Knicks appear to favor Kevin Knox

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].

Mikal Bridges still the favorite to be drafted 9 by the Knicks?

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.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

What was Mikal Bridges doing near the Knicks’ training facility?

College pundits offer opinion on Mikal vs Miles

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.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Read what Blake and Fraschilla had to say about Mikal and Miles

Knicks believed to like Porter Jr., Carter Jr., and currently have Mikal ranked ahead of Miles

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

Mikal Bridges’ disciplined rise from high school to the lottery

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.”

via Chris Iseman, The Record

How potential Draft pick Mikal Bridges turned himself into elite player

Mills, Perry, and director of scouting have eyes on Mikal Bridges at Excel agency’s Pro Day in NYC

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

Ball-handling, passing, and defensive versatility concerns with Mikal Bridges?

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.

via Jackson Hoy, The Stepien

Jay Wright believes Mikal Bridges’ next step is learning how to create his own shot

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.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Knicks due diligence on Mikal Bridges

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.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Mikal Bridges interviewed with the Knicks on Wednesday

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.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Mikal Bridges: Cool playing at MSG, loves to defend best player, more rotation player than star?

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.

via Fred Kerber, New York Post

Is Mikal Bridges really a top-10 talent?

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.

via Jackson Hoy, The Stepien

Read the detailed breakdown (with video examples) here.

Who is the most popular Knicks pick in all of the mock drafts?

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

  1. Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova (4 mocks)

  2. Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke (3 mocks)

  3. Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama (2 mocks)

via Alex Wolfe, Posting and Toasting