One player we have heard about as a possible pick for the Knicks is Jimmer Fredette. After thinking about entering the NBA Draft last year, Fredette decided to go back to school. It was a good move by him, he led BYU to the Sweet 16, won national player of the year, and led the nation in scoring. He improved his draft status and is now projected to be a late lottery-mid first round pick.
The Knicks have the 17th pick in the first round. Yes it is true, the Knicks do have a first round pick; Isiah did not trade this one away. It is possible that Fredette will be available when the Knicks choose. The Knicks brought Fredette in for pre-draft work outs and I know what Mike D’Antoni is thinking when he sees Fredette: Steve Nash. The guy can flat out score and shoot the rock, something that D’Antoni wants from the point guard in his offensive system. If it is D’Antonio making the pick and Fredette is sitting there, he could become a Knick.
I believe Fredette fits well on a team that needs offensive production, but with Amar’e and Carmelo, the Knicks have enough offense. Their problems are on defense and Fredette does nothing to improve that. Fredette struggled to defend in college and that will not improve enough to be a quality defender in the pros. At this level he will be up against much stiffer competition than what he faced in a mid-major conference in college.
I think Fredette is the type of guy who will work hard to improve his defense, but offense will always come first for him. The Knicks have enough guys who think offense first and need to start bringing guys who can bring a defensive presence. What scares me most though is their coach does not stress defense first and never will.
They can use a point guard as insurance for an old and often injured Chauncey Billups, but it needs to be one who passes first and can play defense. Fredette’s strength is as a shooter and scorer, not a facilitator. Additionally, if the goal for the Knicks is Chris Paul in 2013, drafting Fredette makes no sense. They could use the pick to draft something they lack and need, like size.
The Fredette debate might be a moot point because the Utah Jazz hold the 12th pick in the draft. Fredette is a folk hero in the state of Utah and it is very possible for them to take him with the pick. I do not think the Jazz are sold on Devin Harris and Fredette could become their John Stockton for the next 15 years. Additionally, I can easily see the Jazz trying to please the hometown by drafting Fredette. We certainly know the Jazz fans will be very happy if they draft him. The other team Fredette is rumored to be selected by is Indiana, with the 15th pick. Larry Bird likes to take college players who are intelligent and spent three or four years there.
Now that Donnie Walsh is no longer running the team it’s very difficult to predict what the Knicks will do in this upcoming draft. My question is who is making the decision? Is it Donnie Walsh, who is still with the team as an advisor? Is it Mike D’Antoni? Is it James Dolan? Is it Glen Grunwald? God forbid, is it Isiah Thomas? Is it someone else we do not know about? Until I know what is going on with the front office, the Knicks draft is a mystery, so we can only speculate.