New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Draft grades

(Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
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No. 47 pick: Ignas Brazdeikis

New York came into the 2019 NBA Draft with one pick in the second round. It wasn’t the No. 31 overall pick that it should have been for having the worst record in the league. That pick was made by the Brooklyn Nets, who acquired it from the Philadelphia 76ers, who had received it from New York back in 2014 in a deal that involved Travis Outlaw and Arnett Moultrie.

Instead, New York entered with the 55th overall pick, a selection it received from the Houston Rockets in 2015 in exchange for Pablo Prigioni. However, the Knicks did not end up selecting 55th, instead they moving up to No. 47.

New York completed a trade with the Sacramento Kings, sending the No. 55 overall pick and cash to Sacramento for No. 47. That alone makes this big a win, as the Knicks surrendered no future assets, just cash, which will replenish at the start of the new year. In addition, a solid player was also selected.

With the 47th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis.

The Knicks like their Canadians, as Brazdeikis also hails from our northern neighbors just as Barrett. In addition to that similarity, he also brings toughness and aggressiveness to the table, which makes him a good fit for New York.

New York likes players with confidence, and Brazdeikis does not lack in that department as he was always on top of his trash-talking game.

New Yorkers can always appreciate some quality trash-talking. It is the second part of that scouting report that fans will also love.

Last season, New York was near the bottom of the league in 3-point shooting. The Knicks made only 34 percent of their 3-point attempts, which was tied for 27th in the NBA, and only accounted for 10 makes per game, which was tied for 24th.

In his lone season at Michigan, Brazdeikis knocked down 39.2 percent of his 3-point shots. Even more impressively, Brazdeikis was very efficient from NBA range. On 73 attempts from NBA 3-point range, Brazdeikis made 43 percent of them.

Brazdeikis’ motor is always running, which is a positive. He isn’t the greatest athlete but makes up for a lot of that with his smarts and feel for the game. However, there are other reasons he was on the board when he was.

His ball-handling and playmaking need improvement offensively. His average wingspan will limit his impact defensively and his inability to stay in front of quicker players could also present some problems. Improving his finishing ability at the rim over defenders will also be important to help him take his game to the next level.

While Brazdeikis has some things to work on, this is a great second round pick. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and led Michigan in scoring at 14.8 points per game.

New York has done well finding solid players in the second round in recent years in Damyean Dotson and Mitchell Robinson, and they are hoping Brazdeikis is the next second round gem.

Grade: B+