So, the remaining question is, what is a fair level of expectation to put on whoever the Knicks draft 48th overall?
Its easy to get wrapped up in the potential and hype every player has entering the draft. I’m sure plenty of fans are hoping the Knicks discover the next Monta Ellis or Dejuan Blair, both players that fell to the second round who have made a huge impact with their respective teams. Or, some fans may even be thinking the Knicks will find another hidden gem in the later round like they did with Landry Fields, who went from a relative unknown to a regular in the New York line-up.
A lot of scouts and insiders have painted this incoming draft class as one of the deepest in recent memory. However, don’t expect much of that impact talent to reach the Knicks patiently (or impatiently) waiting at 48th. Any player the Knicks are likely to bring in at their scheduled slot will not fill any immediate needs for this team as far as their 2012-13 gameplan is concerned.
What I mean by that is, say, for example, the Knicks are to draft Scott Machado, poing guard out of Iona. Bringing in Machado, who could one day very easily be a better-than-average back-up point guard who sees 20+ minutes a night, won’t exclude the Knicks from looking at players like Jason Kidd or Raymond Felton to fill an immediate gap with their Mid Level Exception. Machado, regardless of how much he impresses scouts or people in the organization, would not and should not be trusted with back-up duties as a green rookie. Jeremy Lin isn’t experienced enough himself for the Knicks to take a chance like that.
Even players with above-average scoring ability right now won’t keep the Knicks from other options on the free agent market. The best expectation to have on a second round pick this season is to have almost no expectations for them until 2013-14, when they’re one year wiser and have spent a full season in practice and in training sessions to prepare them for the beast that is the NBA season.
So, while I would personally love to see the Knicks selected Darius Johnson-Odm (how awesome would it be if Gus Johnson was still doing Knicks games? D! J! OHHHHHH!!!), I don’t expect him, or Machado, or a Kim English, or a William Buford to make a huge splash for the team next year. That would be unrealistic of me, or anyone.
Instead, let’s hope the Knicks select the right talent, and hope that player can make an impact one day, if not today.