- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
But they’re considering more than just point guards in the 2015 NBA Draft.
ESPN.com’s Chad Ford tweeted on the night of the NBA Draft Lottery that the Knicks are "big Justise Winslow fans."
They interviewed Winslow during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago earlier this month and will likely hold a private workout with him prior to the draft.
ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton sees Winslow as the best wing in the draft. However, Pelton believes Winslow’s strong NCAA Tournament performance may have led some to overvalue him.
ESPN’s Chad Ford says Winslow lacks a great off-the-dribble jump shot and has a poor midrange game. But Winslow also does many things well, including the ability to defended multiple positions and rebounding.
The 19-year-old also showed in a small sample size in college that he can hit the perimeter shot.
One reason the Knicks should take a long look at Winslow is his potential to make an impact on defense. New York ranked 28th in defensive efficiency last season and last in opponent 3-point field goal percentage. The Knicks also ranked 27th in opponent field goal attempts per game.
If his scouting projections are correct, Winslow should be able to help the Knicks improve those numbers. He’s 6-6 with a 6-10 wingspan and has great strength and quick feet.
Most evaluators see Winslow as a small forward in the NBA. So if the Knicks took Winslow, it may allow Carmelo Anthony to shift to power forward.
In the recent past, the Knicks have had been a better team when Anthony is at power forward.
Last season, they outscored opponents by 5.7 points per 48 minutes when Anthony played power forward, per 82games.com. Conversely, they were outscored by 7.2 points per 48 minutes with Anthony at small forward in 2014-15. (The website says Anthony spent 25 percent of the Knicks’ minutes at small forward and 10 percent of the team’s minutes at power forward.)
The Knicks were also better with Anthony at power forward in 2013-14.
That season, New York outscored its opponents by 1.6 points per 48 minutes when Anthony played power forward; they outscored opponents by 0.2 points per 48 minutes when he was at small forward. In 2012-13, the Knicks outscored opponents by four points per 48 minutes when Anthony played small forward and by six points per 48 by minutes when he played power forward.
The Knicks are said to be enamored of the former Duke wing man in the upcoming draft, with defense being one of his major attractions.