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NBA Draft 2010: 5 Potential Knick Prospects

Posted By Jordan Lauterbach On Jun 23 2010 @ 11:16 pm In New York Knicks | 2 Comments

One of the best things about this time of year is reading all the mock drafts that come down the pipe. True, most of them are way off and go in the trash before the lottery picks end. But in the hours before David Stern begins the festivities at The Garden, it’s fun to look at who the “experts” have your favorite team taking.

 Here’s a quick list of some potential new Knicks, according to the internet. Let’s call it a mock draft round up! (Note: as of now, the Knicks hold the 8th and 9th pick of the second round, or 38 and 39 overall)

Player #1- Lazar Hayward 6-6, 226, SF Marquette

The guy played all four years, so if you like experience, Hayward could be an attractive pick.  Generally, I think experience in college is a bit overrated. For football, it’s huge. In basketball, not so much. In a league where the two biggest stars (Lebron and Kobe ) never sniffed the college hardwood, it’s hard to get excited about the idea of 138 games in the NCAA being a major positive.

            Hayward played in the ultra-competitive Big East.  Anytime you have a guy who knows what it takes to win under hostile circumstances, it’s a plus. As his minutes increased in college, so did his production. Hayward went from averaging nearly 7 points in 16 minutes as a freshman to 18 points in 32 minutes in his senior season. He also averaged 7.5 rebounds in his final season at Marquette .

           He’s generally regarded as a guy who can shoot and not do much else.

 Player # 2- Tibor Pleiss- 7-1, 210, C, Germany

            Previously, Knick fans relationship with foreign players has been a hostile one. The emergence of Danilo Gallinari has softened that a little bit, but this pick may be a really tough sell.

            Two standout things about Pleiss: he’s huge and he plays defense. The Knicks could use both of these things- especially the second one. Scouts don’t love his athletic ability and are skeptical about his tendency to knock in only dunks and rebounds.

            However, while Pleiss may not exactly be Frederic Weis, he’s most likely staying overseas for a few more years. According to nbadraft.net [1], Pleiss’ deal in Germany runs through 2012. He has expressed interest in going to Spain following that deal and then play in the NBA.       

            Can’t you imagine this conversation happening?-

Lebron: Sounds great Donnie. I really like it here. Hey, who’d you guys get in the draft again?

Walsh: We’re really excited. We brought in (fill in player X) and Tibor Pleiss from Germany ! He’s really great defensively and can be a force in the middle for years to come.

Lebron: Nice! Where is he? I wanna say hi….

Walsh: Oh, he’s in Germany , then Spain , but in 3-5 years, he’ll be around.

 Lebron: Oh. (Turns to handler) So how cold did you say Chicago was?

 Player #3- Jarvis Vernatto- 6-9, 210, C, Mississippi State .

            Some really like Vernatto to the Knicks. He’s a fantastic shot blocker, among the best in the draft. Over his four years at Mississippi State , he averaged four blocks a game. During his junior and senior seasons, that number approached five per game. He is, as they say, “Offensively raw”, but may be the defensive presence that the Knicks have been lacking for years. 

How interesting would it be to see Mike D’Antoni coach a guy whose strength is defense? But that brings up the question- why would D’Antoni endorse this pick? Vernatto’s offense isn’t putrid, either. He did average over 13 points a game last season.

 Player #4- Devin Ebanks- 6-8, 208, SF, West Virginia

            This would be huge because Ebanks is considered to be first round talent. Some even have him going mid first round. A drop to the Knicks at 38 would be unlikely, but welcome. He’s a good rebounder who gave WVU around ten points per game in his two seasons. Ebanks is known as a versatile defender who can guard anyone. Some scouts have pointed out his desire to play defense, Adam Ganeles of nbadraft.net called it a “fire in his eyes at the defensive end.” This would be a welcome change on a Knicks team where defensive desire has been questioned in the last few years.

            Ebanks would be a great energy guy off the bench, something that should be the target in this draft.

 Player # 5- Gani Lawall- 6-9, 233, PF, Georgia Tech       

Another player who may have to fall if the Knicks want him at 38. Lawall played three seasons at Georgia Tech and averaged just over 11 points and 7 rebounds. He’s raw offensively, but blocks almost two shots a game. He’s athletic in the post and is good around the rim. The adjective used most about him in scouting reports is “relentless.”

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