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Knicks Front Office Heads To Chicago For Draft Combine

by Jonah Ballow

This week, Chicago will become the prime spot for team executives, front office members, and the potential future stars of the NBA.  While the evaluation process for draft prospects has taken place over the last year, the NBA Draft Combine offers a unique opportunity to examine the top talent in one central location with over a month to go before the 2015 NBA Draft in New York.

The group of 62 that will hit the hardwood in Chicago are made up of mostly collegiate standouts as the ACB League’s season will not end until May 24.  This will preclude two of the top ten projected international prospects from attending the combine: Mario Hezonja (Barcelona) and Kristaps Porzingis (Sevilla).  Karl Towns (Kentucky), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), and Emmanuel Mudiay (Guangdong) also declined invites and all three are considered top five picks.  These players will most likely work out for teams in a group setting or in a private session over the weeks leading up to the June 25 draft.

Members of the Knicks front office staff will head to Chicago this week, as they own at least a top five pick in this year’s draft.  The NBA Draft Lottery will reveal the final order on May 19.  There are several exciting prospects that will take part in some or all of the events scheduled at the combine.   A few of the names that could be in play for New York are in no specific order: D’Angelo Russel (Ohio State), Justise Winslow (Duke), Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Stanley Johnson (Arizona), Myles Turner (Texas), and senior Frank Kaminsky (Wisonconsin).

“The reality is that we want to grow a star through this system that will be here for 15 years in his career,” Knicks president Phil Jackson emphasized.  “We love the fact that 30 years ago Patrick Ewing, who I think the Knicks were third in the lottery system at that time came out first and he was a player with this organization for over 15 years and that moved the franchise in a way in which everybody recognizes and we think there are a couple of players in this draft that might be able to do that.”

The combine invitees will take part in interviews with teams, medical testing, on-court sessions of 5-on-5, shooting drills, and strength and agility tests.  They will also speak to the media on Thursday and Friday.  Stay tuned to Knicks.com and @NYKnicks for coverage from Chicago.


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