Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Knicks president calls Trae Young ‘intriguing talent,’ but New York not likely to land him

Trae Young

Oklahoma’s Trae Young drives to the hoop during overtime of an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament first-round game against Rhode Island, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Trae Young catches your eye, and if you watch his early games from last season in Oklahoma it’s obvious why — he’s got some Stephen Curry in his game. The long-range threes. The handles. The fantastic court vision and passing. The swagger.

However, the more some scouts watched him, they came up with another comparison: Jimmer Fredette. A great college player and scorer whose game didn’t fit the NBA (and who couldn’t adjust it ala J.J. Redick).

Who is the real Trae Young? He’s going to fall between the extremes of NBA MVP and NBA flameout, what teams are trying to figure out is where on that scale he lands.

The Knicks are one of those teams. New York is having Trae Young in for a workout and Knicks president Steve Mills spoke highly of him to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Before his dinner with Trae Young on Monday night and their pre-draft workout Tuesday at the practice facility, Knicks president Steve Mills said he was intrigued by the Oklahoma point guard who “has the chance to be a special player.”

“He’s a little bit bigger than he looked on the court — a little bit bigger — but he’s an intriguing talent,” Mills said Monday at a gala hosted by the Hospital for Special Surgery to honor former Knicks great Bill Bradley. “You look at what (Young) did with the players he had around him and what he was doing at the start of the season, you have to say this guy has the chance to be a special player.”

That love-in is great, but the Knicks aren’t going to draft him unless they trade up (or Young falls down the board, which is its own set of red flags). The Knicks draft ninth, Young is expected to go in the five-to-seven range. In NBC’s mock draft we had him going sixth to the Orlando Magic. Teams higher in this draft are reluctant to move their picks, which means it would take a serious sweetener to get up high enough to draft Young, more than the Knicks will want to surrender.

Who will be around when the Knicks pick? Maybe Michael Porter Jr. falls that far (it’s what was in our mock), but the buzz recently is that teams higher up the board are willing to roll the dice on him. Both Mikal Bridges and Miles Bridges will be on the board. Point guard Collin Sexton has some teams excited and he likely is around, as will be another point guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Knicks are going to get a good player at nine.

Just probably not Young.