Knicks 2021 NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Is Baylor's Jared Butler a perfect fit?

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Baylor Jared Butler celebrate national title
Baylor Jared Butler celebrate national title

After a season which saw them reach the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks possess the No. 19 pick in this year’s draft, along with the Mavericks’ pick at No. 21.

With the draft set for July 29, here’s who the experts think the Knicks could select with their two picks in the first round:

Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

19th pick: PG Jared Butler, Baylor

While Davion Mitchell got the NCAA Tournament draft bump, Jared Butler was quietly the Final Four MOP and the offensive weapon that helped lead Baylor's top-rated offense. He's a decisive passer who operates well in tight spaces with his sharp handle and is a career 38.4% 3-point shooter. The exact type of player New York should be looking at as they try to upgrade on offense and at the guard spot this offseason.

21st pick: PF Usman Garuba, Spain

One of the more NBA-ready defensive players in this draft, Usman Garuba is a plug-and-play addition for the Knicks and potential Mitchell Robinson insurance. He's a tad undersized to play center but he has the physicality to hang in the post and in time could be a borderline All-Star if the offensive skill set comes anywhere close to where he is defensively.

Tyler Byrum, NBC Sports

19th pick: PG Sharife Cooper, Auburn

Cooper only played 12 games this season due to a holdup with the NCAA, is undersized and didn't shoot a high percentage in college. But he put up big numbers in a small sample size, averaging 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game. A highly ranked recruit out of high school, Cooper is very quick and crafty with the ball. He could be a good option for any team looking to push the pace in their second unit.

21st pick: PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky

Jackson would give the Knicks another shot-blocking big man to fortify their defense. A big-time rim protector, Jackson averaged 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman at Kentucky. He can also rebound well and will have to play around the basket, at least early in his career, since he lacks an outside shot.

Zach Harper, The Athletic

19th pick: PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky

Isaiah Jackson falls a bit from the previous mock drafts, but I like the idea of him giving the New York Knicks some interior depth, especially with Mitchell Robinson hitting restricted free agency. Nerlens Noel is also a free agent this summer, so we don’t know how much the Knicks are willing to spend to keep the band together.

Jackson would give the Knicks another pogo stick on both ends of the floor. They had good success in turning Robinson from a guy who jumped at everything to someone who could be pretty reliable at times on defense. They love the guys who stretch the floor vertically, especially if you pair them with RJ Barrett or Julius Randle in a pick-and-roll scenario. However, league sources tell The Athletic the Knicks are looking to package their two first-round picks to move up in the draft, possibly into the mid-lottery.

21st pick: PG Jared Butler, Baylor

Previous analysis: Feels like a perfect marriage between what Tom Thibodeau would want to coach and what the New York Knicks need for their depth issues. It’s possible they’ll resolve those depth issues in the backcourt with re-signing their own free agents. Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock are all free agents. Frank Ntilikina could be a restricted free agent. This is all assuming Butler receives a clean bill of health.

Tenacious on-ball defender and he can shoot the ball. That’s exactly what the Knicks want and what they need moving forward. Butler doesn’t have great size for a versatile guard, but he’s good enough defensively to compete against multiple positions. He’s so good in the pick-and-roll, and while he’s not great getting to the hoop, he’s fantastic pulling up for that jumper. Bringing back Rose and having Immanuel Quickley and Butler as your main attacking guards would be fun.