USC center Nikola Vucevic is one of the many players the Knicks have eyes on for tomorrow's NBA Draft.

2011 NBA Draft, Knicks: Air Of Uncertainty Hovers Over Draft Day

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2011 NBA Mock Draft, Knicks (Update)

While eight NBA teams are preparing for playoff games and figuring out how to win a title, the New York Knicks are among the 22 other teams who have their sights set on the off-season. It's an off-season of uncertainty for both the league (lockout coming?) and the Knicks (who's running the ship?), and there isn't anything ever certain about the NBA Draft, where each year brings us about the same amount of busts as it does surprises. Who would have thought, save for his dramatic post-Carmelo trade downturn, that a guy like Landry Fields would be the talent he was based on where he was drafted? The Knicks' draft history is ripe with both busts and surprises, so it's always interesting when Commissioner David Stern steps up to announce the Knicks' pick at the Theatre at MSG.The Knicks actually DO have their first-round pick this year, so who should be on their early radar at number 17? Here are three possibilities:

Kenneth Faried - PF - Morehead State

Anyone with half a basketball brain knows the Knicks desperately need size. Unfortunately, the 2011 Draft doesn't look to have much that would fix the Knicks' needs. On top of just needing straight size, the Knicks need someone who can defend and rebound down low. One of the best players in this year's class in that mold could be Kenneth Faried of Morehead State. Faried averaged 17.3 ppg and 14.5 rpg, the rebounding mark leading the nation. Albeit against a generally low level of competition in the Southwest Conference, Faried is exactly the type of player the Knicks need, even if he's a bit undersized at 6-foot-8. They shouldn't even look at his offensive game. He can rebound and defend in the post, and is a dirty work type of player. If the Knicks can find a center through free agency or a trade, Faried would be a great backup to Amare Stoudemire.

Markieff Morris - PF - Kansas

Another power forward with an NBA-ready frame that the Knicks would love to see available at 17 is Kansas' Markeiff Morris. At 6-foot-10, 245, he's the bigger and more rugged of the two Morris twins, with his brother Marcus the better scorer. Morris is another player, similar to Faried, who will do the unglamorous things, but the ones that help win basketball games. The Knicks were exposed in the playoffs for their lack of depth and size. Morris would be a good guy to have to play 8-10 minutes per game, use up fouls, grab boards, and alter shots.

Tyler Honeycutt - SF/SG - UCLA

The Knicks could also use help at the shooting guard position, and knowing Mike D'Antoni (as long as he's still the coach), he will want someone who can contribute on the offensive end. A versatile player with some size is UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, the athletic sophomore swingman. Honeycutt, like Morris, comes from a big basketball program, playing with and against good competition in his two college seasons. Honeycutt showed marked improvement from his freshman year, and as a sophomore netted 12.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg. He stands 6-foot-8 but is rangy and wiry, the type of player  D'Antoni seems to covet. Don't be surprised if this is the pick if he's available and D'Antoni has some input.


NBA Draft 2011, Knicks: Mock Draft Roundup, Draft Day Notes

The NBA Draft is always dramatic, intriguing and ripe with an air of uncertainty. Tonight's 2011 NBA Draft could be one of the most interesting in years, and that's not because there is so much talent on the board. It's exactly the opposite. With a labor strife imminent that will threaten the start of the 2011-12 NBA season, and a draft pool where the gap in talent from top to bottom is very thin, it could be an exciting night at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Fewer things are less certain than what the Knicks, picking 17th overall, will do. Here's where a few different mock drafts have the Knicks going.

New York Daily News: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas Nikola Vucevic, C, USC Markieff Morris

SBNation: Nikola Vucevic

HoopsHype: Nikola Vucevic

New York Post: Iman Shumpert, PG, Georgia Tech

Interesting to see multiple outlets predicting USC center Nikola Vucevic and Kansas power forward Markieff Morris. Vucevic fills a size need for the Knicks, but isn't noted as a physical big man. He is believed to have very good offensive talent, but is lacking some grit and defensive prowess. Any size would be good size for the Knicks, so Vucevic is probably a safe pick.

Markieff Morris would be an intriguing pick for the Knicks as well. A lot of mocks have him going higher, but never before his brother, Marcus. Markieff is a rugged 6-foot-9 power forward who would backup Amare Stoudemire, another position of need for the Knicks.

