Mullens a factor for Knicks at 8?

Probably not. But if the Knicks made’s rumored swap of Wilson Chandler for the 5th pick? Maybe.

Here’s my thinking: Earlier today I wrote this as a comment to Dan’s post on the potential Chandler trade:

I’m a big supporter of the two lottery pick plan. I think Dan might be being a little optimistic in hoping we’ll come away with one of Thabeet and Hill and one of Rubio and Curry, but I like the idea of (1) getting one of Hill or Thabeet and one of the top guards or (2) trying to rebuild the entire backcourt in this draft.

Having thought the whole situation over a little bit more carefully, I don’t believe the Knicks would be picking up an extra lottery pick to target a big like Hill or Thabeet. If the Knicks are trading Chandler, I think it’s because they’ve identified their PG of the future as one of either Rubio (who I’d say has maybe a 20-25% chance of being there at 5 now) or Curry (85-90%) and they just can’t bear to miss out.

Chandler is a steep price to pay for a pick, especially in this draft, but the good news is that the Knicks would still have their pick at 8 to add to the talent base. Donnie Walsh could either try to find a Chandler replacement on the wing (DeMar DeRozan, Earl Clark, Gerald Henderson, or even Jrue Holiday) or use the 8th pick to try to address the team’s glaring hole in the frontcourt. If Jordan Hill or Hasheem Thabeet were still somehow on the board at 8, having already selected either Curry or Rubio with the 5th pick, I think taking either would be an easy choice. However, in all liklihood neither Hill nor Thabeet will be there.

So, if the Knicks wanted to go big with their second pick, they’d be left with a choice between players like Clark, James Johnson, DeJuan Blair, Tyler Hansbrough, and BJ Mullens. Conventional wisdom says that, of that group, Clark and Blair represent the best value at 8. That may be true and, if it is but those guys aren’t Donnie’s targets, the Knicks should trade down a few spots and try to pick up an extra asset. Somehow though, I have this feeling that even as things stand right now, the Knicks are seriously considering Mullens.

After Blake Griffin, no one in this draft has a higher upside than BJ Mullens. He’s a project and could be a total bust, but he could also become an all-star calibar big man. And if the Knicks get their PG at 5, I could see Walsh deciding to roll the dice on one of the only guys in this draft who has the type of talent that can change the fortunes of a franchise.


  1. SlumDogBaller

    I definitely think Walsh is up to something too. I don’t see Mullens on the radar based on the talent that might still be on the board. Perhaps Walsh would even consider packaging a pick we might acquire with some unsavory asset and acquire a pick for next year (ideal).

    I hope Rubio is our goal.


    If Walsh wants either Rubio or Curry, he better cook up something, but I don’t think he has enough to be attractive to the teams at top. He has already signaled that he is not willing to take back long term contracts at this point to mess with the “2010 Plan.”

    I’m not sure how that works with the need to sign and trade Lee or Robinson, but he will need to create some compelling offer to get those earlier picks. I don’t see it, but I would be pleasantly surprised if he could pull something off.

    Last year, it seemed he missed some golden opportunities before he gave Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford away during the season instead of before. This year I hope he takes care of makeing extreme roster changes before the season starts and maybe we will win a few more games.

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