As has been the case with the New York Knicks for nearly two decades, the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night provides another opportunity for the franchise to acquire something it has sorely lacked for so long: Talent.
Nothing like painting a rebuilding plan with such broad strokes, right? But the sentiment rings true yet again with the Knicks holding yet another lottery pick at No. 8 overall.
With no clear, concise No. 1 overall pick, the top-10 of the draft is very much unclear, meaning the Knicks could see many different avenues laid before them on draft night. However, this is a team that could benefit the most from such uncertainty because they have so many needs.
Rather than drafting for a certain position, the Knicks are in a position to take the best talent available at No. 8, which presents plenty of options.
Of course, this could all go awry if there is a blockbuster in the cards for Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets. But for now, the Knicks have all their picks.
Here are five options they could take at No. 8:
Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm (Germany)
The Frenchman would be another pick eerily similar to the one spent on Frank Ntilikina three years ago (also at No. 8), but the Knicks are still searching for a franchise point guard. At 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, this is a long, athletic guard that can play either position in the backcourt.
His agility can help open up shots from all parts of the floor, which he can make considering his improving range. An advanced maturity for a player his age (19) also provides the promise of becoming a gifted floor general with plus vision and distribution skills.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
Another taller point-guard prospect, Haliburton stands at 6-foot-5 and uses every inch to his advantage against smaller defenders at his position — showing a knack for making the tough passes or shots over them.
He’s an efficient shooter, having never shot less than 50% from the field or 40% from three-point range during his time at Iowa State. Questions have arisen about his narrow frame and ability to deal with contact, but he would thrive in a system that likes to play fast.
Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
With blazing speed, Lewis is by far the quickest point-guard prospect the Knicks are looking at this year. What’s most impressive about the 19-year-old is that he’s able to keep everything under control at such a frenetic pace, making the 6-foot-3 man a promising target to develop into an effective inside scorer.
His mid-range to outside game is still developing, but it’s already in a good place to build upon at the NBA level. Add an ability to chip in stifling defense and this is a high-ceiling talent that could soon provide great two-way basketball.
Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State
Per multiple reports, the 6-foot-7 shooting guard is the favorite to be the Knicks’ pick. He’s one of the most athletic wing talents available in the class of 2020 that can step in and immediately contribute on both ends of the floor at the NBA level.
He’s a flashy, high-flying prospect that can finish with authority at the rim to complement a three-point shot that was converted at 41% last year at Florida State.
Vassell runs the floor well, can create off the dribble, and can consistently knock down open shots, which could provide a spark to the Knicks’ offense.
Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Auburn
A strong scorer near the basket at 6-foot-6, Okoro is one of the premier athletes available this year.
His offensive game is that of a slasher’s, using that agility and strength to finish with authority near the basket. That being said, he has exhibited a high basketball IQ that prohibits him from doing too much or making the risky play.
Such a maturity would bring a blue-collar feel to the Knicks’ ranks, something that would immediately resonate with fans as they dream of a return to glory from the 1990s.