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Future of the Knicks: Predicting The Knicks 2023 NBA Draft Selection

Knicks 2023 NBA draft prospects

As the New York Knicks continue to build towards a successful future, the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft presents an opportunity to add another piece to their developing puzzle. The Knicks current pick status is up in the air in terms of their draft position, as protected pick provisions and trades may impact their draft stock.

Now if the Knicks do hold a pick, will they select a potential superstar to build around, a solid role player to fill a need, or trade up or down to better position themselves? The possibilities are endless, and Knicks fans around the world are eagerly anticipating who the team will ultimately choose. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the potential Knicks NBA draft targets and attempt to predict the Knicks 2023 NBA draft selection.

Before diving into our Knicks 2023 NBA draft selection, let’s consider some background. We will assess the Knicks draft capital, consider the team needs and gaps, before breaking down the upcoming draft.

What draft picks do the Knicks have for 2023?

The New York Knicks hold a number of picks in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. However, as the 2022-23 season has progressed, it looks unlikely that the Knicks will pick in the 2023 draft.

Knicks trade their own 2023 pick to Portland in Josh Hart deal

Since the Knicks finished with the 5th seed in the East, they will forfeit this pick to the Portland Trail Blazers. This pick is top 14 protected, as it was included in the recent trade for Josh Hart. If the pick had fallen inside the top 1 and not given to the Blazers, New York would have lost lose four unspecified 2nd round picks to Portland, per Real GM.

Dallas’ unexpected struggles means pick unlikely to convey

The Knicks had a potential three additional picks outside their own first rounder in 2023. The first of which is the top 10 protected pick from the Dallas Mavericks.

It was this Dallas pick that most Knicks faithful believed would be available this year, but the struggles of the Mavericks following their blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving has virtually eliminated this possibility. The Mavericks end their season with the 10th worst record in the NBA, at 38-44. This puts them right on the edge of the protected pick range of 1-10.

There is still a chance the Knicks will receive this pick in 2023, although a miracle is required. Should any of the four losing play-in teams win the lottery, they would leap frog the Mavericks and push them to the 11th pick. Meaning the Knicks would receive it.

Pistons and Wizards picks saved for another year

The other Knicks picks in 2023 are from the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. The Pistons pick is via the Houston Rockets, top 18 protected 19-30. Finally, the Washington Wizards pick, also via the Houston Rockets, is top 14 protected, per Real GM.

The Rockets let us know early in the season that they were holding their pick this season. They lacked the fight and chemistry needed to become a playoff team. Finishing 28th overall this season, this projects them to have the 3rd overall pick. Well outside the 19-30 and 15-30 range required for the Knicks to steal these picks.

Good news is, the Knicks have additional opportunities to receive these picks. They wlll have until 2026 to receive the Wizards pick, and 2027 to receive the Pistons pick.

New York Knicks picks in 2023

Much to the delight of Knicks fans, they are playoff bound in 2023. In this case, they will send their own 2023 pick to Portland, as it will sit outside the top 14 picks.

The Rockets have struggled this season. This means those picks will not fall between 15 and 30, and therefore will not be conveyed to the Knicks this season.

With this said, the Knicks only possible pick in 2023 is from the Dallas Mavericks, selecting at number 11. Overall, the Knicks have a solid selection of picks, although we likely won’t see many of the protected assets convey this season.

To understand the New York Knicks complete draft capital for the future, review our comprehensive breakdown here.

Biggest Knicks team needs to address

The New York Knicks have made significant strides in their rebuild in recent years. They now have solid talent at nearly every position, but of course, there’s always room for improvement.

This is the current starting 5 for the Knicks:

Bench rotation for the Knicks:

  • Josh Hart – SG
  • Immanuel Quickley – SG
  • Obi Toppin – PF
  • Isaiah Hartenstein – C
  • Jericho Sims – PF/C (Playing due to Mitchell Robinson injury)

What do the Knicks need?

One of the most pressing Knicks team needs is at the small forward position. While the team has several capable players who can play the position, such as RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes, the Knicks could use a true three man who has the size and defensive capabilities to defend larger opponents. Someone capable of shooting the 3 would benefit this team.

Outside of Jalen Brunson shooting 41% from 3 this season, shooting from distance has been a struggle for the Knicks. With RJ shooting 32% and Randle shooting 34%, wing three point shooting is a need for the Knicks. Quickley and Grimes do not fair much better at ~35% respectively for the season.

Finally, the Knicks could use some help in the frontcourt. While the team has a solid group of big men, including Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims, the Knicks could use another player who can provide rebounding and rim protection. Especially since Robinson has a troublesome injury history. By addressing these team gaps in the upcoming Knicks 2023 NBA draft, the team could take another step forward in their pursuit of a championship.

