New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said the organization has three players in mind for the No. 4 pick.
“We had our crack scouting and staff of guys put together a list (and) we had varied opinions,” Jackson said on MSG Network on Wednesday night. “I think there were maybe about six guys for our particular pick that were chosen by them and I think we’ve narrowed it down to three. So we’re pretty content that we have a good idea of what’s going to come our way and what will be good.”
Jackson also reiterated that the Knicks are considering offers to trade the pick. But he hinted that the Knicks haven't gotten any offers that would cause him to seriously consider dealing it.
“We’re still listening to opportunities that might come our way. And drafts sometimes do that. They give you potential that you just can’t walk away from,” Jackson said. “You have to be open and ready for that. And we’re dealing with that and the information that’s coming out…. [Offers] have been enough to mostly say “Hmm that’s nice and what else” then move on. But we’re still open.”
It’s unclear which three players the Knicks have zeroed in on. They have worked out several players who are projected to go as high as fourth, including Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, Kristaps Porzingis and Justise Winslow.
Many draft observers believe Philadelphia will select Russell with the third pick. Porzingis is also a possibility for the Sixers.
All four players mentioned above are 19 years old.
“In this day and age, it takes a little bit longer and we have to be a little bit more patient but at four we think we’ve got a player that’s going to be really good,” Jackson said.
Jackson was asked by MSG Networks' Al Trautwig if the Knicks' fans could be surprised by what happens on Thursday night.
“Yeah. Well, there can be surprises all the way from 6-foot to 7-foot that would be major surprises,” Jackson said. “But we’re trying to take what we feel is the best potential pick, what will help this ball club out the most and go from there.”
Skyping with Hezonja?: Jackson said that the Knicks weren't able to workout one European player in person, so they contacted him via Skype. One player that fits this profile is lottery prospect Mario Hezonja, who was still playing for Barcelo when the Knicks were conducting workouts.