- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are a few things to keep an eye on during the NBA draft (7:30 p.m. on ESPN):
THE PICK: The Knicks have the 24th pick in the first round. They do not have a second-round pick. Given their limited flexibility in free agency, this is one of few opportunities they will have to upgrade their roster.
LOOKING BACK: There have been a few players of note taken with the 24th pick over the past 10 years. The Thunder selected point guard Reggie Jackson in 2011; he is now an important piece in the Oklahoma City rotation. In 2008, the Thunder (then the Sonics) selected Serge Ibaka, who developed into one of the top interior defenders in the NBA. In 2006, the Grizzlies selected Kyle Lowry at 24. He has since established himself as one of the top guards in the NBA.
TRADES? The Knicks have been mentioned in trade talks leading up to the draft, but nothing appears imminent. They had expressed early interest in dealing for Dallas' first-round pick (No. 13), according to ESPN's Chad Ford, but other teams have offered better packages for the pick.
The Knicks also have interest in Portland forward Kostas Papanikolaou, according to a source. They drafted Papanikolaou last year but dealt him to the Blazers in the Raymond Felton deal. They can offer Portland a future second-round pick, but other teams are believed to have stronger offers for Papanikolaou.
NEEDS: The Knicks have several holes to fill heading into the draft. Jason Kidd's retirement created a void at backup point guard. Their lack of interior scoring in the postseason exposed a glaring weakness on the front line. And Carmelo Anthony's emergence at power forward last season created a need for a scoring wing.
PREDICTIONS: ESPN's Chad Ford had the Knicks taking North Texas power forward Tony Mitchell in multiple mock drafts, but in his latest iteration Ford has the Knicks taking San Diego State shooting guard Jamaal Franklin. Draft Express also has Franklin at 24. The reality is the Knicks will likely take the best available player among point guards, big men and wings with their pick, so it depends largely on what the teams ahead of them do.
In addition to Franklin, the Knicks took a look at wings Glen Rice Jr. and Tim Hardaway Jr. in workouts earlier this month. So the two second-generation players might be options.
At point guard, they worked out Isaiah Canaan and Nate Wolters. According to someone in the room at the time, Canaan had an impressive workout. Was it impressive enough for the Knicks to take him tonight? We'll see.
QUESTION: If you were Glen Grunwald, who would you select with the 24th pick tonight?
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