NBA mock draft: Knicks select explosive Big Ten freshman in first round

As part of the Kristaps Porzingis Knicks-Mavericks trade that happened in 2019, New York owns Dallas’ 2023 first-round pick that is top-10 protected. With how the Mavericks have struggled even after trading for Kyrie Irving, there’s a chance that it could wind up being a lottery pick (11-14).

In Yahoo Sports’ latest mock draft, the Knicks have the No. 18 pick. That pick could creep up to as far as No. 11 for the Knicks, which is the pick that New York was awarded in last year’s draft lottery. For now, though, let’s analyze a Big Ten freshman that could join the Knicks next season.

Although Ohio State sits at the bottom of the conference with a poor 5-14 record against Big Ten opponents, Buckeyes fans have at least been able to watch Brice Sensabaugh play. The 19-year-old is averaging 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 48.1% from the field and 41.2% from three.

Knicks draft prospect Brice Sensabaugh has a case to be Big Ten’s best freshman

Brice Sensabaugh is expected to be a mid-to-late first-round draft pick. If the Knicks remain in the 15-20 range, he could be making his way to NYC in a few months.

Standing at six-foot-six, the combo forward is Ohio State’s leading scorer. He can knock down shots from the midrange or from deep. Look no further than his three-point percentage for proof. Sensabaugh has a solid frame and is able to absorb contact when driving to the rim, which is something that will come in handy when he takes his talents to the next level.

While Sensabaugh is a natural scorer that crashes the boards, his main flaw is that he struggles on the defensive end. If he were to wind up in New York, he’d get to play under defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau, who’d help Sensabaugh get to where he needs to be on defense.

When looking at Sensabaugh as a prospect, what should stick out most to the Knicks is that he’s a three-level scorer. There’s no question as to if the talent is there or not. Given New York’s success developing the organization’s recent draft picks, the Knicks would be a good landing spot for Sensabaugh. He would spend some time in Westchester if New York were to draft him, which would be to his benefit.

Although Knicks fans won’t get to see Sensabaugh and Ohio State play in the NCAA Tournament unless the Buckeyes pull an upset and win the Big Ten Tournament, Sensabaugh is still a player to watch as the college basketball season comes to a close.