This offseason will be one of great importance for the New York Knicks after their 41-31 season this past season. Led by Julius Randle, Tom Thibodeau’s club exceeded expectations and now plans for the rebuild are well ahead of schedule.
While the Knicks have many options to go over including free agency and potentially trading for a superstar like Damian Lillard if he becomes available, they also have four draft picks, including three in the top 38.
For now, the Knicks still have those picks in their possession. Here are the three best options for the Knicks at No. 21 in 2021 NBA Draft, ranked.
3.) Ayo Dosunmu – Illinois
The Knicks were able to strike gold in the 20’s last year, selecting guard Immanuel Quickley out of Kentucky with the No. 25 pick in 2020. Can they do it again in 2021 by taking Ayo Dosunmu?
Dosunmu was the pulse for Illinois last season, leading them to a Big Ten Tournament Championship and a No. 1 seed in March Madness.
Questions entering last year for Dosunmu swirled around his jump shot and his perimeter game. Dosunmu responded by shooting 39% from three-point land in 2020, a huge improvement from the year before when he shot 29% from downtown.
Dosunmu is a great floor general and is excellent at setting up teammates. While the Knicks may be looking for more of a go-to scoring guard, they may have to dip into free agency or the trade market to check that box given their top two draft choices are at picks No. 19 and No. 21.
Illinois went as Dosunmu went and he would be a steady reserve good in his rookie year who could potentially carve out a role in Thibs’ rotation. Thibodeau likes grinders and guys who get at it on the floor and work ethic and dedication to the craft are two things that will never be questioned with Dosunmu.
2.) Jared Butler – Baylor
It has to be noted that a lot of what the Knicks do at No. 21 will correlate with what they do at No. 19. If they take a point guard at No. 19, they might go elsewhere here at No. 21. Since we don’t have the answers for that first pick, it’s an open book at No. 21.
For more of a scoring guard who can play both on and off the ball, Jared Butler would be a nice fit for the Knicks.
Butler is that microwave type of player who can heat up in the snap of a finger from the perimeter. Butler, along with Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague, were by far the best trio of guards on one team in the country last year.
While Butler is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, his ability to fill it up from the land beyond along his quickness when handling the rock more than make up for it. Tom Thibodeau recently noted the Knicks want to focus on adding shooters this offseason and Butler is just that.
“We’re always looking to add that shooting. And it’s not only just shooting the three, it’s going off the dribble as well.” – Tom Thibodeau.
Hello Jared Butler, meet a perfect fit with the New York Knicks.
1.) Tre Mann- Florida
Tre Mann was a walking bucket for Florida. He is fearless offensively with the ball and is one of those prospects that will trust his shot no matter what.
Mann can fill it up from deep and works excellently off of the pick-and-roll. He’s excels at both slashing to the lane himself off the pick-and-roll and setting up his teammates. His decision making in the half court is stout.
New York needs a scoring point guard and while they may have big aspirations to address that in the offseason via a trade, Mann could help fill the void as well.
The Florida product has a soft touch with his floater and can stop in the blink of an eye and line up a jumper as well.
If the objective is to get a point guard who can score and be a decisive playmaker, this could be the selection that the Knicks strike gold with at No. 21. Tre Mann is a flat out gamer. It’s possible he isn’t available at No. 21 but the same goes for the other two options as well. Once you get into the early 20’s of an NBA Draft, all bets are off as to who will go where.
It will be a very busy summer for Leon Rose and the New York Knicks. If they want to take that next step forward, it starts by addressing the need for a scoring point guard. Whether it’s the draft, free agency, a trade or a combination, it has to be a priority for the Knicks.