GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks need youth in their frontcourt and have been working out a slew of big men to see if one catches their fancy.
On Tuesday, N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie was one of two forwards to work out along with New Mexico’s Tony Snell.
“I just think I can bring a lot of energy defensive-wise, scoring-wise, just I can step in wherever they need me,” the 6-foot-9 Leslie said after the workout that also included guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Rice Jr., Pierre Jackson and Phil Pressey.
Leslie is projected as the No. 37 pick by DraftExpress.com, and the Knicks own the No. 24 pick.
He averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds this past season as a junior with the Wolfpack.
“[I can bring] rebounding, scoring when they need it, getting to the basket, getting fouled, all that stuff,” he said. “So just wherever I’m needed and hopefully I’ll be able to step in.”
N.C. State lost five players who started last year to the Draft, graduation and transfer, including point guard Lorenzo Brown who worked out Monday for the Knicks.
Now they must now rely on a young roster led by sophomores T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis, along with incoming frosh Beejay Anya, Kyle Washington and Anthony “Cat” Barber.
“They’re going to be a young team,” Leslie said. “They just gotta hold their heads high and get through the adversity with them being a young team.”
Leslie said he expects Warren — who elected not to declare for the Draft — to make a big step forward.
“He did it kind of towards the end of the year,” Leslie said, “he got on and got real comfortable with the game and how college was played, so I think he’ll have no problem stepping up to the table.”
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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.