New York Knicks news: NBA Draft expert predicts Isaiah Hartenstein ‘insurance’ and help for Jalen Brunson with two picks in Round 1

New York Knicks
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A notable NBA Draft expert believes the New York Knicks will use their two first-round draft picks in June on potential backups for two of their key players.

After coming up just short of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last month, this is expected to be a busy offseason for the Knicks. They are sure to look for ways to improve a roster that could be a serious title contender in 2024-25. Re-signing OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein will be priorities, but the draft offers the team some options to improve and add to their depth.

Also Read: New York Knicks news – NBA insider gives perfect and likely trade scenario that helps re-sign OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein

The organization has two picks in the opening round, numbers 24 and 25, respectively. While rumors claim the team is looking to move both picks in a potential blockbuster trade, with this being a weak draft class they may have a hard time finding teams who see notable value in the selections. That is why they are likely to hold on to them and make both picks later this month.

Late last week, ESPN NBA expert Jeremy Woo gave his thoughts on what New York could do with the aforementioned picks, and they claimed the first could be used on “insurance” for impending free agent Isaiah Hartenstein.

“Yves Missi is in play all over the first round for teams searching for depth at center, with his tremendous physical profile at 6-foot-11 and 223 pounds making him an interesting long-term project as a vertical spacing big,” Woo wrote. “It’s going to take him some time to contribute, but he could be a solution for the Knicks as insurance with Isaiah Hartenstein headed into free agency.”

Missi played for Baylor last season and is similar in his playing style to Mitchell Robinson but with more athleticism.

new york knicks
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to pick 25, Woo believes the team will target a player that can help to cut down on Jalen Brunson’s minutes in the regular season and serve as a traditional point guard off the bench.

“Tyler Kolek has drawn serious looks from teams that are selecting higher than this in the first round. He has the experience, playmaking savvy, and intense competitiveness that could provide a pathway into backup point guard minutes early in his pro career,” he wrote. “He’s likely not going to offer a ton defensively, where he’s limited because of his size and athletic ability, but he’s also not going to take plays off or want for effort.

Also Read: NBA insider reveals New York Knicks’ likely cost of a Tom Thibodeau contract extension

“That mentality will likely be attractive to the Knicks and coach Tom Thibodeau if they opt to keep one or both of these picks.”

Kolek is a playmaker point guard who is similar to Brunson in being crafty inside the paint. However, the Marquette star is not a high-level athlete and his size and shot could limit him to being only a backup at the next level.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: