Two more names are being discussed in connection with the New York Knicks' first-round draft pick. The New York Knicks will be the 17th team to pick from the pile of prospects at the NBA draft on June 23. They need a point guard, given that Chauncey Billups is a chancy prospect given his string of injuries and Toney Douglas proving less than inspiring.
The newest two names being discussed: Jimmer Fredette and Josh Selby.
Fredette became nationally famous during the NCAA tournament, but NBA experts are split on whether he could execute in the pros. In his last of four seasons at Brigham Young University, Fredette averaged 28.9 points per game and 4.3 assists. He grew up in upstate New York, so a term with the Knicks might feel a bit like a homecoming. He can shoot, but is he quick enough to defend NBA-level players?
Selby had a spotted career at Kansas, missing nine games due to a suspension and three more because of an ankle injury, then averaging just 7.9 points per game in the rest of his freshman season. But he has reportedly looked sharp in draft workouts, and he told ESPN that leaving college ball after one year was a calculated risk. I loved the guys at Kansas, he sad. I loved that for the first time in my life, I really had some stability, a roof over my head, steady meals and a support system. But I felt like my game may be better-suited at the NBA. I know it's a risk, but my whole life has been about taking risks.
Other players the Knicks might use their 17th pick to take:
This junior from Boston College has a giant wingspan and gaudy numbers--18.2 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, and a .420 three-pointer percentage--and his performance as point guard last season surely caught the attention of Knicks staff. The Knicks need defense, and Jackson could provide some.
The Hofstra senior could eventually run the point for the Knicks, and his numbers are nearly identical to Jackson's, with a bump up in points per game (22.6, with 3.4 rebounds per game and 42% shooting from behind the three-point line). But he was the all-time leading scorer at Hofstra in part because he was the star of the show, and at 6'3, his size could hurt him in the NBA.
A point guard from the University of Michigan, Morris has improved his shooting but is primarily praised for his ability to run the offense. Critics point to some inconsistency in his performance, and while he seemed to bloom last season (progressing from 18% shooting from three-point land in 2009 to 25% in the last campaign, for example), Morris seems to be a work in progress.
The 6'9 small forward from the University of Florida was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year. The senior would be a plus on defense, but he's a question mark as a shooter past the 3-point line.
This 6'9 junior forward from Florida State is above average in shooting and rebounding, but the Knicks may like him most because he is a fierce defender. He would need to be converted to guard to fit with the Knicks.
The junior power forward from St. Louis University has talent but his numbers (12.4 points per game, 2.1 blocks per game, 7.9 rebounds) indicate raw physical skills. Also, those numbers are from 2009--he was ineligible to play in 2010 for academic reasons. Those who have seen him in action in the last month have given glowing reviews.
A senior power forward from Morehead State, Faried is considered the best rebounder in the country by ESPN's scouts. He can shoot, too--Faried posted 17.3 points per game to go with his 14.5 rebounds. Faried will probably get picked before the Knicks can cash in their ping-pong ball with a 17 on it.