Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — If the Knicks are ever going to compete with LeBron James and the Miami Heat, they will need a lot of pieces to complement Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
They need at least one shooter, a backup point guard and a couple of defensive-minded big men to guard the rim.
As they continue to mull their options for the No. 17 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft, they are bringing in a slew of different players to work out.
Point guard Jimmer Fredette of BYU and wings Marshon Brooks of Providence and Klay Thompson of Washington State passed through Thursday, and combo guard Josh Selby and small forward Tobias Harris are due Friday.
“They’re in a situation in this draft where you’ve got to take the guy that you think is going to be the best NBA prospect, regardless of position,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said by phone. “If you worry about position and you reach for a guy that’s not as good as someone that’s available at 17, I think you hurt your team.
“The Knicks obviously need help in a number of areas and it would behoove them to figure out who they think the best possible player is at 17, whether it’s a point guard or a power forward.”
Brooks and Thompson are neither of those, but they are scorers.
The 6-foot-5 Brooks, a Stone Mountain, Ga., native, led the Big East in scoring last season at 24.6 points per game. He said he believed playing in the Big East would prepare him for the NBA.
“With my feet quickness, I can play defense for them,” Brooks said of the Knicks. “And just my ability to score the ball, get in the paint and make things happen.”
Thompson defended Brooks in the three-on-three and said he looked “really good.”
“He can make you look stupid out there with him yoyo-ing the ball like that,” he said. “And he would fit in well with New York City just because he’s got that street game.”
DraftExpress.com projects Brooks to go to the Boston Celtics at No. 25, but his agent, Seth Cohen, said the “vast majority of teams have made it clear to me that they are extremely high on Marshon and have been relentless in their determination to get him in for a workout.”
Cohen said Brooks helped his stock at the Chicago Predraft Camp.
“Even though Marshon demonstrated his talents and abilities playing in the toughest conference in college basketball, it wasn’t until the combine that NBA teams awakened and realized his potential,” he said. ”
DraftExpress projects that the 6-7 Thompson will go at No. 11 to the Golden State Warriors, so he could well be gone when the Knicks select.
“I hope I’m not there at that point, but that’s alright with me,” he said. “I love New York City, I’ve had great experiences here so I would love to be a Knick. And I could see myself flourishing in [Mike] D’Antoni’s system.”
Thompson, who averaged 21.6 points as a senior, said he made 18 of 25 college 3-pointers and 20 of 25 NBA 3-pointers at the Knicks workout.
“I think I can make at least 21, 22,” he said of the NBA 3’s.
Because the Knicks bring back Stoudemire and Anthony, whoever they draft will inevitably be a role player.
Thompson said he believes he could slide into that role and help the Knicks the way a Mike Miller helps the Heat.
“Yeah, definitely, there’s so much attention drawn to those two superstars all the time, and I think I’ll just space the floor for them,” he said. “And I don’t think you can really leave me open that much. So with all the attention drawn to them, I think I’ll be overlooked a lot and provide a great scoring punch off the bench or whether I start.”
Thompson has also worked out for the Washington Wizards and heads next to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Next up for the Knicks are Selby and Harris.
The 6-7 Harris is a Dix Hills, Long Island native who left Tennessee after one season.
His father, Torrel, said his son is ready to compete with any of the small forwards in the draft.
“Tobias is not afraid to showcase his skill level and versatility as a complete basketball player,” his dad said. “He’s not backing down from any of the top small forwards in this year’s draft and he’s confident that he’s the best small forward in the NBA Draft.
**Fredette lights it up at Knicks workout
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.