Jake Brown | Twitter
The Knicks will enter the NBA Draft in June with a top-10 pick. They are in the eighth spot right now, but that can change depending on how these final games play out and how the balls drop in the lottery.
In the eighth spot last year, they went with point guard Frank Ntilikina, who hasn't really excited anyone in his rookie season. It's too early to say that they missed with the pick, but they definitely did not get the best player.
The Knicks' Top 10 picks since the 1980's? Kristaps Porzingis...good. Jordan Hill in 2009...bust. Danilo Gallinari in 2008...eh. He wasn't bad, but had a lot of injuries and they traded him. Channing Frye in 2005...bust. Michael Sweetney in 2003...huge bust. Nene Hilario in 2002...bust.
It hasn't been pretty. And their upcoming Top 10 pick is essential for their rebuild. They can not miss on this one.
With all that being said, the pick that would make the most sense for this team with the situation they are in is Mikal Bridges.
Bridges would come to New York with a winning pedigree
He just won two national titles in three years with Villanova. That's almost unheard of in college basketball today. He was also the star player on this year's championship team. He played three years, which is more than all of these one-and-done players ahead of him on the board.
When you can draft a player who is a Top 10 pick and has three years of experience in a premiere conference under his belt, it's less of a risk than someone with one year and no championships on his resume. Bridges has also improved dramatically after each year, which is important in a player's development. Oh yeah, he was also coached by one of the greatest coaches on the planet in Jay Wright.
The Knicks badly need a small forward
Look at the Knicks' roster going into this offseason. They have no real small forward. The only guy that has a contract next season who is actually a SF is Lance Thomas, who is an offensive liability. Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Courtney Lee are shooting guards more than they are small forwards, and Lee is probably going to get traded this summer.
This team has a huge hole at the three spot, and Bridges would fill that void perfectly. At 6'7" with a 7-foot wingspan, Bridges is the perfect size to fill what could be the Knicks' biggest hole at the moment. If Mikal is off the board by the time the Knicks pick, then Miles Bridges out of Michigan State, who isn't related, should be next on their radar since he would be the next true small forward on the board.
Bridges is really, really good
The obvious reason behind all of this is that the kid is an absolute stud. The 21-year-old who will be 22 when the 2018-2019 NBA season starts averaged 17.7 PPG in his senior season on the best team in the nation against the best competition in the sport.
Bridges shot 51 percent from the field and shot it at almost 44 percent from three-point range, which is sensational. He also averaged 5 RPG to go along with 1.5 SPG and 1.1 BPG. He clearly can score and defend, and he's explosive. Bridges is not afraid to attack and shoot from the perimeter. This team badly needs a player like Bridges in the draft after all the mistakes that have been made. I really believe Bridges can become a future All Star, and he's not a project like the 19-year-old Ntilikina.
If Bridges is still on the board, this is the Knicks' chance to finally come away with a solid lottery pick. Don't screw it up this time, guys.