• Michael Ryan

Would Monk or Kennard Fit in NY?

The Knicks have scheduled workouts with potential prospects Malik Monk and Luke Kennard set to for early next week.

Ian Begley of ESPN.com was first to report the news.

The Knicks, who hold the 8th selection in the upcoming draft are working out two of the purest shooters in the draft.

Malik Monk shot 39.7% from three (104-for-262) in his lone season at Kentucky while Kennard hit 43.8% of his attempts from distance at Duke (88-for-201).

Monk is a bit undersized as a 6’3 shooting guard and scouts worry about his ability to defend at with high efficiency at the NBA level but displayed a unique ability to hit long range shots and has a quick trigger allowing him to get his shot over larger defenders. Monk mostly played off ball as the 2 guard but can run the point in spurts.

Monk is considered a top ten prospect in the draft and according to multiple outlets, the Knicks have interest in his ability.

Kennard will be a reach at 8 but will be available later in the first round. Early draft rumors were the Knicks and Portland Trailblazers were in talks about making a potential trade.

Portland holds the 15th, 20th, and 26th selection the draft.

Kennard has good size at 6’6 and his strengths are his shooting ability and a high basketball IQ. Kennard showed an uncanny ability to score in different ways and put together one of the more efficient seasons in college basketball this past year. Kennard finished with a .489/.438/.856 slash lin.

A significant jump from his freshman year to his sophomore season.

Kennard and Monk’s talent to stretch the floor will provide the necessary floor spacing for Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis to operate their offensive games.

Anthony’s two most efficient seasons in New York came during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 season in which he shot .449 and .452 from the field respectively. Anthony put up scoring averagesz of 28.7 points per game and 27.4 points per game during those years.

The Knicks as a team shot 37.6 and 37.2 on three point attempts in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

Since Carmelo Anthony has seen his production and efficiency drop. His field goal percentage has dropped each of the past three seasons. Anthony shot 43.6% from the field in 186 games after his two best seasons.

A correlation can be drawn as the Knicks three point percentage has dipped to 34.7% over the past three years. Part of the reason of the Knicks recent struggles is that they have ranked in the bottom third in the league in three point percentage in each of the past three seasons.

The better the Knicks are at shooting the three as a team, the more likely Carmelo Anthony is to have a better season. It makes sense to build a roster around your team's best player.

Which makes the possibility of adding Malik Monk or Luke Kennard so intriguing to the Knicks front office. The duo are at the top of the draft board when it comes to prospects and shooting the three.

The Knicks were also said to be high on prospects Dennis Smith Jr and Frank Ntilikina. More to come on those prospects.

Either Monk or Kennard will provide a significant upgrade in talent to the Knicks 2 guard position were Courtney Lee, Justin Holiday and Ron Baker received a majority of the minutes.

It will be interesting to see if Phil Jackson can make the necessary front office savvy moves to add talent to a roster in need of it.

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