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Report: No team watched Kentucky more in person this season than the Knicks

Kentucky at Mississippi State

Kentucky at Mississippi State

TNS via Getty Images

The Knicks are finishing out one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of where they may select in the first round of this summer’s NBA Draft.

And the team wants to make sure it’s as prepared as possible.

New York brass has been spending a ton of time around the Kentucky Wildcats, the undefeated college squad that features Karl-Anthony Towns, who along with Duke’s Jahlil Okafor is considered to be one of the top prospects of this year’s class.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

The Knicks have been very visible in the blue grass state. Perhaps no team watched Kentucky more in person this winter than the Knicks, who will likely select anywhere from one through five in June which would place them in a position to draft either Towns or his athletic 7-foot teammate, center Willie Cauley-Stein.

According to several sources close to the Kentucky program, the Knicks top scout Mark Warkentien has attended nearly a dozen Wildcats practices as the club prepares for the most important decision of the Jackson regime. ...

“If you are looking for a guy that can help you right away, I think Okafor will have a bigger impact as a rookie,” says one NBA executive whose team is expected to have a top 12 pick. “But if you’re an owner and you’re looking for a guy that can change your franchise over the next three years, I’d say Towns.”

The Knicks are in need of a franchise overhaul, one that will include cornerstone-level talent capable of helping to build sustained success that can last for the next several seasons.

We don’t know where New York’s first round draft pick will land, but it appears as though the team has invested heavily in scouting Kentucky, just in case it ends up having a shot at someone like Towns.