The Knicks have just concluded a hush-hush workout in which they got their second looks at Marshon Brooks, Josh Selby, Darius Morris, Jeremy Tyler and Nikola Vucevic. Those five were joined at Monday's workout by a much lower-rated player on Mock Draft boards, Mississippi State senior Ravern Johnson, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard who made more than 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in each of his last two seasons.
ESPN colleague Chad Ford just texted me that he sees Johnson being a middle second-round pick at the highest, so this could be an indication that the Knicks are confident they can buy up a pick or two in the middle of the second round as they did a year ago when they gave the Milwaukee Bucks $500,000 for the draft rights to Jerome Jordan.
The Knicks had several possible second-round picks in for workouts last week.
As Ford tweeted yesterday, the Knicks are also bringing in center Bismack Biyambo in for a private workout after he struggled with offensive drills at the adidas Eurocamp in Italy two weekends ago. That session will be held either Wednesday or Thursday, and if it is the latter, there would be a precedent for the Knicks working out a guy on draft day who they chose later that same day. It happened in 2007 with Wilson Chandler.
I still believe the Knicks would draft Klay Thompson of Washington State if he is available at No. 17, and Ford is reporting in this draft chatter smorgasbord (Insider) that Donnie Walsh and Glen Grunwald are trying to trade up to get Jimmer Fredette, who many teams do not expect to get past the Utah Jazz at No. 12 -- especially if they select Turkish prospect Enes Kanter at No. 3. That means the Knicks would likely have to target the Bobcats' No. 9 pick, Milwaukee's No. 10 pick or Golden State's No. 11 pick in a trade if they wanted to move up for Fredette.
Barring a trade, here are the three players I believe the Knicks are most likely to take at No. 17., if they are still available:
_ Thompson, who now appears to be an unlikely candidate to drop this far. The son of former NBAer Mychal Thompson has been killing it in workouts around the league and may be the highest riser when all is said and done. This is a guy with legit size who could provide some of the 3-point shooting that was lost in the Carmelo Anthony trade, which would then allow the Knicks to target a big man (Tyler?) if they are able to acquire a second-round pick for cash. Teams willing to sell picks do not typically tip their hand until 24-48 hours before the draft.
_ Vucevic, the Southern Cal junior by way of Montenegro, is now rated ahead of Biyambo by many teams who are getting cold feet about risking a top 15 pick on a prospect who hasn't been seen much against NBA-caliber competition, e.g. Jonas Valenciunas and Biyambo (and possibly, to a certain extent, Kanter, who worked out Monday for Cleveland, which drafts fourth). Vucevic is a known commodity, and his workout Monday will be crucial in the Knicks decision-making process. They were looking for him to be a litle fiestier than he was in his initial workout.
_ Brooks, the Providence shooting guard who was the NCAA's second-leading scorer and who would challenge Landry Fields for the starting job right from the outset of camp. Brooks had a terrific workout for the Knicks in his first visit, and Monday's second workout was as important for him as it was for Vucevic. With Brooks, the Knicks want to see if the scoring knack he showed in workout scrimmages was too much of a fluke.