It’s no secret that the Knicks need an infusion of youth in their frontcourt.
Amar’e Stoudemire has chronic knee issues, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas both retired, Marcus Camby is flat-out old, Kenyon Martin isalmost as ancient and Tyson Chandler is a limited offensive player who needs some support.
The Knicks will continue to work out a slew of big men — in addition to point and shooting guards — and will have to decide which is the biggest need when they pick at No. 24 in the June 27 NBA Draft.
At this moment, both ESPN.com and DraftExpress.com have the Knicks selecting Tony Mitchell, a 6-foot-8 forward from North Texas who worked out for the team on Friday.
“I’m sure I could bring excitement and athleticism. dunking the ball, blocking shots. just whatever they need me to do,” Mitchell told reporters Friday. “Rebound the ball, defend somebody.”
Mitchell averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds last season at North Texas. He has a wingspan of 7 feet, 2.5 inches.
DraftExpress.com had this to say about him: his “physical attributes remain his greatest selling point…with excellent athleticism, a solid frame, and a very impressive 7’3 wingspan. He is capable of utilizing these tools effectively in his shot-blocking, rebounding and finishing around the basket.”
Because he didn’t play in a BCS conference, Mitchell is an unknown commodity to many and he is also considered raw offensively.
He still has workouts remaining with Indiana, Milwaukee and Dallas, but believes he could be the scoring big the Knicks sorely need.
“I think I can fill that void by being a stretch four or pick and pop or pick and roll, whatever they want me to do,” he said. “I’m just trying to contribute and help the team win, help the organization win. ”
The Knicks will continue their workouts Monday with big men Jeff Withey (Kansas) and Mike Muscala (Bucknell), as well as guards Myck Kabongo (Texas), Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State) and Allen Crabbe (Cal.)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.