This blog appears to be drastically split on Thabeet. Some would love to see Thabeet in blue and orange. Others, such as Tommy, would steer clear of him at all costs. Consider me somewhere in the middle.
The Knicks do not have the assets to move up in this draft to take Thabeet. The Knicks' best assets include Cuttino Mobley's contract and Wilson Chandler. Oh, that is not including the 8th pick. Is Thabeet worth trading up for? Of course Walsh can have a trick up his sleeve to get a higher pick, but that is not for sure.
Thabeet will be a good shot-blocker in my opinion. His offensive game is suspect, but as with any young kid, there is always room for growth. Thabeet also is not a lumbering big man. He can run the floor well and he can keep up on the fast break. He could help this team a lot. But will he help this team more than Curry, Flynn, or Holiday? Will he help the team more than DeRozan or Evans? Perhaps he might, but I am not sure.
There is no denying where Thabeet's buzz is coming from in this draft. The next best center in the draft is Ohio State's BJ Mullens (who works out today for the Knicks). Mullens, who floundered in his first and only year at Ohio State, is not even projected to go in the lottery. Would Thabeet be a top 3 pick if Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe declared this year? Probably not. As the only true center, Thabeet has a lot of leverage this year.
If the Knicks stay at 8 and Thabeet falls to them, I would be shocked if Walsh passed on him. At 8, without giving up other consideration, Thabeet has stronger value to the Knicks. But if Walsh trades up to the second spot and David Stern does not announce Ricky Rubio's name, the Garden crowd might charge the stage like a scene out of 'Braveheart'. However, if Thabeet does not go in the top 3 (which is highly unlikely), there is a shot that he could fall to #8. Sacramento has two recent lottery picks as it's starting front-court. Washington is a possibility. Minnesota has Love and Jefferson. Golden State has Biedrins and would probably rather take Jordan Hill than Thabeet. That leaves the Knicks at 8. Again, Thabeet will likely not slip beyond OKC at #3, but it is possible.
Drafting Thabeet would look more appealing to many Knick fans if Walsh was able to acquire another draft pick to use on a player like Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, or another PG that might slip down the draft board. But just like trading up for Thabeet, Walsh has yet to acquire that later pick. He will not do so until either very close to the draft or during the draft. Decisions will be made quickly on draft night. As is this site on this topic, I am torn on Thabeet. Part of me wants to see much more out of this kid. Part of me wants to see all-star center potential from him. But in many games that I watched, he was a dominant shot-blocker and not much else. Foul trouble and a lacking offensive repertoire let my hopes down a bit.