Although the New York Post mock is the only one that has the Knicks taking a point guard, that is certainly a place the Knicks will look to tonight. Whether its with the 17th pick, or if they purchase or trade for an additional pick later in the draft (in which the former is very possible), the Knicks would love to find a young floor general who could learn under Chauncey Billups for a season. Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert has a lot of size for the position at 6-foot-6, and his defensive ability makes him attractive at 17. The Knicks also like Michigan point guard Darius Morris, who led the Big Ten in assists as a sophomore last season. If the Knicks buy an additional pick, they could go point guard with it and take UCLA's Malcolm Lee or Butler's Shelvin Mack.

The big name the Knicks seem to be in love with, and perhaps the most galvanizing face of this year's draft class in BYU scorer Jimmer Fredette. The Knicks are believed to think that Fredette would be a perfect fit in Mike D'Antoni's offense, but it is unlikely they will trade up for him. Even more unlikely is that he'll fall to them at 17. The Sacramento Kings at 7, the Utah Jazz at 12, and the Indiana Pacers at 15 would all keep Fredette from falling. Let's be honest. He's not getting past the Jazz at 12. In the end, this will probably be a good thing for the Knicks.

The Knicks can go in any direction they choose. With so many holes, they should take the best player available. But has there ever been a year where the best available player has been less clear?


NBA Draft 2011, Knicks: With NBA Draft One Day Away, Knicks' Plans Still Unclear

In what could be a crucial night as the New York Knicks attempt to build their team into a title contender, there are tons of reports speculating about what the Knicks will do with the No. 17 pick in Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft, but not many of them agree. What's known is this: the Knicks have a dearth of options. And with many believing that there may not be much of a difference in talent and potential in picks 15-40 in this year's draft, it will be even harder than ever to pick the right guy.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News is reporting that Carmelo Anthony is trying to sell the Knicks on Kansas guard Josh Selby. As we covered in one of our previous mock draft posts, Anthony and Selby are both from Baltimore and represented by Creative Artists Agency. Selby is an interesting case, as he was one of the highest rated prospects heading into last year's college basketball season, but a suspension and injuries derailed his season. He could end up being a steal at No. 17, where he'll likely be available, or could be a Monta Ellis type who falls to the second round.

The New York Post says the Knicks have eyes on three players, Georgia Tech point guard Iman Shumpert, Colorado shooting guard Alec Burks, and USC center Nikola Vucevic. In most mock drafts, Burks, a slashing two-guard, is projected as a lottery pick, so it is unlikely he will fall to the Knicks at 17. Shumpert is a point guard with height, listed at 6-foot-5, and is known for his defensive prowess, athleticism, and rebounding ability. Vucevic would give the Knicks some size, but isn't going to give them much on the defensive end.

Perhaps the most interesting prospect in this year's draft is Congolege center Bismack Biyombo. Through the lead up to this draft, the 6-9 center has been projected as a top-8 pick to somewhere in the late first round. There is a lot of mystery with Biyombo, starting with his age. He's listed as being 18, but some think he could already be 20 or 21. What is known is that he's an athletic freak who has the tools to be, in the best case scenario, a dominant defender. His offensive game, at this point, is non-existent. He likely will never be much on the offensive end in his NBA career. There is much risk in taking Biyombo, but given the Knicks lack of size and toughness inside, it is something they  would have to consider if he's available at No. 17.

It seems that the Knicks' top three targets will all be gone by the time they pick: BYU's Jimmer Fredette, Washington State shooter Klay Thompson, and Florida State forward Chris Singleton. Although the Knicks are believed to want any of those, a trade up is unlikely. A trade down actually may be more plausible, and in the end more valuable.


NBA Draft 2011: Jimmer Fredette Prefers Knicks And Nets

Potential NBA Draft picks don't get to choose where they end up going, but if they could, BYU standout Jimmer Fredette would certainly pick the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets. The high-scoring guard told Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show he'd prefer to play for the Knicks and Nets, listing them as options "1A and 1B," respectively.

He may get his wish. The Knicks own the 17th pick, and while that may be too late to snag Fredette, they reportedly want to trade up to take him. The Nets, with the 27th pick, stand almost no shot of getting Fredette unless they were to trade up as well, and there's no indication one way or the other if they're interested in taking that step.

Fredette, 22, averaged 28.9 points in his senior season at BYU, displaying near-unlimited shooting range and hardly any conscience. He took a whopping 8.5 threes per game, and connected on 39.6 percent of them. Theoretically, Fredette would fit nicely in Mike D'Antoni's fast-paced, three-happy offense. In practice, he may not get the requisite number of touches he needs in order to be effective. Having to share the ball with All-Star scoring machines Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire could negatively affect his game.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for complete Knicks and Nets NBA Draft coverage. Please visit Posting and Toasting for more on the Knicks; NetsDaily is your source for all things Nets basketball.


