The NBA draft is tomorrow, but it's anyone's guess which direction the New York Knicks will go with their first-round selection at the 17th spot.
Donnie Walsh will supposedly still be in charge of the Knicks' negotiations, as his contract expires on June 30--and the organization hasn't hired a replacement for him yet. Walsh is known to wheel and deal, so although Jimmer Fredette is rumored to go early than 17th--probably 12th, to the Utah Jazz--it's possible the Knicks will buy or trade to get a higher selection to snag a piece of Jimmer Mania.
Fredette fills the bucket, but he is not going to run the point or play tough defense. He's going to shoot. This fits D'Antoni's philosophy, but is it what the Knicks need most?
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.
If Fredette is gone by the time the Knicks pick, and the team is still thinking offense, New York may tap Marshon Brooks. The 6' 5 Providence senior averaged 24.6 points last season with 48% shooting. He's relatively weak from the three-point arc but has shown flashes of being a strong defender--and he has a 7' 1 wingspan.
On the other hand, the Knicks may opt for defense. ESPN currently predicts New York using their first-round pick to get Iman Shumpert. The 6'6 junior from Georgia Tech snagged 2.7 steals while scoring 17.3 points per game. He can play the point, although the Knicks may use him as an off guard. Shumpert has a 42 vertical leap.
If they don't tap Shumpert but still look to shore up their defense, the Knicks may go with Kenneth Faried. 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.
Another possibility is to go big--7 feet big. The Knicks may opt for Nikola Vucevic, a 7' junior from USC. Vucevic averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds last season with the Trojans, and he has impressed scouts in pre-draft workouts.
Offense or defense? The Knicks need more of both if they want to go deeper in the playoffs.