CHICAGO — Oklahoma guard Trae Young met with the Knicks at the NBA Draft Combine, but he isn’t sure if he’ll work out for them. He said he’ll let his agent decide that.
The Knicks will pick ninth in the June 21 draft, and it’s hard to foresee Young falling past Orlando at six. The Magic desperately needs a point guard and Young had a terrific freshman season, leading the nation in scoring (27.4 points) and assists (8.7). He’s been compared to Warriors guard Steph Curry with his ability to pull up and shoot from almost anywhere on the court.
“I think I’m the best overall player in this draft,” Young said. “My main focus isn’t necessarily being the best player in this draft. My goal is being the best player in the NBA. That’s what I’m focusing on each and every day.”
The Knicks are expected to take a forward in this draft, but if Young drops to them, they will have to consider him despite having a loaded backcourt. They drafted Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick last year, signed Trey Burke in January and acquired Emmanuel Mudiay in February.
General manager Scott Perry said the Knicks probably won’t take a guard unless they find someone better than the players on their roster. The 6-2 Young might end up being better than all of them, but determining that won’t be easy for the Knicks if he doesn’t work out for them. “It all depends on my agent and where he thinks I should work out and all that,” Young said. “To be honest, that stuff’s really not up to me. It’s where my agent feels I should go.”
Young seemed to have a working knowledge of the Knicks’ roster. He said he would love to play with someone like Kristaps Porzingis and talked about their three guards. “I think they all bring something different,” Young said. “We all have something different. I feel my overall skill set, my ability to make players around me better and my ability to help my team win is unique.
“The guys that are there are good point guards. There’s a reason why they’re in the NBA. Everybody has different types of games. I think mine is unique and different compared to theirs.”
As for playing with Porzingis, Young said, “I would love it. I would love playing with a guy like Porzingis who can score, stretch the floor, who can do a lot, a lot of different things. But I could see myself doing some pretty good things with other teams too.”
Young said his all-time favorite player is former two-time MVP Steve Nash and considers himself a similar player. Young also enjoys being compared to Curry.
“He’s a two-time MVP and a champion,” he said. “I love the comparisons. But I feel like I bring a lot of different things from different players, different players’ games to the table. “I’m just trying to be the best version of Trae Young. That’s all that matters to me. I’m just getting started in this thing. Hopefully I can achieve some of those things too.”