NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Post-lottery predictions and shockers in the first-round

NBA Draft, Jalen Suggs - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
NBA Draft, Jalen Suggs - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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NBA Mock Draft, Usman Garuba
NBA Mock Draft, Usman Garuba (Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. Usman Garuba. 27. player. Pick Analysis. PF/C. Real Madrid. 19

NBA Mock Draft 19th Pick: New York Knicks

One of the surprise teams in the NBA this season, the New York Knicks will attempt to keep their success heading to the next campaign. Under Tom Thibodeau and led by All-Star Julius Randle, the Big Apple will ride its team’s defensive identity to continue churning out wins in the much improved East.

It’s foolish to criticize Thibodeau, especially after winning the Coach of the Year hardware, but at some point, he’s gotta stop overplaying Taj Gibson, right? No offense to the veteran, but New York will be better off having him only in situational spurts. Real Madrid’s Usman Garuba should be a perfect successor to his enforcer role.

His offense is heavy on the paint and he is quite undersized at his position, but Garuba’s defensive instinct is second to none. Already with professional experience under his belt, the young Spaniard could clinch some minutes, especially with Mitchell Robinson’s intermittent injuries and Nerlens Noel’s impending free agency.