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.
By ADAM ZAGORIA
The Knicks already have a glut at the point guard position, but they are doing their due diligence and interviewing various players who might be available at the No. 9 spot in the NBA Draft, including Alabama point guard Collin Sexton.
The 6-foot-3 Sexton told reporters he met with the Knicks on Wednesday in Chicago. Sexton is currently projected to go to the Knicks, per ESPN.com, despite the team already having Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke at the point.
“We’re still in that talent acquisition phase,” Knicks GM Scott Perry said Thursday afternoon on ESPN. “Obviously it’s no secret that we can use some more help at the wing position.”
“So when we get down to the ninth pick, at the end of the day we’re gonna pick the very best player,” Perry continued. “If it happens to be a wing, so be it. If not — if there’s a clear delineation at another position in terms of talent — then we’ll probably opt to go that direction and get the very best talent we can get.”
An explosive, athletic, competitive player, Sexton averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists this past season. He and Oklahoma’s Trae Young — with whom the Knicks will meet on Friday — are considered the top two point guards in the draft.
“I felt that I was very underrated but when I jumped on the scene I just wanted to prove everybody wrong and play with the best of them,” Sexton told ESPN.
Although there are questions about his shot, Sexton always plays with something to prove, which should benefit whatever team drafts him.
“I feel like every time I go out there I have a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I feel like I have to prove something and prove that I can play with the best.”
Alabama coach Avery Johnson said he doesn’t believe Sexton will still be around when the Knicks pick.
“Nine range?’’ Johnson told the New York Post. “If they saw what I have seen, I’m not trying to promote my player [because] my reputation is on the line also. But if they’ve seen what I’ve seen, I don’t see how he gets past five.’’
Johnson added: “I think he has unbelievable potential. I played in the league, coached in the league. He’s as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen in my NBA career. I think he’s a little bit closer to Kevin Johnson speed. I know that’s a blast from the past but that type of speed with [Russell] Westbrook athleticism.’’
Sexton had a 4.0 GPA at Alabama and, unlike many other one-and-dones, he’s still in school taking classes.
“It was very important because I want to get my degree,” he told ESPN. “Every time I see my siblings’ degrees hanging up there, I want mine hanging up there. And why start something and not finish it?”
Unlike other prospects, Sexton also has no social media presence — No Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram — but that is about to change now that he’s about to be a pro.”
“Right now I have to pick it up so that I can grow my brand and get my brand out there,” he said. “We’re going to build on that.”
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.