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SB Nation mock draft: The New York Knicks select Justise Winslow

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the 4th pick, the Knicks select Justise Winslow out of Duke.

From Posting and Toasting: The P&T war room of 7 people was closely divided on Winslow vs. Emmanuel Mudiay, but ultimately came down on the side of a wing who might be able to do a lot for the Knicks very quickly. We love his defense and feel like he can guard a lot of kinds of people very quickly -- perhaps 1s all the way up through 3s.

On offense, Winslow seems like a complement to Carmelo Anthony at his worst. If he can move the ball and cut away from it, he'll be fine. If his accuracy (great!) is a better indicator of his shooting than his form (kinda ugly!), he'll be a big help catching and shooting in the Triangle, too. If his comfort off the dribble picks up a bit, then he might be a legitimate second scorer-- someone who creates shots, not just someone who finishes them.

Ultimately, we see a really bouncy, really intelligent player who's improved steadily throughout his brief career. If his development plateaus, if he fits. If he keeps growing, he could be the future of the team.

Taylor: I have to say, I don’t get this one. The Knicks need help basically everywhere except small forward and what do they draft? A small forward. Unless they plan to keep trying Melo at the 4, this pick seems like a waste. Mudiay would have been a better pick here, in my opinion. A point guard who can shoot is exactly what the triangle needs. They also could have gone with Cauley-Stein to fill the gaping hole they have at the center position. While Winslow is a solid, athletic player, he doesn’t seem to fit the Knicks needs.

Kevin: I’m with Taylor on this, I don’t understand.  The Knicks might have just drafted an exact replica of Carmelo Anthony.  I guess they plan to spread the floor more?  I don’t know.  I would have gone with a defensive piece here or a starting point guard.  Both were a much higher need over another wing scorer.

I will say that Duke would not have won the National Title without Winslow.  His intensity and playmaking were huge parts in the Dukies title run.

Lucas: Winslow at number four to the Knicks is a bit of a surprise. The pick of Winslow on the surface is a bit surprising, considering that supremely talented European stars Kristaps Porzingis and Mario Hezonja still on the board, as well as one time high school phenom Emmanuel Muiday. However, it is unclear if Hezonja and/ or Porzingis will come to the NBA right away, and Muiday is known as a score first point guard, not exactly ideal for the triangle offense that first year Head Coach Derek Fisher and first year President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson instituted last season.

Assuming the Knicks are going with their system over talent (whether or not that is wise or unwise is a separate discussion), Winslow may be a good fit at number four. As the team mentioned in their press release following the selection, Winslow’s accuracy from deep last year was indeed impressive, he knocking down 41.4% of his threes, shooting nearly three threes a game.  As the Knicks also pointed out, Winslow is incredibly athletic, and will certainly be good for some exciting highlights, especially in transition. Knicks fans should expect Winslow to become a positive on the defensive end, but it may be a bit of a stretch to believe that Winslow will be able to guard point guards for any significant stretches, but he should become a near lock down defender against shooting guards and, to a lesser extent, small forwards.

Where I disagree with the Knicks is the idea that WInslow will come in and become a playmaker and create shots for his teammates. Winslow averaged a pedestrian 2.6 assists per game, compared to 2.4 turnovers per forty minutes, and only showed flashes of playmaking ability while at Duke. Winslow also shot a mere 51.5% on two point shots, and also struggled to finish at the rim at times. If Winslow is able to improve his abiltiy to finish at the rim and create for his teammates, he may blossom into the star that Posting and Toasting believes he will. If his three point shot turns out to be fool’s gold, and he proves unable to finish at the rim, heh may turn out to only be a good NBA defender, and nothing more.

Dontae: Now I get Taylor and Kevin’s questions about this pick, but hear me out. Frequently, in the latter part of this past NCAA season, Justise Winslow was considered a dark-horse pick for the first overall player to be taken in the draft. He’s been mentioned on more than one occasion as possibly being the best talent in this draft. That speaks to the ceiling of Winslow.

Yes, the Knicks needed help in the frontcourt or a point guard, but at this point, Mudiay is not the type of point guard that will fit on this triangle offense team. If Phil Jackson is really thinking about winning now, Mudiay is not the type of risky pick you take here.

Winslow can immediately come in and help this Knick’s defense. He can play the two (at 6’6", he really has the size for that position), and he may shortly develop into a semi-respectable three point shooter. I know these are some statements that have a bit of "reach" in them, but in this position, with this many holes on this team, the Knicks need to take the best player available, that’s Justise Winslow.