Potential 2024 NBA Draft options for the Knicks

OG Anunoby Knicks 76ers
New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

While the NBA postseason continues, the rest of the teams that are already on vacation can now turn their attention to the 2024 NBA Draft.

There is no Victor Wembanyama this year coming to be the next face of the league, and many scouts have talked about this being a ‘down year’ in terms of prospects. That does not mean there are no diamonds in the rough that could be the key piece in putting a franchise over the edge or a generational talent found late in the first round.

For the New York Knicks, they hold two first-round picks in the latter half of the first round and what they do with them will dictate the direction of the franchise going forward.

Holding their pick at number 25 and then the Dallas Mavericks pick at number 24, the Knicks could pursue many different options. The majority of mock drafts have the Knicks selecting a frontcourt presence—now, who will be there that late in the first round remains to be seen.

Zach Edey is an immediate name that comes to mind regarding college talent that can make an immediate impact on the front court. Some mocks have Edey going as high as 14, while some have him falling to 24 to the Knicks. Edey would be a swing-for-the-fences-like draft pick with a high ceiling. The former Purdue big man made waves at the combine as he appears to be developing a three-point shot. If he is given the proper time to develop and grow his skillset, he will be a very attractive target for New York.

The one knock on Edey is his age, spending four years in college the Canadian is currently 22 years old. While this is by no means a deal breaker, if Edey needs time to hone his skills in the G League for a couple of seasons, the age could turn teams away. If the Knicks are looking for a younger target, G League Ignite stretch big man Tyler Smith is only 19 years old. Skipping college and playing for the G League developmental team, Smith averaged over 13 points per game while shooting 47.6% from the field. 

If New York wants to stick with college talent, Indiana’s Kel’el Ware could be another target if Edey gets snatched off the board earlier than expected. Ware led the Hoosiers in terms of points per game, averaging 15.9 points. Ware even went toe-to-toe with Edey in two matchups, both of which Edey prevailed by double-digits. 

Typically, a team like New York would look to leverage its first-round picks in a trade or other assets to help bolster a championship contender. However, this year could be different due to the negativity surrounding the draft and picks not being valued the same as they normally are. Considering that, the best course of action for the Knicks could be to invest in a young, developing player who could help sustain franchise success for years to come. A swing for the fences could put the Knicks in title contention.