Jonathan Givony: All signs point to Kevin Knox at No. 9. It’s becoming widely assumed in NBA circles that he’s the top option for the Knicks given who is there. Carter and Porter are also high on the Knicks’ draft board, but they might not fall this far.
Kevin O’Connor: Expect the Knicks to select Knox with the no. 9 pick, should he be available. I’ve heard their interest in Villanova wing Mikal Bridges isn’t nearly as high as has been previously reported.
Ian Begley: If I had to guess at the time of this post (9:30 AM on Thursday), the Knicks would go with Knox [given Wendell Carter Jr. and Michael Porter Jr. are not available].
Sources have indicated Mikal Bridges still is the favorite to be the Knicks’ selection at nine Thursday — even if Michael Porter Jr. falls. The Knicks are starting to get cold feet on the uber-talented Porter after his latest mishap last week, when he incurred hip spasms before his on-again, off-again, on-again public workout in Chicago.
Now there are even rumblings about Porter taking next season off to get stronger — which the small forward said Wednesday would be up to his future team.
Which collegiate stud at the wing position should New York value higher when they select at no. 9 next week—Miles or Mikal?
Published on June 7 by MSG Networks
Fraschilla and Ryan Blake, an NBA scouting consultant debuting an iTunes/Spotify podcast on May 30, break down their components as the Knicks decide which “Bridge’’ to travel.
“They got the same name, nearly the same size, roughly in the same location in the draft,’’ ESPN’s draft guru Fran Fraschilla told The Post. “But they’re different players.”
Opposing executives and others around the league have heard a few consistent themes in conversations with members of the Knicks’ front office lately. There are some in the NYK front office who love Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. and Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr.
Also, some in the Knicks front office have Mikal Bridges ranked ahead of Miles Bridges at the moment.
via Ian Begley, ESPN
Chris Iseman talks to Mikal Bridges‘ high school coach, Jim Nolan, in tracking Bridges’ progression from a lanky high school kid vying for playing time to a potential lottery pick.
But before [Mikal Bridges] was a star, he was just a player at Great Valley earning his playing time. Bridges had to buy into Great Valley’s system, which included three priorities: Learn to defend, play hard, share the basketball.
“We’re going to get after you,” said Nolan, who has since stepped down from his head coaching role. “Some of those things can be tough for any kid, including Mikal, to sort of make that adjustment at a younger age. But he stuck with it, he was coachable. And he was talented.”
Sources: Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and director of scouting Kristian Petesic are at the Excel agency’s Pro Day in NYC where Villanova’s Mikal Bridges and other players who have signed with the agency are working out. All NBA teams likely have representation at the Excel Pro Day. But it’s potentially noteworthy that Mills, Perry and Petesic were on hand to watch Bridges and other Excel players because many in the organization see Bridges as a potential option for New York, which has the ninth overall selection in the draft.
via Ian Begley, ESPN
Jackson Hoy from The Stepien highlights some concerns he has with Mikal Bridges’ game using statistics and film of comparable NBA players.
Hoy: In my last piece on Mikal Bridges, some of the major concerns I addressed with his game were his lack of dynamic ball-handling ability, his limited vision as a passer (specifically on the move), his struggles defending larger players on the interior, and his lack of elite quick-twitch ability when defending quicker guards on the perimeter. This was done in comparison to Otto Porter and Robert Covington, players to whom Bridges is frequently compared as the two best “3 and D” players in the NBA.
The issue is Bridges’ upside – whether he has the makings of a star. NBA scouts caution he’ll struggle to create his own shot despite being a trusty 3-point shooter.
“That’s the final piece for him this year — he improved upon and created his own shot,’’ Wright said. “He learned how to do it in his third year in the collegiate game.
“That’s the next step for him. He’ll be able to defend anyone, be a great rebounder, great shooter, but I think he’ll have to learn the adjustment from creating your own shot in college and creating own shot in the NBA.”
Scott Perry has been talking to Jay Wright about Mikal Bridges
The topic of these talks was Villanova small forward Mikal Bridges, whom the Knicks are eyeing closely with the ninth pick of June 21 NBA draft.
The Knicks are sending another front-office type to Villanova’s Philly-area campus shortly to “interview everybody’’ about the 21-year-old who grew up in the vicinity.
Mikal Bridges, who notched 19 points in the title game, interviewed with the Knicks on Wednesday but is not doing the combine’s formal media availability Thursday and Friday. Sam Goldfeder, his New York-based agent, even declined requests for Bridges to hold an impromptu interview session in the hotel lobby Wednesday with Knicks writers.
Published on April 10, 2018 by NotZay
By James Woodruff
Villanova’s steady swingman has provided consistent shooting and defense during his collegiate tenure. Now, ready to move on to the pros, the Knicks could desperately use Bridges’ talents in the immediate and long-term direction of the franchise.
BRIDGES: “I love it here. We play here twice in the regular season and then the Big East Tournament. We play the most games here other than our home games,” Bridges said. “Great atmosphere, great venue. It’s cool to play on that court.”
“We put him on the [opponent’s] best player. And he’s fine with that. He actually enjoys that,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said during the NCAA Tournament.
One opposing NBA general manager liked Bridges — but did not go overboard.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player. I just don’t see him as a star. I think he’ll be a solid rotation player and there’s nothing wrong with that,” the GM said.
Mikal Bridges has long been profiled as a potential target for the Knicks in relation to their drafting position. Jackson Hoy (The Stepien) does a wonderful job looking at prospect comparables in answering the question of whether Bridges is truly a top-ten talent.
This is not to say that Bridges is a useless NBA player or that he is guaranteed to fail. He is still one of the best bets to shoot in this class, and his length, instincts, and solid quickness on defense give him a baseline to contribute on that end both as an individual and team defender. Still, his limitations on both ends at an advanced age compared to his peers make it tough to see what clearly differentiates him from the mass of wings in the middle of the first round.
Read the detailed breakdown (with video examples) here.
Posting and Toasting released their first mock draft roundup. Here are the most popular Knicks picks based on nine different mocks. You can find a lot more information about the mocks used in their roundup here.
Knicks Mock Draft Power Rankings v1.0
Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova (4 mocks)
Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke (3 mocks)
Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama (2 mocks)