the Knicks a championship team right away, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction after years of mismanagement by the Phil Jackson regime.


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