2017 NBA Draft preview: New York Knicks

2017 NBA Draft preview: New York Knicks
New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis (6), of Latvia, drives past Brooklyn Nets' Justin Hamilton (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NBA.com draft preview by Lang Whitaker

2017 Draft picks: 8, 44, 58
2016-17 record: 31-51, third place in the Atlantic Division, did not make Playoffs

Areas of Strength

The New York Knicks have something nobody else in the NBA can boast: a unicorn. Kristaps Porzingis is the tallest player in the NBA, with skills and mobility that allow him to essentially play positionless basketball. In recent years, the Knicks have been adept at spotting foreign talent, targeting several players besides Porzingis that have developed into solid NBA role players (Willy Hernangomez, Mindaugas Kuzminskas).

Needs Work

There's plenty of room for the Knicks to improve this offseason. Besides looking for quality depth across the roster and figuring out the long-term future of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks could look to address the point guard position in this draft, as Derrick Rose will be a free agent this summer.

Two Stats That Matter

3 -- Number of years Phil Jackson has been in place as President of the New York Knicks. Jackson arrived with the promise changing the culture of an organization that hasn't been to the Eastern Conference Finals since the turn of the century. In those three seasons, the Knicks have won an average of 26.6 games per season, and have yet to make a playoff appearance.

6-- Playoff games won by the Knicks in the last five seasons combined.

The Way to Go

“The Knicks are obviously looking point guard, but picking eighth could mean all Phil Jackson’s top choices are gone. He shouldn’t go point guard just to go point guard when so many other holes need filling. That’s why combo forward Jonathan Isaac, as successor to Carmelo Anthony right away or with a little wait time, and shooting guard Malik Monk are possibilities.” - Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 104.7 (18th)
Defensive: 108.7 (25th)

Under Contract 
G: Courtney Lee
G: Chasson Randle
F: Carmelo Anthony
F: Mindaugas Kuzminskas
F: Maurice Ndour
F: Kristaps Porzingis
F: Lance Thomas
F/C: Kyle O'Quinn
C: Willy Hernangomez
C: Joakim Noah
C: Marshall Plumlee

Free Agents 
G: Ron Baker (restricted)
G: Justin Holiday (unrestricted)
G: Derrick Rose (unrestricted)
G: Sasha Vujacic (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History

2016: none
2015: Kristaps Porzingis (4)
2014: Cleanthony Early (34); Thanasis Antetokounmpo (51)
2013: Tim Hardaway Jr. (24)
2012: Kostas Papanikolaou (48)

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