How badly do the Knicks want to draft Hollis Thompson?
The New York Knicks have many holes to fill on their roster, and limited means by which to fill them.
With the salary cap in place, and Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler earning nearly the maximum salaries, they don't have much room to add new personnel. Depending on the outcome of an arbitration case, the Knicks could have just two salary exceptions to offer any free agents above the league minimum salary, and one of the two would be earmarked for Jeremy Lin. That has the Knicks scrambling for low-cost options like the international point guard Pablo Prigioni.
But the Knicks also have the 48th overall pick in the 2012 draft on June 28, and they've been working out a procession of players to potentially take at that spot. One of those players, who participated in Thursday's workout, might be a particularly good fit: Hollis Thompson, of Georgetown University.
Thompson, a three-year starter with the Hoyas, measures 6'8", giving him more than sufficient height for small forward, and significantly more than that at shooting guard. He's a strong defender, and is very athletic, with the ability to get to the basket.
But he'd be most important to the Knicks as a shooter. Thompson shot 43 percent from thre-point range in 2011-12, virtually unchanged from 46 percent the year before, or 43 percent in his freshman year. He continued to thrive, particularly from long range, as Georgetown gave him a bigger role in the offense.
In his final game at Georgetown, with no one scoring around him, he kept Georgetown in the game virtually by himself, scoring 23 points in a 66-63 loss to N.C. State in the NCAA tournament.
On the Knicks, he'd probably be parked on the second unit once Iman Shumpert returned, though it is far from impossible that he could fill in for Shumpert at shooting guard while he recovers from knee surgery. (Shumpert is due back in January.)
Within the first team, he'd be a shooter to relieve pressure on Anthony and Stoudemire. Within the second team, he'd be asked to create some offense, and he's far more able to do so than, for instance, Steve Novak, while offering a better defensive option. In a perfect world, the one where the players prevail in arbitration, Thompson would line up alongside Novak on the second unit.
But if the Knicks can get him, they'd be adding someone who can contribute immediately at a price they can afford, and who will make a number of their other roster needs a whole lot simpler to address.