The New York Knicks have been consistent through one factor in recent years: the lack of a true point guard. Now, with a likelihood of picking at seven or higher, a plethora of proficient young guards will be available. With eyes set on Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox, who fits better for a team ready to rebuild?
is a combo guard, and likely wouldn’t be an issue playing the two under Rose. In his freshman year, Monk averaged: (19.8) points, (2.5) rebounds, and (2.3) assists per game. A sharpshooter, Monk averaged (40%) from three and landed (104) triples his freshman season. This is something the Knicks desperately need. He excels with pop up threes off the dribble, which is a dangerous skill to place next to Porzingis. Between the two, Monk may function better in the triangle, should Phil persist that it’s our route of offense.
Monk also comes from a big program, Kentucky University. Being comfortable playing under the spotlight, will certainly not hurt, should he be sent to play at MSG.
One thing that worries myself (and other Knicks fans) is his size. Tall, lean players can thrive in college, but aren’t used to the rough up that comes on the defensive end in the NBA. Brandon Ingram is a great example. He’s 6″9 and 190 pounds, but his build resembles a premature Durant figure, who’s been injury prone even at his size. Monk is even smaller at 6″3, and is somewhere between 190 and 200 himself; which is not recommended.
The Knicks would fare well with drafting Monk, and could even play him off the bench until he gains sizing (though they won’t). Adding Malik adds firepower, more floor spacing, and three-point shooting. All of the above, featured weaknesses in New York. His play style, paired with a tentative future at the two, makes Monk a threat to join the likes of Beal/McCollum as a shooting guard elite.
also comes from Kentucky, and appears to be the favorite throughout Knicks fan Twitter. In his freshman year, Fox averaged: (16.7) points, (4.6) assists, (4) rebounds, and most noticeable, (1.5) steals a game. Notice anything? In comparison to the other half of the Kentucky backcourt, Fox is more rounded as a player. When he’s on the ball, it’s pass first. When he’s off the ball, he’s picking up his match full court (Patrick Beverly, Avery Bradley come to mind).
After watching highlights and even a couple games this season, Fox just looks athletic. Where a lot of rookies may need time to adjust to the fast paced ball movement that is the NBA, Fox should be able to run with the creams of the crop, right out the gate.
An issue that arises with De’Aaron, is his three-point shooting. With Kentucky, he shot merely 25% from behind the line. Through one season, he only landed (17) in total. For the Knicks to draft Fox, I think it requires letting go of Derrick, and signing a three-point threat from free agency.
The Knicks are better off with either of these two guards. Personally, I find the two are almost polar opposites. Where Malik finds strength, Fox finds weakness, and vice versa. Overall, Monk is a score first, three-point shooter who would form a dangerous pick-and-roll option with Kristaps. On the other hand, Fox has potential to be a true floor general, and real defensive asset.
The decision is simple, in regards to New York’s future. If they’re going to stick it out and run the triangle, resign Derrick, draft Monk. If they’re ready to let him go, and start over with young promise, draft Fox.
All stats and information provided by ESPN, NJ.com, NBADRAFT.NET, and NBA.com. Featured image provided by A Sea of Blue via Google Images.