New York Knicks: Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo Brown, sleeper pick?

June, 26, 2013
6/26/13
12:58
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In a perfect world, the Knicks would love for Shane Larkin to slip to them at the 24th pick in Thursday night's NBA draft. But the athletic point guard from the University of Miami likely will not last past the 20th pick.

In fact, Larkin's agent Happy Walters, who represents Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, elected not to have his client work out with the Knicks. That's how confident Walters is that Larkin will be gone before the Knicks make their only pick.

But the team needs to secure a backup point guard in the draft or free agency with Jason Kidd retiring and Pablo Prigioni still weighing his options to re-sign or return to Spain. That leaves the team, if they favor a point guard in the draft, with four likely candidates: Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State), Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Erick Green (Virginia Tech) and Nate Wolters (South Dakota State).

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Brown
Melina Vastola/USA TODAY SportsDon't be surprised if the Knicks select Lorenzo Brown with their only pick in this year's NBA draft.
With key questions surrounding several of them (Canaan being undersized and a volume shooter in college; Green lacking athleticism and playing more of a midrange game; and Wolters showing weakness with speed and explosiveness), Brown is well-liked by the Knicks, according to two league sources.

"He's my sleeper pick for the Knicks," one source told ESPNNewYork.com.

After a strong workout with the Knicks earlier this month, the team was impressed with Brown's unique versatility at the point guard position, especially standing at 6-foot-5. Last season for the Wolfpack, he averaged 12.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. While his pick-and-roll game needs work, he's athletic and crafty enough with his dribble to get into the paint and score or make heads-up passes. That athleticism also allows him to push the ball well in transition -- which the Knicks want to do more next season -- and enables him to throw down offensive putback dunks.

Defensively, Brown has a high basketball IQ and he plays passing lanes well. When he steals the ball, he has the ability to be a one-man fast break, while having a solid read on the entire court. Being that the Knicks look for transition 3-pointers, Brown could be a helpful facilitator in that regard. However, his own 3-point shooting is weak at this point, but his playing style in college was more of a penetrator and passer -- two priorities for the Knicks who need to get younger, more explosive and improve their scoring inside.

If the Knicks focus on a big man instead, several insiders agree Gorgui Dieng (Louisville) should be their selection if he's available. He's noted for his ability to run the floor, defense, rebounding and finishing ability in pick-and-rolls.

Another big, Tony Mitchell (North Texas), has been projected to go to the Knicks as well, but his work ethic has been criticized. Last season, he tended to get lethargic on defense, watching too many shots. He also struggled with defensive positioning at times and got lost in dead-ball situations.

Overall, Thursday night will mark one of the most unpredictable drafts in some time, and the Knicks' pick at No. 24 is basically a crapshoot. So the Knicks could simply take the best available player, regardless of position.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Potential Knicks draft picks: Point guards

June, 24, 2013
6/24/13
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Canaan_Larkin-Schroeder Getty ImagesIsaiah Canaan, Shane Larkin and Dennis Schroeder: Is one of them destined to be a Knick?
Leading up to the draft, we're going to take a look at the prospects who could be available for the Knicks at pick No. 24.

Today, we'll break down the point guards.

Jason Kidd is gone and there's no guarantee that Pablo Prigioni will be back, so the Knicks will need to add a point guard via the draft or free agency. It's believed that the Knicks will look for someone who can push the pace, to contrast the style most often utilized by Raymond Felton and the first unit. They'll also likely look for a floor leader who has a pass-first, shoot-second mentality.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the top candidates:

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Brown
Lance King/Getty ImagesLorenzo Brown
Shane Larkin: Larkin will probably be gone by the time the Knicks pick, but he'd be a great fit in New York if he's still on the board. Larkin is a strong shooter with solid range and can handle the ball well. The downside? The sophomore from Miami is undersized (5-foot-11) and hasn't impressed many scouts on the defensive end.

Isaiah Canaan: According to someone who was in the room, Canaan had a strong workout with the Knicks earlier this month. The 6-foot senior from Murray State is a natural scorer with great range and an inclination to get to the basket. But he doesn't fit the profile of the pass-first, shoot-second player the Knicks are said to covet, so New York might shy away from him on Thursday.

Dennis Schroeder: The 19-year-old Schroeder is another player who might not be available when the Knicks pick at 24. The German prospect is regarded by some as a top-3 point guard prospect in this draft. He's an explosive athlete who, according to accounts, can run the pick and roll well. But at 19, he might not be ready to contribute right away to a team with championship aspirations, such as the Knicks.

Nate Wolters: The South Dakota State product has good size (6-5) and projects as a solid shooter who can get to the rim. He also thrives in the pick and roll, which would make him a solid fit for what the Knicks like to do. The problem for Wolters, though, is on defense. Scouts say he has relatively slow feet, which could make him a liability on the perimeter. The last thing the Knicks need is a guard who lets his opponent get into the lane.

Lorenzo Brown: Brown's size (6-5) and strong first step are intriguing. He will probably be available by the time the Knicks pick at 24. But the Knicks might be wary because Brown's shot, according to some observers, isn't NBA-ready. The North Carolina State junior also lacks strength, which would factor in to his ability to contribute right away.

QUESTION: Should the Knicks draft a point guard with the 24th pick? If so, who should they take?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2