A six-player trade completed Wednesday evening between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, which was centered on Tyson Chandler and Jose Calderon, also sent both of the Mavericks’s second-round picks to the Knicks, suddenly giving New York the opportunity to add talent in the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday.
One player the Knicks may be targeting with the either of their two newly-acquired selections, No. 34 and No. 51 overall, is Florida Gators center Patric Young, a defense-first big man who could fill in for some of what the team lost in Chandler.
Young has met with New York twice since late May. He had a private interview with the team at the 2014 NBA Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago, Illinois, and participated in a four-player workout at the Knicks’s practice facility on June 4.
In two exclusive Path to the Draft blog entries on OnlyGators.com, Young detailed his meetings with New York. His first in Chicago included new president Phil Jackson.
“They said, ‘We need defense and rebounding,’” Young recounted.
“I said, ‘I can provide that for you.’
“They seemed interested in my personality. I was very excited and tried to let them know I’m a pro. I’m ready to contribute to a team right now. I’ll be a low-maintenance guy. I’ll come with a great attitude every day. I’ll believe in the system and the coaching staff, whoever they choose, because they have a Hall of Famer running the organization. Who else would you want to do it besides a guy that’s been all the way and won the championship 11 times? I tried to convey how fired up I was that they even wanted to interview me.”
Young then got the opportunity to work out in front of Jackson in early June, explaining in his OnlyGators.com blog that he felt confident in his performance.
“I loved working out for the Knicks; it was definitely one of my favorites so far early in the process,” he said. “I think I dominated in that workout overall. …
“[It] was run by some trainers and court coaches and a lot of it had to do with the triangle offense. Phil Jackson watched us for basically the whole workout but at one point he walked on the court to teach us some of the finer points of the triangle. He’s fired up about that. He explained the purpose of the offense, why he likes it so much and what it means to him.”
Young was also mentioned Tuesday evening as a player that has caught New York’s eye by the New York Post’s Marc Berman. However, if the Knicks are able to move into the first round, North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston and Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis appear to be more prominent targets with an earlier pick.
Completing his last workouts this week, Young has visited with 13 teams since late May including New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Utah, Dallas, Minnesota, Houston, L.A. Clippers, Boston and Detroit.