Jaden Ivey would welcome landing in New York if the Knicks can maneuver his selection in the NBA draft Thursday, but it will cost them a lot to do so.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bellas, who on Tuesday compared the Purdue point guard to a “simple combination” of Ja Morant and Dwyane Wade, said the Knicks had better be willing to give up “a lot” to move up the number one spot. 11 in a potential deal with the Kings in fourth place.
“It depends on what they are willing to give up, and what Sacramento is willing to put up with. If I were to sign up for the fourth of this draft, I want a lot more, and I can imagine Sacramento would feel the same way with that choice,” Bellas said on the conference call. “Because Jaden Ivey is a valuable asset whether you have it on the team or a valuable asset whether you want to trade it in later.
“He is very talented. … Those are tough, tough decisions. I have no idea what they want to give up, but it better be a lot if someone is to give up the fourth choice.”
“There could be situations where I could land in New York,” 20-year-old Ivey, the agreed second All-America team this season in leading Purdue to the NCAA’s Sweet 16, said Monday, without being asked about the Knicks. .
The Knicks will likely drop his first-round pick this year, along with VC and one of his youngsters – perhaps Obi Tobin, Emmanuel Quikley, Quentin Grimes or Cam Reddish – to jump in the fourth range (the Kings) or the fifth all-out picks ( pistons).
The 6-foot-4 Ivey could finally provide a long-term answer at the point guard for the Knicks. He averaged 17.3 points with 3.1 assists while shooting 35.8 percent of his 3-point range as a freshman last season for Boilermakers.
“It’s very dynamic and explosive,” Bellas said. “It’s kind of a combination of the speed and explosiveness of Ja Morant, and then the size and height of Dwyane Wade.
“He’s not as strong as Wade came out [college], at least after coming off Marquette in 2003. But what an explosive athlete, incredibly fast on the open floor. He can shoot her. He is a shot creator. I think his defense will or should improve as he hasn’t been the most focused defender, but there’s not much to complain about on the offensive end with Jaden Ivey. He’s a stellar talent.”
If the Knicks stay in place in 11th, Bilas said their direction will depend on how the top ten looks before they are on the clock. But he did mention that Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis, Duke forward AJ Griffin and Ohio State forward Malky Branham are likely available within their range. ESPN’s latest mock draft had the Knicks take Griffin, the 6-6 winger who averaged 10.4 points and fired 44.7 percent from long distance as a freshman for the Blue Devils.
Bellas believes 18-year-old Griffin – the son of former Tom Thibodeau assistant Adrian Griffin – would be a good fit for the Knicks.
“Oh, sure. I think he can fit just about anywhere because he can shoot it, and he plays hard,” Bellas said. “But he’s still very young. He has some development to do, just like a number of the other 19-year-olds out in the draft. They are not finished products yet. “
Notre Dame’s new guard Blake Wesley, who was predicted by ESPN to be named 20th overall, revealed he was part of a four-man training Monday at the Knicks training facility in Tarrytown.
“For what Tom Tebodeau wants, I think he wants a defender as the starting guard, and I can do both,” Wesley said. “I can defend, I can score and engage others, and just play my part. Whatever he wants me to do, just play it.”