Who should the New York Knicks draft?

Gorgui Dieng would give the Knicks a defensive presence inside, and he should be around when they pick at 24. (Getty Images)

Gorgui Dieng would give the Knicks a defensive presence inside, and he should be around when they pick at 24. (Getty Images)

The New York Knicks season ended much earlier than they had anticipated and with a ton of uncertainty surrounding certain players that may or may not return to the Orange and Blue next year, the team can turn to next month’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn with some optimism.

Of the areas New York needs to address, it’s squarely at the center position. Tyson Chandler had a fine season for the Knicks, but his knack for tough defense took quite a beating in the semifinal round against the Indiana Pacers.

Instead of Chandler, it was Roy Hibbert looking more like a first-team All-NBA defender. The fifth year product out of Georgetown out-dueled the reigning defensive player of the year during an intense, physical series. Such was evidenced in Game Three when Hibbert used his 7-foot-2, 280 pound frame to bully his way past Chandler in the paint, creating scoring opportunities and using the hook shot as part of his offensive assault.

Hibbert was difference in that contest and it set the tone for his play the remainder of the series, which the Pacers captured in six games.
With the lone pick of the draft at No. 24, the Knicks should look to snag a big man that can backup Chandler, who took quite a pounding all season long and in the playoffs.

Several mock drafts have the Atlantic Division champions selecting junior center Gorgui Dieng out Louisville, and, interestingly enough, it would be a very good selection.
Dieng enjoyed a three-year tenure with the Cardinals and was a contributing factor in the program’s run to last April’s national championship. He averaged 9.8 points-per-game, 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks on the season, according to

Dieng’s best overall campaign was in 2011-12, when he helped Louisville reach the Final Four. He set Big East and school records for the most blocks in one season and tied a Louisville tournament record with seven blocks against Michigan State in the Sweet 16.

At 6’11, 230 pounds, Dieng gives New York a fresh young center that has a knack for defending the lane, creating second chance opportunities off the glass and knocking down shots in the paint.
For the Knicks, Dieng would certainly be a welcome addition that could make an immediate impact while complementing Chandler on both sides of the ball.

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