NBA 2018 Draft Rumors: Is Michael Porter Jr. the Player the New York Knicks Should Be Targeting?

Some members of the Knicks organization are reportedly 'big fans' of Porter Jr.
Wikimedia Commons/TonyTheTigerFeatured in the image is Michael Porter Jr. receiving the 2017 McDonald's All-American Boys Game MVP award at the United Center

One thing the New York Knicks have done pretty well in recent years is draft.

Recent Knicks selections like Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. who were taken outside of the lottery have turned into rotation players, and the last time the franchise had a top-four pick, they came away with young superstar Kristaps Porzingis.

The Knicks' draft pick from last year, guard Frank Ntilikina, did not set the world on fire during his rookie campaign, but he still flashed intriguing upside particularly on the defensive end.

This year, the Knicks are again looking to strike gold with their lottery pick, but they may need some help in order to get the player they want.

According to a recent report from ESPN's Ian Begley, some teams that have draft picks higher than the number nine selection the Knicks currently own have talked to some members of the organization in an attempt to see how interested the franchise is in upgrading their pick.

As for why other teams are asking the Knicks about moving up in the draft, that's apparently because some people in the organization are known to be "big fans" of the Missouri Tigers' Michael Porter Jr.

The Knicks have already been linked to a few prospects during this pre-draft process, but their reported interest in selecting Porter Jr. is something new.

That said, it makes plenty of sense for the Knicks to be interested in adding Porter Jr. to their roster.

Currently, the Knicks' roster already features talented guards including the aforementioned Hardaway Jr. and Ntilikina as well as Emmanuel Mudiay. While no one among Hardaway Jr., Ntilikina and Mudiay has yet to establish himself as a star lead guard in the league, they are all still talented players who deserve to get consistent playing time, so adding another backcourt player via the draft is not the most sensible move for the Knicks from a roster construction standpoint.

The Knicks need to add someone new to their frontcourt rotation though, and even if Porter Jr. is not going to be banging in the paint 35 minutes a night, he will still bring more balance to the roster.

The risk with Porter Jr. is that he is coming off a major back injury and there are still some questions about his defense and how well he can create for his teammates. He's a flawed prospect, but then again, all players in the prospect pool can be described that way.

What makes Porter Jr. a potentially excellent selection for the Knicks is his offensive upside. He has the skills and the size to be an unstoppable force on offense and if he develops chemistry with Porzingis, the Knicks could eventually field one of the more devastating frontcourts in the league.

Porter Jr. is no sure thing, but he would be a good addition for a franchise that needs to add more superstar-caliber talent.

As of now, there are no clear indicators that the Knicks will indeed trade up in order to select Porter Jr., but if they do, it's a risk worth taking for them.