Oregon’s Chris Duarte on radar for Knicks as they store NBA Draft picks for acquire-now support

This past year was a person of the most difficult for groups to navigate, battling through the unknowns of COVID-19 and the wearisome protocols that ruined some teams’ hopes. And the Knicks managed, in that natural environment, to exceed expectations and soar all the way to the fourth seed in the Japanese Meeting.

But a wakeup phone arrived in the postseason when each team instantly was as geared up each and every night time as Tom Thibodeau had the Knicks all year prolonged. A reminder was handed down: The team nevertheless needs to uncover more expertise.

The first opportunity arrives Thursday night time at the NBA Draft when the Knicks hold the No. 19 and 21 picks in the to start with round, as well as total picks 32 and 58. But right after increasing into the playoffs —following decades of dysfunction and struggles — the idea of including three or 4 rookies is not the way ahead for Thibodeau and the Knicks entrance office environment.

So while our mock drafts may well speculate on what the Knicks could get with these picks, it is proving to be a check of workforce president Leon Rose and his team to obtain a trade partner, either packaging the picks to move up or to send out some picks out in a offer for veteran aid for Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.



Even though there has been substantially speculation about what the Knicks would concentrate on in a go up, the most possible title for them to chase is Oregon wing Chris Duarte. The 24-calendar year-previous skipped the Draft Incorporate but however has risen up the board, with expectations now that he could bounce into the lottery. At 6-6 and possessing shot 42.4% from outside of the arc and earning Pac-12 All-Defensive Staff honors, Duarte’s odd path from the Dominican Republic to two a long time of superior college in Troy, New York, and then two seasons of JUCO ball just before heading to Oregon has him the oldest to start with-round prospect in the draft.

“I’m 24 many years outdated and my reaction is, if you want to acquire suitable now, go forward and consider me,” Duarte reported in a predraft Zoom interview. “If you want to acquire 6 or 8 a long time later, go in advance and draft an 18-year-outdated child and acquire him.”

Though Duarte may well be the selection for Thibodeau and a win-now method, they’re not the only crew intrigued in Duarte — and in winning now somewhat than a protracted rebuild. If Golden State keeps the No. 7 and 14 picks, that is a attainable landing spot. Experiences experienced Golden Condition turning down a Knicks’ overture of the No. 19 and 21 picks in trade for No. 14.

The Knicks’ most obtrusive require is for a position guard. If they maintain their recent spots, Auburn’s Sharife Cooper, regarded as the greatest passer in the draft, may possibly be the goal. He is just 6-1 but has quickness, and scouts imagine he can develop into a good shooter in addition to his latest capability to get to the rim.

Other names to view include Kentucky’s athletic massive man Isaiah Jackson, Baylor guard Jared Butler, Stanford wing Ziaire Williams, LSU’s substantial-scoring Cam Thomas and stage guards Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois and Bones Hyland of VCU.