NBA Draft 2011: Knicks Moving Up For Jimmer Fredette?

ESPN's Chad Ford is reporting today -- well, more like speculating today -- that the New York Knicks would like to move up in Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft to select high-scoring Glens Falls native Jimmer Fredette. Ford states that he believes the Knicks would love to come out of Thursday's draft with either Fredette or Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson, whjo averaged 21.6 points per game in 2010-2011.

As I have written previously, if this is truly the case I simply don't understand the Knicks fascination with adding another player who needs the basketball in order to be successful.

Here is part of what I wrote about Fredette and the Knicks a few weeks ago:

The Knicks need to pass on Fredette. They have scoring with Anthony and Stoudemire, they still have Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas, and they have a promising young wing player in Landry Fields. They need to find toughness, shot-blocking and interior defense. Fredette, obviously, can't give them those things.

Thompson, who scouts see as more of a swing player and spot-up shooter, might be a better fit. Still, however, the thing the Knicks need most is interior toughness and a defensive presence at the rim. If they can find a player at No. 17 who gives them that I don't see why they would pass on that for another scorer.


NBA Draft 2011: Knicks Moving Up? And Other Draft Notes

Rumors have swirled in the past few days that the New York Knicks are talking to the Indiana Pacers about moving up in the first round of Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft. The Knicks, who sit at No. 17, would likely have to part ways with either Toney Douglas or Landry Fields, and would only move up two spots to No. 15, where the Pacers currently sit. You'd hope, if the Knicks made a trade of this sort, that they'd get another Indiana pick (probably a second-rounder), and roster player (Dahntay Jones?). We'll keep an eye on this, but you'd have to wonder who the Knicks have their eye on that they think either the Pacers or Philadelphia 76ers, who pick at No. 16, would take in front of them.

A good possibility is Klay Thompson, the junior guard out of Washington State who is widely regarded as the best shooter in the draft. According to the New York Post, after Thompson's recent workout with the Knicks, Donnie Walsh told Thompson that he reminded him of Reggie Miller. That's certainly high praise coming from Walsh, who drafted Miller to the Pacers in 1987. If the Knicks do draft Thompson, it gives them depth at shooting guard, where he and Landry Fields could battle it out for the starting job. The Knicks still have major needs at center, power forward, point guard, and overall defense from any position, and although they don't have a second-round pick, history has shown that the Knicks will look to add a pick later in the draft. Walsh has done this in two of the past three drafts, simply by just buying an additional choice from a cash-strapped team.

If the Knicks do add another pick, they can look for point guard depth in the second round - maybe UCLA's Malcolm Lee or Villanova's Corey Stokes - or for some size. Florida forward Chandler Parsons had a good workout with the Knicks, and there could be some value there if he falls to the middle of the second round. A mid-second round prospect the Knicks should think about adding if they buy another pick is Oakland center Keith Benson, who stands 6-foot-11.


2011 NBA Draft: Knicks Should Nab Chris Singleton If Available

In the New York Knicks’ quest to become a truly elite NBA team, the facet that cannot be ignored is on the defensive end. The Knicks have found their offensive lynchpins, two of the best in the game with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. In order to continue the franchise’s progress, the Knicks have to start focusing on the other end of the floor. With the NBA Draft coming up, the Knicks have the chance to address this need, and one player who could well be in the Knicks’ range at No. 17 overall is Florida State forward Chris Singleton.

The Knicks do desperately need size, but unfortunately, there isn’t tons of it in this draft. Singleton isn’t overly big, standing at 6-foot-9, but the strength of his game is the Knicks’ biggest weakness, defense. In the words of ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla , Singleon is a “lockdown defender”. With his size and quickness, he can guard four positions. As the Knicks look to challenge the Miami Heat for Eastern Conference supremacy, a versatile defender like Singleton could be a key addition.

Singleton is not a gifted offensive player by any means, but is that really a bad thing for this Knicks team? The Knicks have enough players who are best when they have the ball, and Singleton certainly is a guy who is better off it. As we saw in the 2011 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks, every great team has players who don’t need to score to be effective (Tyson Chandler, Brian Cardinal, Shawn Marion). In a scouting report on, it is noted that Singleton “possesses all the tools to be able to translate his defense to the NBA level.” The site lists him as comparable to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, while says he could turn into a Trevor Ariza type. Those are two players that would make the Knicks a more well-rounded team, and Singleton likely would as well.

While Singleton doesn’t fill New York’s need for size, he can help make them a better defensive team overall. That’s a good step in the right direction as the Knicks move forward.

-- Draft Express scouting report on Singleton

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