City Sports Report

The Knicks Losing More For Jahlil Okafor Or Continuing Going Down For Karl Anthony Towns?

Okafor Or Towns? Which one would fit better in New York With the Knicks? (picture courtesy www.bleacherreport.com)

It’s officially tanking season in New York. With the move of guards JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers for three non-contributors, the writing is on the wall for the Knicks this year. Going forward, they will probably be racing with the Philadelphia 76ers for the worst record in the NBA. When the season first started, some thought it was a no-brainer that Philly would have the worst record in the NBA. But the Knicks are out to prove otherwise. Whoever can lose the most would have the most ping-pong balls when the NBA Lottery comes. And with more ping-pong balls, there is an increased chance of the first pick in the draft. With that being said, there are two prime prospects that many are already talking about. Both Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor are currently freshmen in college, but both are considered the top two prospects in college basketball. So, if you are the Knicks and you have the first pick, which one do you take?

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the nine McDonald’s All-Americans that are currently playing for the Kentucky Wildcats. This mesh of talent is taking care of every single challenge put in front of them and have put away almost all their opponents in easy fashion. With the wealth of talent they have, Towns contributions can be lost upon the everyday fan (only averaging 8.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in . But when examining his skills and what he could offer, there is no doubt is one of the most talented players in college basketball. The young big man has shown many his post game this season. He is able to use either hand and has become a little bit more physical in the paint. That will undoubtedly make him a valuable asset at 6’11” playing power forward. But what makes Towns even more special is his ability to shoot and handle the basketball. We really have not seen the shooting range and handles that Towns has because of the talent he is playing with, but he can definitely shoot the basketball all the way out to the three-point line and can also make plays with the basketball in his hands. His skills would fit New York because he is a versatile player that can hit the 15-20 foot jump shot when Carmelo is posting in the paint and he can also take advantage of other power forwards with his ability to handle the basketball and his feathery touch. One thing that Towns can improve on is his defensive ability. Towns has definitely improved in that area in his short time under Coach John Calipari at Kentucky, but there is room to improve for him still there. His rebounding is solid, but getting rebounds outside of his area could potentially be an issue. But even saying that, Towns can still be a solid piece to the rebuilding process and, more importantly, a great help to Carmelo. Imagine what Towns could do with more minutes to play than what he has at Kentucky? He could end up being a double-double machine.

But Towns is not the only big man in college basketball catching scout’s eyes. Jahlil Okafor is a special offensive talent. The freshman from Chicago has been dominating at Duke this season (averaging 19.5 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game) as he’s been the main factor in Duke looking like a title contender. His ability to finish inside and with either hand is a great thing to have in a big man and something that will benefit him at the next level. Okafor can also use his faceup post game and drill a 12-15 footer in your face. His array of post moves along with his excellent footwork give any big man he faces fits in the post. The good thing also for the freshman from Duke is he gets as many minutes as he wants without worry whether he is coming out or not. But like Towns, he still has some things to work on defensively. Okafor may have issues at the next level rebounding out of his area. And if you notice his rebound per game average, he does not collect many rebounds for the minutes he plays. Towns get more rebounds in less minutes and that is with him playing alongside another potential lottery pick in Willie Cauley-Stein. Another thing Okafor may have issues with is his position. Okafor is 6’10” and there is some that question whether he can defend the center position in the NBA or if he will play the power forward position. His physique tells me that he will more than likely be a center in the NBA. And it will be an interesting task to see how he defends that position at the next level. With the Knicks, Okafor would be an interesting fit. He can step out and shoot the jump shot, but he does not have the same range that Towns does. In the Triangle, that could cause spacing issues. But one thing we do know if Okafor can definitely score the basketball and is used to playing heavy minutes. And with a Knicks team that does not have a solid number two option, Okafor could fill that role with ease and take pressure off Carmelo Anthony. Another plus for Okafor is at this point in his career, he would give the Knicks someone to run the offense through with Melo off the court, which the Knicks do not have the pleasure of doing now.

Both Towns and Okafor are excellent prospects and both could immediately affect a team that drafts them. The New York Knicks need an impact player in next year’s draft so they can continue to rebuild. So, if you are the New York Knicks, would you “Lose More For Okafor” or would you “Continuing Going Down For Karl Towns”?

For more sports conversations, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. ASR

    January 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Okafor would be a great pick, Phil’s going to have to pray he can convince top FA’s to play in NYC.

  2. Pingback: Knicks waives 3 received in Smith & Shumpert Deal

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