Quality of the 2023 NBA draft class

The stage is now set to dig deeper into the class of 2023. The 2023 NBA Draft promises to be an exciting event, with a talented group of prospects. As the June 22nd draft date approaches, teams around the league will be evaluating their rosters and identifying areas where they can improve. The draft provides an opportunity to add young, talented players to the mix and build for the future. For the New York Knicks, this is a critical time to make the right moves to continue the team’s upward trajectory.

Now we’ll take a closer look at the top prospects in the 2023 NBA draft class, and assess who may be the best fit for this Knicks team. With the right moves, the Knicks can build a team with the depth needed to compete for a championship for years to come.

How good is the 2023 NBA Draft Class?

The 2023 NBA draft class has been touted as one of the deepest and “most talented drafts in recent memory” per SB Nation. This is largely due to the top prospect in the 2023 NBA draft, Victor Wembanyama. He is being recognized as a generational talent that can turn the tide of an entire organization on his own. A Tim Duncan reincarnation. Wembanyama is a 7’3 Center with a 7’9 wingspan and a skillset that made him “the world’s most intriguing NBA prospect,” by ESPN. Defensively, he’s an incredible defender with strong rim blocking ability. While offensively, he can shoot the long ball and has nice touch around the rim. Wembanyama is all but a lock for the number 1 selection in the 2023 NBA draft.

While, Victor Wembanyama is given much of the media attention leading into this draft, second to him is another top prospect named Scoot Henderson. In any other draft, he very well could hear his name announced as the first overall pick. Henderson is a 6’2 guard putting up big numbers in the G League, impressing NBA scouts with his advanced skills against more experienced competition. According to Jeremy Woo from Sports Illustrated, “there aren’t any obvious flaws that should hold Henderson back from stardom.”

Wembanyama and Henderson will headline the 2023 NBA draft class, however this is not where the Knicks will make their selection. We will see the Knicks select around pick 18 using the Dallas Mavericks top 11 protected pick. At this time, Wembanyama and Henderson will be long gone from the draft board. The Knicks will need to assess the pool of talent and attempt to identify a sleeper talent that can help fill a roster need.

Potential NBA Draft Sleepers in 2023

The Knicks 2023 NBA Draft selection will require strong front office due dilligence to identify a hidden gem. They need someone that can contribute from day one. This requires a thorough analysis of each prospect, evaluating not just their on-court abilities, but also their character, work ethic, and fit with the team’s culture.

To provide this potential selection, we reviewed selections from multiple mock drafts and assessed the Knicks team needs, but also tried to be realistic in the suggestion as we know Tom Thibodeau will have his say. Per usual, this exercise seeks to project what the draft would look like if it took place on a given day.

1. Noah Clowney, F, Alabama

Known as a two way big, Clowney is gaining momentum on NBA draft boards. His standout skills are his ability to defend both forward positions, rebounding and shot blocking abillity. His mobility and athleticism has scouts believing he can contribute from day one. He’s also shown flashes of shooting potential.

2. Brice Sensabaugh, SG, Ohio State

At 6’6, Sensabaugh is one of the elite scorers in this draft. He is known for shooting from deep long range and has an exceptional ability to create his own shot. With an above average mid range game and his size at the two spot, he could be handful at the NBA level.

3. Jett Howard, SF, Michigan

Howard is not seen to have a high ceiling. His expectations begin and end as a role player, but scouts have been wrong before. Think Steph Curry going at number 7 and being too small for the NBA. With that said, this could be exactly what the Knicks need. Howard is an efficient scorer and ball handler that makes minimal mistakes, and with limited minutes available, he could be a perfect fit.

 4. Taylor Hendricks, SF/PF, UCF

Hendricks is one of the rising freshman in the NBA 2023 draft. He has been included as high as number 11 and as low as 27 in some mock drafts. He’s known as a stretch four and shooting the three, but also capable on the defensive end of the floor. He was not on the radar as a first round pick before the season, although has been settling in as a lock.

Knicks 2023 NBA draft projected selection

The Knicks need more depth at the forward position. The team’s three point shooting also must improve and as we know, Tom Thibodeau prioritizes defense. With Obi Toppin due for a contract extension, it seems the Obi era might be coming to an end. The Knicks are unlikely to commit long term to Toppin and pay what he desires for what projects to be a low minute role player position.

With all that said, in our NBA mock draft, we project the Knicks to draft Noah Clowney. His size, coupled with his ability to defend both forward positions, will be irresistible to the Knicks. The Knicks have not been known to prioritize shooting during the Thibodeau era, making Clowney the most likely candidate. The hope will be that his offensive flashes he has shown will strenghten at the NBA level.

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