The Knicks are the mystery team of the NBA draft — here’s what experts think they might do

tom thibodeau

  • There are mixed reports about what the New York Knicks will do with eighth pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
  • Some mock drafts have the Knicks taking guard/forward Isaac Okoro with the eighth pick, while others have them taking guards like Tyrese Haliburton or Killian Hayes.
  • There is a buzz that the Knicks may try to package their two first-round picks to move up and select forward Obi Toppin.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The New York Knicks own the eighth pick in the 2020 NBA draft, and nobody is sure what they plan to do with it.

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote that of all of the teams in the top 10, he has the least amount of certainty on what the Knicks plan to do and wouldn't be surprised by a number of different outcomes.

The Knicks are in both an enviable and unfortunate situation: they have needs at almost every position and could use an injection of talent. While that leaves their options open, it may also mean they're searching for a player that fills the most holes, which can be tough to come by.

We consulted mock drafts from ESPN, The Athletic, The Ringer, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, and USA Today, as well as rumors and reports about what the Knicks might plan to do. Here's what the experts think:

The Knicks draft Isaac Okoro

Three of the seven mock drafts we consulted had the Knicks drafting Okoro, a wing from Auburn.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that a team executive said Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has a "crush" on Okoro, a strong defender and savvy player. However, Okoro needs to improve his jump shot at the NBA level.

Drafting a playmaker in Tyrese Haliburton or Killian Hayes

Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton.
Charlie Neibergall/AP Images

The Knicks have a need at point guard, as neither R.J. Barrett nor Frank Ntilikina project as lead ball-handlers.

Two mock drafts (ESPN and Sports Illustrated) projected the Knicks to select Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton while two others (SB Nation and USA Today) project them to take French guard Killian Hayes.

There are concerns about both — Haliburton might be better suited as a secondary ball-handler, while Hayes is considered rawer and may need time to develop.

However, Haliburton has been praised for his IQ, shooting, and playmaking, while Hayes is manipulative off the dribble and could thrive in a spread pick-and-roll system.

The Knicks trade up

The Knicks on Wednesday packaged the 27th and 38th picks to move up to No. 23. According to multiple reports, there is a buzz around the NBA that the Knicks may use the 8th and 23rd picks to move up to Nos. 5 or 6 to draft a player.

While the Knicks have been rumored to be interested in LaMelo Ball, it seems unlikely that they can move up high enough (without including more) to get Ball.

According to Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor, the Knicks are rumored to be interested in forward Obi Toppin, an explosive scorer who projects to be NBA-ready from the get-go.

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