Jordan Schultz Joins WFAN To Talk NBA Draft, Knicks Prospects

Carlin, Maggie & Bart
June 19, 2018 - 4:51 pm

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By WFAN.com

Jordan Schultz, Yahoo sports analyst and co-host of "The Pull Up" podcast, joined WFAN's "Carlin, Maggie and Bart" to discuss the current state of the NBA. With both the draft approaching and the uncertainty of where many stars will play next season, the league will change a lot in the coming months.

The question on plenty of people's minds in New York surrounds the likely scenarios for the Knicks at the draft on Thursday night. There’s been a lot of chatter about Oklahoma star Trae Young.

“I don’t think they’re going to go in that direction.” Schultz said. “I’m also not convinced he’ll still be on the board. Kevin Knox has been a name that’s really picked up steam, co-Freshman of the Year in the SEC at Kentucky. He’s a fascinating prospect in the sense that he’s only 18 -- third youngest guy in the draft -- 6-9 but a 7-foot wingspan, 34 percent 3s, so you say, can he really shoot it?. ... He’s not my favorite guy at that spot, but I understand it.”

Instead, Schultz thinks that Villanova’s Mikal Bridges would be the better pick.

“He’s everything you’d want in terms of a citizen. As it’s been described to me, you want Mikal Bridges around your other young guys," Schultz said. "He’s gotten better every year, two-time national champ, 3-and-D, can playmake a little bit. To me, that would be a better pick.”

LISTEN: Boomer & Gio: Trae Young Has High Hopes

In last year's draft, Rookie of the Year contender and Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell dropped all the way until the 13th pick. "CMB" asked to Schultz predict a Mitchell-type situation in this year’s draft.

“I think Donovan Mitchell was so special, but there are some guys.” He argues, “Lonnie Walker from Miami is fascinating: 6-5, 40-inch vert, 6-11 wingspan. You hear those measurables and you think, ‘Why is this guy not going in the top five?’ The reason is he’s just a freshman, a little but inconsistent, but super talented, great kid.”

As much as Schultz likes Walker, he raves about Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, who is projected to go later in the first round.

“You want to talk about a legitimate NBA combo guard who can get downhill, who’s fearless, who can rebound, tied the combine with a 42-inch max vert, which is a big-time number. As one coach told me, Donte DiVincenzo is going to be the shock of the draft. He was the best player at the pre-draft combine in Chicago.”

MORE: Schmeelk: 5 Things I Think About The Knicks Draft

Each team must be cognizant of the free agents and pending trades circling the league right now when they think about the future. Could that inspire a large number of trades for players and picks at the draft?

“I think the Clippers are probably one team to really watch, because they could package 12 and 13 if they want to move up and try to get into the top five to get a guy like a Michael Porter or a Mo Bamba. Especially with DeAndre Jordan’s future uncertain there," Schultz said.

However, Schultz is not confident that it is necessary, saying: “You can legitimately get a functional, rotational guy well into the 40s. So there’s not that need to move up.”

He added that a team such as Denver might even attempt to move down.

This is due to the strength of the draft this year, as Schultz gets excited about players like the EuroLeague's Luka Doncic and Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr.

However, Schultz doesn’t fully endorse the hype over Alabama's Collin Sexton, saying he does not think he’s a franchise point guard.

“If you’re going to be that guy now, you need a legitimate offensive weapon," Schultz said, adding, "Sexton is going to be a good NBA player, but there are better guys in this draft.”

MORE: Schmeelk: 2018 NBA Mock Draft

When asked about the Knicks' most idealistic yet realistic situation, Schultz said either Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Bridges.

Having already made his case for Bridges, he spoke to Gilgeous-Alexander’s potential.

“He would be someone for me that could fit everything, in terms of the length -- 7 foot wingspan, 6-6, big guard, can score, plays at his own pace and has helped himself through the process because he’s got immense potential on both sides of the ball," Schultz said.

And, the big question in the league right now: Where will LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard land? Schultz thinks that both are going to pack their bags and move to Los Angeles.

“I’ve said for a while I think LeBron’s a Laker," he said.

 In regards to Leonard, Schultz put himself in the shoes of the Spurs organization.

“I don’t know how they cannot take a huge look at the Lakers as a No. 1 option given what LA can give them back. Whether it’s (Lonzo) Ball or (Kyle) Kuzma or maybe Kuzma and (Brandon) Ingram, or a pick.”

Schultz thinks that if both James and Leonard go to the Lakers, Paul George might follow.

“For me, the Lakers are going to end up being the big winner in all of this," he said.