The New York Knicks have recently been linked to Trae Young as well as Mikal Bridges. But another name to consider is Miami’s Lonnie Walker.
Bleacher Report’s draft expert Jonathan Wasserman was a guest on the Long Twos podcast with Mike Vorkunov and spoke about Walker (via The Athletic):
“[He] is a sleeper pick for the Knicks. I’ve talked to somebody around his camp who said the Knicks have been interested in him and reached out.”
Wasserman compared him to Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, who was drafted No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. He applauded Walker for his explosiveness and how well he passes the “eye test” when watching him play.
A person familiar with the situation confirmed that the Knicks are “very interested” in Walker. The organization will try to bring in the former Miami guard for one of their team workouts as the draft date grows nearer. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the matter.
The Knicks are one of several teams that met with Walker during the 2018 NBA Combine.
Walker measured a bit taller than 6-foot-4 with shoes and has a wingspan above 6-foot-10. He would pair well in the backcourt with Frank Ntilikina, whose massive 7-foot wingspan helps him as a defensive stopper.
During his sole collegiate season, Walker averaged 1.4 steals per 40 minutes for Miami. During his interview with our own Alex Kennedy, he discussed his ability to guard multiple positions (via HoopsHype):
“I feel that I can be a franchise player. I feel that I have what it takes, whether it’s offensively or defensively. I can score with the best of them and I can guard the best players in my respective area. That’s what I’m looking forward to in my future. The potential is there, but I just need to keep working hard and believing in myself like nobody else.”
Walker, who is only 19, said he projects as a 3-and-D player next season as he continues to develop. New York has a young core and it’s entirely possible that they could pick someone with as much potential as Walker.