Now that Trae Young has officially declared for the NBA Draft, Knicks fans can officially dream of landing the player who has been called a young Steph Curry.
The 6-foot-2 Oklahoma freshman declared for the Draft on Tuesday after an up-and-down season at Oklahoma where he led the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7). He scored 40 or more points three times, but also crashed out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round.
The Knicks (26-45) currently own the NBA's ninth-worst record, and may have a chance to land Young depending on where they end up in the lottery.
"I think the Knicks are in a position where they need the best players they can get regardless of what position they play," ESPN's Fran Fraschilla said Wednesday by phone. "Will Trae Young be staring at them when they pick? There's a good chance he will be. But there also could be one or two of the young big guys who they like as much or better."
The Knicks already have several young guards who are perceived as building blocks in Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina, both former lottery picks. Trey Burke, another former lottery pick who has played well at times, is also in the mix.
That doesn't mean the Knicks wouldn't pick Young if he's available. He's a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year, and was selected for the national ballot of the Wooden Award. He was a Naismith Trophy semifinalist, and has been listed as a First-Team All-American by Sporting News and the USBWA.
"He's unbelievable, just the confidence that he plays with," Curry said of Young in January. "He has a creativity to his game that's so fluid to watch. The comparisons are what they are and I know when I turn on the game to watch him play, that kind of magnetism is pretty special in the college game…He's fun to watch."
Still, Fraschilla says Young should model his game on another NBA guard.
"I've always felt that Trae Young should put the Steph Curry comparisons away and just try to come into the league and try to be a Mike Conley," Fraschilla said. "He's got the same physical attributes as Mike Conley in terms of his athleticism and size, and he has incredible court vision.
"For all the talk about his deep range, which in my mind was overblown, the one thing he is is an incredibly gifted passer and playmaker. And so that's going to be how he hangs his hat early in his career. So to me, Steph Curry is the ceiling but that ceiling is going to take a while to reach, if ever. And in the meantime, if I were Trae, I would just concentrate on being a Mike Conley-type player, a who can average 18-20 points and 9 assists. It's worked out well for Mike, although he's been hurt this season."
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