BTBP Mock NBA Draft: Editor’s Edition

5 of 31

Apr 2, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) speaks to the media during a press conference before the 2015 NCAA Men

. PF/C. Kentucky. Willie Cauley-Stein. 4. player. 27

What The Experts Say:

"He’s widely regarded as the best defender in the draft and he’s living up to the hype as a player who can guard five positions on the floor. Players with his size, athletic ability and defensive instincts don’t come along every day. – Chad Ford, ESPN"

What The Player Says:

"I mean, that’s been the question since I got here: If I love the game. If I didn’t love the game, why would I play at the University of Kentucky? Why would I ever come here? It’s a serious program. All the success they had, all that. That bugs me when people ask me that. ‘You don’t love the game.’ This is the most serious place to play. I’m dumbfounded when people ask that. Like I really get upset. – Willie Cauley-Stein"

What BTBP Says:

The Knicks have a whole host of options that they could go with at the number four spot, but unless one of the trio previously mentioned drop, there’s going to be a whole lot of risk involved.

You’ve got the unknown quantities of players like Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis and Mario Hezonja who have been playing abroad. Then you’ve got someone like Justise Winslow, a guy who seems like a sure-fire talent, but then happens to play in the same position as Carmelo Anthony.

This is the type of conundrum that has led to suggestions that the Knicks may even reach for a guy like Trey Lyles at this spot.

For me, there’s no doubt that the best thing to do is to go for Cauley-Stein, and select a big man who can be a cornerstone of the franchise both in the present and the future.

Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal laid out his case for such a move:

"Passing on Cauley-Stein if the Knicks draft No. 4 would be understandable. Another player might strike them as more talented, and most prospects would probably fit their offense better. But taking him would help clarify where the organization stands on the “fit versus talent” question that figures to shape the team’s summer plans."

Maxwell Ogden of Daily Knicks sees similarities between Cauley-Stein and a former Knick that highlight just how valuable he could be in the Big Apple:

"He’s similar to the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler in the sense that he has a limited offensive arsenal and limitless defensive potential. He’s a dominant shot-blocker and improved rebounder whose size, length and athleticism make him the ideal rim protector. No team will hurt from having a near 7’1″ big man who can pick up point guards and defend them for a full 94 feet. In many ways, Cauley-Stein is the ultimate defensive safety blanket."

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