Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Could the Knicks go Euro again for a center?

DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS / Lithuania, 19 years old 7'0,

DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS / Lithuania, 19 years old
7'0, power forward
The baby-faced European may be the only international player to go in the first round this year. However, with versatility, athleticism, and the ability to dominate in the post our on the perimeter, Motiejunas could go as early as the top 5. (Credit: Getty Images)

As the Knicks go through the usual predraft process at the Chicago combines today and tomorrow, one of their main targets may be in Europe. A name to remember: Donatas Motiejunas. 

The 7-foot Lithuanian has Pau Gasol/Zydrunas Ilguaskas potential and three-point range that would be a perfect fit in Mike D'Antoni's system. The question is, will he last in the draft to No. 17? Several teams ahead of the Knicks have their eye on Motiejunas, so he may not be an option in a draft that has many NBA scouts consider baby pool shallow.

The 20-year-old has spent the last season playing for Benetton Trevisio, which is one of D'Antoni's coaching stops. 

He's a long lefty who can run the floor and has good lateral agility. A lot of bulking up to do, however, before he can handle banging at the NBA level, but the skill set is there. He'd certainly make up for the loss of Timofey Mozgov, who had similar athleticism and nowhere near the offensive talent. And if Ilgauskas isn't ready to retire -- and isn't happy with how he's been relegated to inactive duty in the playoffs -- perhaps he'd consider signing with the Knicks at a vets min and could mentor the young Motiejunas?

We're not the only ones who have mentioned Motiejunas as a possible target of the Knicks. So here's the requisite YouTube highlight film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFqK-YXlsHs

 

Tags: Knicks , NBA Draft , Donatas Motiejunas

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@Al_Iannazzone

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