18. New York Knicks draft Tyler Smith
Smith has been arguably the G League Ignite’s best player this season, which is shocking considering many viewed their roster to feature the top two selections coming into the year. Ron Holland and Matas Buzelis have struggled as Smith has consistently put up numbers.
The 6’11 forward is averaging 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 1.3 blocks in just 20.5 minutes per game through the team’s first eight regular season contests. He is shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range and offers an intriguing mix of defense and floor space. It will take time, but Smith could be an impactful stretch four on a contender in his prime.
Smith must add mass and improve his game if he wants to reach his ceiling. The 19-year-old has the potential to be a starter and a crucial role player. He is playing just 20 minutes per game in the developmental league this season. There is work to do, but the upside is there in a weak draft class.
The New York Knicks figure to have two first-round draft picks and may look to solidify their frontcourt. They have plenty of depth and could be looking for big men with versatile skill sets after the injury to Mitchell Robinson and the uncertainty of the team's plans at the four and the five.