Walsh Needs to Improve Knicks With Top 10 Draft Pick
The Knicks didn't get the break they needed from the ping-pong balls at this year's NBA Draft Lottery and will have to settle for the eighth selection on June 25. There was no fist pumping celebration from team representative Allan Houston ala Dave DeBusschere back in 1985 at the very first lottery when the Knicks came out on top and picked Patrick Ewing.
Of all teams to win the lottery, the hapless Los Angeles Clippers will have the honor and gained the first overall pick for the third time in franchise history.
Staying in the spot that they started in, the Knicks seemed to be content with number eight, the spot that they had a 72.5 percent chance to stay in. "I think we'll get a good player," Team President Donnie Walsh told reporters. "I thought before there were players to round out the top 10 and we're at eight, so I feel good about that.
"I think we've got to get a player who will come in and basically fill in a need and then once that happens, that is going to put a player that we might already have in a better position to be successful."
Throughout the history of the draft, there have been a few number eight picks that have gone on to be productive and then some for their respective teams. Most recently, Rudy Gay in 2006 and T.J. Ford in 2003. The Knicks would love to get talent such as those two players and will have s decent pool to look at.
The top names being bantered about will be long gone by the time NBA Commissioner David Stern steps up the microphone and say, "With the eighth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select..." Even the Clippers can't blow this one and pass up Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, the consensus top player coming out of college. Ricky Rubio of Spain is said to be the next "Pistol" Pete Maravich but he has to have his European contract bought out.
The name being mentioned as a possible for the Knicks is Stephen Curry, the 6'3" guard out of Davidson. He is an underclassman who has already declared himself eligible for the draft and has played in over 30 games in each of his three seasons in college. In those campaigns, he has averaged 21.5, 25.9 and 28.6 points per game. This past season, he nearly doubled his previous assist per game average to 5.6, still not that high for a point guard. He will probably get more minutes at the shooting guard position and/or work on his dishing off skills to play the '1.'
During the 2008-09 season, Curry had a high of 44 points, which he met on two occasions. The first was in a 82-78 loss at Oklahoma on November 18 and then he matched that total on December 6 in a 72-67 home victory over North Carolina State. He also had a seven-game streak in which he scored at least 25 points or more.
The leading scorer in Davidson history is the son of former NBA player Dell Curry, so he has good genes for the next step. If he is still available when the Knicks' turn comes up, they could do a whole lot worse with someone else.
For once, there may be a Curry on the floor at Madison Square Garden hearing cheers instead of boos.