Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 at 9:11 am  |  15 responses

Mock: Nikola Vucevic, No. 17

A young Dirk in the making?

by Drey Wingate / @ProStatus85

What I like the most about being in the position of making the pick for the Knicks is that so many positions can be filled. Our organization is something like swiss cheese because we have so many holes.

Acquiring Amar’e, Chauncey and Melo allowed us to make huge steps in the direction we wanted to go in. Our intention is to get back to traditional New York basketball. We want to bring back sold out crowds and consistent Playoff appearances. We want to be in the top five in the Eastern Conference and be mentioned as a team with definite championship potential.

The series against Boston this year really exposed what we needed as a team—another post presence. When Amar’e went down, it became very apparent. We don’t want to be known as a “so-so” team, neither do we want to have more of these early Playoff exits.

The millions of basketball fans who attend The Garden deserve a great team, and that is exactly what we plan on bringing to them. This summer is going to be an interesting one, and I am sure that with this draft pick we are definitely making a great choice.

So with of all of that being said, I present to you, our pick. With the 17th pick in the 2011 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the New York Knicks select Nikola Vucevic from the University of Southern California.

This was not only a smart pick, but an easy one. You ask how? Well, let’s start off with his tremendous upsize.

Vucevic is a legit 7-footer who is very finesse on the offensive end and likes to bang at the same time. His skills are very polished and with his great work ethic, his consistency is beginning to pick up as well.

He put up really solid numbers during his junior campaign at USC. He averaged a little over 17 points per game, shot over 50 percent from the field, as well as 35 percent from three-point land. Add all of that to 7-4 wingspan and you might have a young Dirk Nowitzki in the making.

According to scouting reports, he was one of the most improved players on the west coast this season. Having a solid 4-man who can stretch the defense by knocking down the outside shot is always a check plus for any team.

With a veteran point guard in Billups and Douglas adding speed and scoring to the mix, we believe that Vucevic would be perfect for pick and roll and pick and pop situations. There are many sleepers in this draft but we believe we have the best out of them all. I don’t think I’m saying too much when I say that he probably is the most skilled big man available.

2011 SLAMonline Mock Draft
Pick Team Player Pick Team Player
1 Cavs Kyrie Irving 16 76ers Markieff Morris
2 TWolves Derrick Williams 17 Knicks Nikola Vucevic
3 Jazz Brandon Knight 18 Wizards
4 Cavs Enes Kanter 19 Bobcats
5 Raptors Bismack Biyombo 20 TWolves
6 Wizards Jan Vesely 21 Blazers
7 Kings Kemba Walker 22 Nuggets
8 Pistons Kawhi Leonard 23 Rockets
9 Bobcats Jonas Valanciunas 24 Thunder
10 Bucks Alec Burks 25 Celtics
11 Warriors Marcus Morris 26 Mavs
12 Jazz Tobias Harris 27 Nets
13 Suns Jimmer Fredette 28 Bulls
14 Rockets Chris Singleton 29 Spurs
15 Pacers Tristan Thompson 30 Bulls
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  • mike

    Much more of an inside presence. He’s a stretch 4. Not a young Dirk…

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    I think this is too high for him.
    If you want a solid big who can stretch defenses by knocking down outside shots, Donatas Motiejunas and Davis Bertans are both better options, in my opinion.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Interesting. I’ve heard a couple scouting reports saying that the Knicks were interesetd in Kenneth Faried, Josh Selby, and Jimmer (thought he’s likely to be drafted earlier). Didn’t hear much about this kid.

  • http://twitter.com/smk73 smk73

    Not a Dirk. Kevin Durant is the next Dirk.

    This guy is like Chris Kaman, maybe a better shooter, which is not a bad player.

  • melo

    Knicks need to drAft this kid, bring in Jerome Jordan, and trade for Session.

  • Groves

    i heard knicks were looking for darius morris, marshon brooks, jimmer, faried and Tyler… not vucevic. i have vucevic as 24h pick or later

  • Groves


  • Max

    This is to smk73. There is no way, no way in hell that Durant is the next Nowitzki. They are so different as players. Dirk is 7 feet, Durant is a 6’9, 6’10. KD doesn’t shoot the one legged fadeaway, he also doesn’t rebound as well as Dirk. Durant is the next Kobe.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    faried would be a much better fit i think

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Max, but Kobe gets assists. Durant is basically this generation’s George Gervin.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    @Max, Durant tha next Kobe? Dont ever say that again…please

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    What is “upsize”?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Kevin Durant can’t be compared to any player.
    He’s pretty unique.

  • miki

    agree w/ melo ……knicks need size period…not another ballhog or undersized forward……who cares where pundits say he’ll go he fills their biggest need

  • EtheKnickfan

    I watched them both and Durantula is an almost exact replica of Iceman. That said Knicks need a bruiser. Someone who will even scare amare n melo into driving more. A brute that will give our guys the confidence to be aggressive n not worry about getting popped. Sighhhh I miss the eighties.