NY Daily News- Even with Karl Anthony-Towns expected to be the first overall pick in next month’s NBA Draft, the Knicks may stick with the philosophy of taking the best Kentucky big man available. While Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein have garnered the most attention, the Knicks for months have been enamored with Trey Lyles, according to a team source. Lyles is a 6-foot-10 forward out of Indianapolis who Phil Jackson sees as a good fit for the triangle offense.
Would the Knicks select Lyles with the fourth overall pick? Crazier things have happened and if Jackson truly believes Lyles, the 2014 Indiana Mr. Basketball who was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has played internationally for the U.S. and Canada, is worth it, perhaps he’ll make the move. A more plausible scenario would be for the Knicks to trade down, since most draft experts don’t see him as a top 10 pick. The X-factor is what the Los Angeles Lakers do or don’t do with the second pick. There is already talk of Jackson’s former club considering Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell which would leave Duke’s Jahlil Okafor available to Sixers at No. 3. Philadelphia already has a Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on its roster and could potentially use the pick in a trade or pass on Okafor. In that case, the Knicks would select Okafor, thus erasing the pain of falling from two to four at the Draft Lottery.
But if Towns, Russell and Okafor are off the board, Jackson will have a tough choice to make. Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay may seem like the logical pick, but Jackson’s teams historically never feature a top point guard. And with Jose Calderon already under contract and the Knicks convinced that Langston Galloway can be a contributing player on a good team, Jackson may ignore Mudiay, who spent last season in China. The Knicks scouted Kentucky extensively during the season. Jackson even made a trip to Lexington to see John Calipari’s team practice, and the word from people associated with the Wildcats is that the Knicks were impressed with Lyles.
That blurb is from the same Frank Isola column that I used for Saturday’s Dwyane Wade blog, which granted could have been some well-placed clickbait by the Daily News. I have seen Lyles placed anywhere from the middle of the lottery to around pick 20 in different mock drafts, which makes the Knicks drafting him at four a Renaldo Balkman-sized reach. But if Phil truly believes that Lyles’ skill set is a great fit for the triangle, I could understand why he would think about drafting him with the best draft pick the Knicks have had in years. But the Zen Master also needs to come to a couple of realizations:
1. The triangle may be an outdated offense that worked when the league’s rules and play style were different. Unless you have two of the best players in the entire league. Then it could work any time.
2. Said triangle may not be here in a couple years if/when Dolan cleans house or Phil quits to go snuggle with Jeanie Buss as the Lakers try to build another dynasty.
As somebody that I think truly wants to protect whatever pride is left in the Knicks franchise, Jackson needs to just draft the best player available and hope for the best. Whether that is D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay, or by some miracle, one of the two big men dropping to four. Because drafting a player listed by some as the fourth best player from his school with the fourth overall pick seems kind of crazy, especially for a team and a fanbase that just needs some sort of win right now.
If Lyles turns into a superstar and whoever the Knicks draft flops, I think you have to live with those consequences. Just give us what we want Phil. The best player available. Do not take Lyles at four. Do not trade down and take Lyles later in the draft. Best. Player. Available.
Then again, this is the Knicks, where logic and reason go to die. Yes, the same team that signed J.R. Smith’s bum ass brother to a contract to make The Pipeman happy. So catch up on your Trey Lyles highlights and start talking yourselves into him, Knicks fans. Because this could actually happen.
And yes, I fully admit that the picture of Steve Mills with his head down was almost worth the Knicks nearly bottoming out in the lottery and getting the four pick. Never has one photo done so much to describe the hopelessness of a man or a franchise.
Winslow or gtfo
Balkman owned the NIT
MJ and Shaw ain’t walking through that door, Phil
Kentucky fan here telling you that Lyles will be the second best pro to come off this team. Big guy that can stretch the floor and shoot, also is aggressive enough to drive the lane and create his own shot. 4th pick may be high for him since he is so raw and all potential, but will be a great player in a few years
Draft Russel or Mudiay and let’s move on
Good, a non impact player for a shitty team and organization.
Day 4…. still waiting on KFC’s official barstool response to TacoTuesday.
Winslow or gtfo
If the Triangle offense is so good then why does no other High School, College or NBA team run it? I’m so sick of hearing about the fucking triangle. The triangle offense worked because he had Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen and Shaq/Kobe Bryant. Any offense works when you have that sort of talent. It wasn’t the coaching that made the Bulls all the sudden take the next step to winning titles. It was that the league cracked down on the physical play that made the Bad Boys what they were and the Celtics were at the end of their dynasty with Bird’s back ruined.
I think that will be it for me and the Knicks if they do something fucking stupid with this pick.
Theres no chance the Knicks manage to not fuck this pick up. Just too much pressure on them for them to make a logical, reasonable pick.
Love this dude. Works hard, never complains. Going to be a good solid pro
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