Knicks trade opens door for Patric Young

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.’

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Patric Young – Path to the 2014 NBA Draft: Visits with Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks

Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).

Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.

He checks in for the fifth time from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, having now completed five of his 14 total team visits scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft.

After my workout in Philadelphia last Sunday, I had my flight scheduled to get over to Chicago on Monday afternoon. It actually got canceled as we were on the plane, on the runway. Everyone was ready to go, but I had a bad feeling because I’ve had bad experiences with that airline before. Somehow, I knew there was going to be a problem.

That flight was scheduled for before noon, and I could not get on another until 8:30 p.m. I wound up chilling in the airport for nearly 10 hours, so to pass the time I watched Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy and a Justice League cartoon on Netflix [laughing]. Eventually I did get on the plane to go to Chicago.

While working out for the Bulls on Tuesday, I got the opportunity to meet Derek Rose – that was pretty cool seeing him – Tony Snell and some other players. I sat down with the entire staff including head coach Tom Thibodeau.

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Patric Young – Path to the 2014 NBA Draft: Combine (Part II) – Knicks, Phil Jackson, Jazz

Through the 2014 NBA Draft set for June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).

Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.

He checks in for the third time from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, his new temporary home, after spending most of the last week in Chicago, Illinois, participating in the 2014 NBA Draft Combine.

Combine Part I: IMG Academy, Pelicans, Grizzlies

Next up on Thursday was an interview with the New York Knicks, and Phil Jackson [the team's new president] was in there. He was pretty quiet for the first 20 minutes or so but then he would throw in some questions here and there. He probably asked me about five questions in all. He was mild-mannered, which calmed me down because I was thinking, “Wow, this is Phil Jackson.”

The Knicks overall asked me about my faith and if I like to do stuff in the community. They asked me to explain one thing I worry about in the future, and I said, “I’m worried about who I’m going to marry in the future.” They thought that was funny because it was the most serious, quick response they got to that question. Then they were like, “What do you want your wife to be like?” And I joked, “What does this have to do with basketball?”

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Teams in pursuit of NBA free agents Lee, Miller

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudamire may be the names being most talked about right now as far as NBA free agency is concerned, but two former Florida Gators products are also highly coveted and being wooed by teams with varying needs throughout the league.

Former New York Knicks forward/center David Lee, who averaged career-highs of 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in 2009-10, is one of the most prominent second-tier free agents on the market. The Knicks have interest in re-signing Lee, but it appears more likely that he will catch on elsewhere seeing as he does not want to wait and find out whether or not New York hits a home run or strikes out with James.

According to reports, the Boston Celtics were the first team to contact Lee – just after 12:01 a.m. on July 1 – and are pursuing him the strongest. He will also visit with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets and Miami Heat.

Also available is former Washington Wizards guard/forward Mike Miller, who posted averages of 10.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game last season. The Los Angeles Lakers are hot after Miller and have already offered him a five-year, $30 million contract. They have given him a deadline of July 6 to accept or decline the offer as the team looks to add one more piece for head coach Phil Jackson‘s final season.

Miller previously spoke with the Knicks – who contacted him just after free agency began – and the Heat; he is said to be very intrigued by the possibility of joining New York if the team acquires one or two marquee stars.

UPDATE: After signing point guard Steve Blake to a four-year, $16 million contract, the Lakers have withdrawn their offer for Miller; however, he is expected to be a person of interest as a complimentary peace for teams that sign the major players in free agency.

Photo Credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

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