3 Best New York Knicks Draft Picks

min read
Professional basketball players Walt Frazier (left) and Lucius Allen (right).
(Wikimedia Commons/Unknown author)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Sep 13, 2023, 5:25 PM
  • Here’s a list of the best New York Knicks draft picks in franchise history.
  • Willis Reed leads the list of players New York selected through the draft.
  • Other notable players include Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing.

The New York Knicks are part of the 11 original teams that founded the NBA in 1946 and has since become one of the league’s most popular and storied franchises. They reached the NBA Finals eight times and won two championships in 1970 and 1973. This success was mainly credited to the players they selected through the draft who bolstered their NBA championship odds.

Among the notable players they picked were Mark Jackson, Richie Guerin, Charlie Ward, David Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, and RJ Barrett. Despite the significant contributions of these names, as mentioned above, they were still not among the three best New York Knicks draft picks. Find out the three players below.

Willis Reed

Willis Reed was a second-round draft pick by New York in 1964, but he provided a double-double average in his rookie season with 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds and won the Rookie of the Year award. Because of this consistent output, the 6-foot-9 center out of Grambling led the Knicks to eight playoff campaigns, including three trips to the NBA Finals.

“The Captain” helped the Knicks win the 1970 and 1973 NBA titles, where he also secured NBA Finals MVP. He became the league MVP in 1970 and represented New York in seven All-Star Games. After 10 seasons, Reed retired from playing but left a lasting impact on the franchise, as he racked up career numbers of 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks.

Walt Frazier

In 1967, the Knicks selected Walt Frazier as their fifth-overall pick from Southern Illinois. He had a slow start to his career but steadily increased his production season by season. Frazier became the leader in the team’s offense through his playmaking ability. The 6-foot-4 point guard boosted the team’s chances during their postseason campaigns, especially in the NBA Finals.

“Clyde” became a seven-time NBA All-Star, a four-time member of the All-NBA 1st Team, and two-time All-NBA 2nd Team after helping New York win two championships in 1970 and 1973. Frazier played 10 seasons for the team and produced an average of 19.3 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.1 rebounds in 759 games before the Knicks traded him to Cleveland in 1976. He was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Patrick Ewing

After their success in the 1970s, New York experienced an up-and-down journey in the league without a true superstar. Everything changed when they drafted Patrick Ewing as their first overall pick in 1985. The 7-foot center from Georgetown developed into one of the most dominant players in NBA history.

Ewing established his presence in the league by averaging 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists during his first year en route to winning the Rookie of the Year award. “Hoya Destroya” spearheaded New York’s 13 consecutive playoff campaigns from 1988 to 2000, where they also reached the NBA Finals twice. Unfortunately, they failed to win a title on both occasions. 

Among the accolades Ewing collected for the Knicks included being an 11-time NBA All-Star, a member of the All-NBA 1st Team in 1990, and a six-time member of the All-NBA 2nd team. The franchise retired Ewing’s No. 33 jersey to the rafters of Madison Square Garden in February 2003 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.