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The New York Knicks, who own the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft, are leaning towards drafting Villanova guard Mikal Bridges, according to a report from the New York Post.
Bridges averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists this past college season, shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three. He won two national championships at Villanova.
Many in the Knicks organization are fans of Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., but if he were to fall to pick No. 9, New York would still favor Bridges.
The Knicks are starting to get cold feet on Porter Jr. after his latest mishap last week in Chicago with the hip spasms.
Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry have scouted Bridges extensively and done comprehensive research on him, interviewing Villanova’s athletic staff and faculty.
If Bridges is off the board, the Knicks would likely go the point guard route and would consider Alabama’s Collin Sexton or Oklahoma’s Trae Young. Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. is also an option for the franchise.
The Knicks hired David Fizdale as their new head coach this offseason, a coach Bridges would love to play for.
“Coach Fizdale likes pace, tempo, kick-out, get in transition, shooting a lot of 3s,” Bridges said. “And that plays in my game. The thing about him, he wants to defend. That plays into my game too. The coaching staff with Fizdale coming from Miami, he knows what it takes to win.”