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 NBADraft.net, 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 DraftExpress.com 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.