The New York Knicks select eighth in the 2020 NBA Draft and reportedly have interest in Auburn wing Issac Okoro.
An NBA source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that Okoro “has support among Knicks brass.”
Okoro played one season at Auburn, starting all 28 games he appeared in. He averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and two assists per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Berman mentions that Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said the Knicks have done their “due diligence” on Okoro.
“They’ve done their homework on him,” Pearl told The Post recently. “I didn’t get a read on it, but they’ve done their due diligence.”
If Okoro falls and is selected by the Knicks, he would likely be a day-one starter alongside 2019 first-round draft pick RJ Barrett.
Other potential wing/forward options for the Knicks at eight include Florida State’s Devin Vassell, Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith and Villanova’s Saddiq Bey. SNY’s Ian Begley reported last week that Vassell has “some fans” in the Knicks organization.
In the scenario they select a point guard at eight, such as Killian Hayes or UNC’s Cole Anthony, the Knicks could draft a wing/forward with their second first-round draft pick (27). Potential options at said position are Louisville’s Jordan Nwora and Colorado’s Tyler Bey.
The Knicks pick in the top 10 of the NBA Draft for the fourth consecutive season. Last year they drafted Barrett out of Duke with the third pick; the year prior they drafted Kentucky forward Kevin Knox at nine; in 2017 they drafted French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick.
New York has revamped its front office and coaching staff over the last seven months, most notably hiring former agent Leon Rose as team president and former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau as head coach. Former Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne and former Utah Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant have joined Thibodeau’s coaching staff.
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