We're just two days away from the 2011 NBA Draft, and Tom Ziller of SBNation's final 2011 Mock NBA Draft has the New York Knicks taking Klay Thompson of Washington State, widely regarded as the best pure shooter in the draft. I have said again and again that if I were running the Knicks, I'd take Florida State's Chris Singleton, if available, as he is in Ziller's latest mock. Singleton fits the team's biggest overall need, defense, even if he doesn't fill a positional need. However, if Thompson is on the board when the Knicks pick as No. 17, there may be too much value, too much upside, and for a Mike D'Antoni-coached team, too much shooting prowess to pass.
There have been rumblings about the Knicks trading up a few spots, and you could see why. Could anyone see a possibility in which the Philadelphia 76ers, picking one spot ahead of the Knicks at No. 16, pass on Thompson if he falls to them? The 76ers badly need an outside threat, and they'd be crazy to let Thompson go to a division rival in the Knicks. At first, when I heard the Knicks would have to give up Landry Fields or Toney Douglas to move up two spots, I thought it was asinine. But, here's a situation in which it may work:
The Knicks trade their No. 17 pick and Toney Douglas to the Pacers for the No. 15 pick, and get the Pacers' second round pick, No. 42 overall, in return. The Knicks draft Thompson, and then use the No. 42 pick on a point guard. Guys in that range could be Illinois senior Demetri McCamey, Washington junior Isaiah Thomas (boy would that be hilarious), or Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert. Then, you have Chauncey Billups and a young point guard behind him, and you let Fields and Thompson battle it out for the starting SG job, with the other coming off the bench. That's not a terrible situation.
Of course, in that situation, the Knicks still lack size. They'd have to sign a center (Sam Dalembert likely, Tyson Chandler in a dream world), and maybe get creative in a trade or free agency to get some depth at power forward.
If it's me, I stand pat at No. 17 and take Singleton if he's available.