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James Bouknight driving layup against Marquette

James Bouknight driving layup against Marquette

After a season which saw them reach the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks possess the No. 19 pick in this year’s draft, along with the Mavericks’ pick at No. 21.

With the draft set for July 29, here’s who the experts think the Knicks could select with their two picks.

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

19th pick: Sharife Cooper, guard (Auburn)

Finding an Elfrid Payton replacement should be a top priority. Cooper is a steady floor general who could earn the trust of his coach. Though New York has Immanuel Quickley, he’s more of a scorer while Cooper is a true playmaker. The Knicks have another first-round pick and it wouldn’t be surprising if they package them together in a trade.

21st pick: James Bouknight, guard (UConn)

Bouknight brings plenty of offensive skill but he’s raw defensively. Learning from Tom Thibodeau could do him wonders.

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

19th pick: Usman Garuba, power forward (Spain)

Yes, for a second consecutive year, the Knicks take a big man in the first round. Garuba is the antithesis of 2020 first-round pick Obi Toppin, though. He’s a defensive monster who has good mobility and can defend out onto the perimeter. The 6-foot-8 frame and raw skill set on offense are the only concerns keeping him from the lottery in this mock.

21st pick: Tre Mann, guard (Florida)

The Knicks were a great story this season. They made the playoffs when no one expected they would, playing a physical style in the mold of their tough-nosed coach. But the playoffs proved their offense is … not great. Mann at No. 21 feels like good value as a potential add to help on that front. He made 40.2% from 3 at Florida last season and has the offensive versatility to add a little on and off the ball.

Darren Hartwell, NBC Sports

19th pick: Usman Garuba, power forward (Spain)

If the Knicks keep both of their first-round picks, they could do a lot worse than Garuba here. The Spain native boasts a 7-foot-2 wingspan and is a high-energy defender, so Tom Thibodeau should welcome him with open (and much smaller) arms.

21st pick: Jaden Springer, guard (Tennessee)

Unless Derrick Rose continues to be Benjamin Button, the Knicks need point guard help. Springer is a strong, athletic defender who shot 43.5% from 3-point range for the Vols, making him a natural fit for New York.

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report

19th pick: Jared Butler, guard (Baylor)

Playoff teams looking to bolster their 2021-22 rotation will be drawn to Butler. After another year of improvement and leading Baylor to a national title, he comes off as ready to contribute with his ball-handling, shooting versatility and floater game.

21st pick: Ziaire Williams, forward (Stanford)

Williams could make teams forget about his shooting numbers with strong workouts showcasing his pretty jumper and ball skills for a 6’8″ wing. A lack of strength and explosiveness changed the perception about his upside, but he’s still an intriguing buy-low pick for the chances that his shot is better than the numbers suggest. He can offer some degree of three-and-D plus capable pick-and-roll ball-handling.