Knicks draft notes, including Kira Lewis Jr.'s in-person workout and James Wiseman's developing suitors

Ian Begley
·3 min read
Kira Lewis Jr. holds ball during Alabama game against Georgia
Kira Lewis Jr. holds ball during Alabama game against Georgia

A note on the Knicks and the 202 NBA Draft: New York recently saw former Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr. work out in person, SNY sources confirm.

Lewis, one of the top point guards in the draft, had previously interviewed with the Knicks over a Zoom call, as SNY reported.

New York also has spoken to American point guard LaMelo Ball, French point guard Killian Hayes and former Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton over Zoom calls.

It is unclear if the Knicks have attended in-person workouts for Ball, Haliburton or Hayes.

That they saw Lewis in person tells you that they have strong interest in him. Teams can only make 10 pre-draft visits to work players out.

The Knicks have the eighth and 27th picks in the first round.

Lewis has been placed in some mock drafts as a mid-to-late first-round pick. But several teams project Lewis much higher than that -- with one referring to him as the biggest rising plated as a top-10 pick -- the former Alabama guard also has or will work out for the Chicago Bulls (4) and Detroit Pistons (7), according to Bleacher Report, which first reported Lewis' workout with the Knicks.

As SNY reported, Lewis also has had two Zoom calls with the Suns (10), which suggests that Phoenix has interest in taking him on Nov. 18.

Per Bleacher Report, Lewis has also worked out for the Orlando Magic (15).

Cory Underwood, Lewis' trainer and personal coach, told SNY recently that the guard has added 15 pounds to his frame since the end of the college season (for more on Lewis, check out this link).

Something else worth noting on Lewis: Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne was a big fan of Lewis when Lewis was in high school and Payne was the top recruiter at Kentucky.

Another draft note: top-ranking Charlotte Hornets officials recently watched former Memphis center James Wiseman work out in person, per SNY sources. The Charlotte Observer previously reported that the club had strong interest in Wiseman.

The Hornets, per sources, aren't the only team with a top-10 pick who are enamored with Wiseman.

It would be a bit of a surprise if Wiseman is available when Charlotte selects at No. 3 overall. So the Hornets may have to trade up with the Golden State Warriors (2) or Minnesota Timberwolves (1) to draft Wiseman. Without question, the other team with a top-10 pick in love with Wiseman would have to trade up for him.

The New York Post previously reported that the Knicks are big fans of Wiseman. SNY can confirm that there are members of the organization who love Wiseman's talent. It's unknown if New York would trade up to select Wiseman. If the Knicks drafted Wiseman, it's logical to conclude that they would at least look in to trading current center Mitchell Robinson.

Teams had previously told some people around top draft picks that they expected the Knicks to try to trade for a top draft pick. The Post reported that the Knicks are also open to trading back in the draft, suggesting the Knicks are doing their due diligence on what they can get by trading up, staying at No. 8 or trading back.

New York, as SNY reported, is also open to taking on an undesirable contract into its cap space. Such a transaction would presumably net the Knicks another draft pick or young player.

If New York were to acquire a 2020 first-round pick in such a trade, it's logical to think that the pick could be used in a trade to move up in the 2020 draft. It would be surprising if New York traded its 2021 first-round pick to move up in this draft. The 2021 NBA Draft class is considered to be deep and loaded with talent at the top end.