The New York Knicks are heading into a very important offseason for the immediate future of the franchise and the first step in that process is the NBA draft and since the team has such a tight financial situation, they will need to ensure themselves a solid player with the number 24 overall pick in the first round.
The Knicks have needs at a few different positions after JR Smith opted out of his deal and ESPN.com reports that the likely position they will target on Thursday is at point guard. The team has Raymond Felton, but with the uncertainty with Pablo Prigioni and whether he will return, along with losing Jason Kidd to retirement (and then to the Brooklyn Nets), the Knicks will likely go for that. One name that keeps popping up in mock drafts for the Knicks that could be intriguing is Providence point guard Ricky Ledo.
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Despite the fact that the freshman did not play a single game last year for Providence, he has quickly been moving up draft boards and he could end up as one of the sleepers of the draft if he makes it to 24 and the Knicks. Ledo is originally from Providence and he came into school as a top-25 high school player, but he had issues in school, playing at four different programs over a five year span. He never played a game at Providence after dealing with academic eligibility problems.
Scouts around the league have raved about Ledo despite his off the court problems and some think that if he had played this past season he would be a top 10 pick. Ledo has good size at 6-foot-6, 200-pounds and even though he didn't play in games, he practiced with the team, worked out, played scrimmages and was in the athletic classroom and all that could translate into a solid NBA career. Ledo has worked out with a number of teams already, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, and while they have the number one overall pick, they also have multiple selections in the two rounds and could try to snatch him as well.
Ledo is a raw player and he can drive the ball with his size and that could be a big asset as he transitions to the NBA and he also showed in high school that he could play off the dribble. If it weren't for his school issues off the court it's very likely he would have been a lottery pick and now he is projected as a late first round selection. There have been reports in the past about attitude issues and problems in the locker room, but despite not playing a game, Providence head coach Ed Cooley said that the guard was an integral part of the team.