Naismith Player Of The Year Could Be An Option If New York Chooses To Trade Down

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “Frank the Tank” recently had a sit-down with the “Zen Master” and thinks he made an impression.

But that doesn’t mean Frank Kaminsky will hear his name called by the Knicks during the first round of the NBA draft.

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Though it is possible,

Kaminsky, the 7-footer who led Wisconsin to the national championship game this past April, met with Jackson on Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine, and came away feeling pretty good about his future and his game.

“Being in the room with one of the greats in the NBA history from a coaching standpoint is awesome,” Kaminsky told the New York Post. “Hearing his thoughts on me and having a conversation with him was pretty cool.

“You know, tell it to me straight. He’s been through it with a lot of different players and people. He’s going to be honest on what his concerns are, what I need to work on and what I do well,’’ Kaminsky added.

Kaminsky, who averaged 18.7 points and 8.1 rebounds during his senior season on his way to being named Naismith Player of the Year, the highest honor there is in college basketball, said the biggest things Jackson said he’ll need to master to excel at the next level is defense and quickness, which go hand in hand.

The Knicks are seeded second heading into the the draft lottery, which will be held on May 19 in New York. Most NBA insiders have the Knicks selecting either Duke’s Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns, who entered the draft after completing just their freshman seasons in college.

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Kaminsky, on the other hand, is coming off his senior season. He said he doesn’t like the stigma that comes with not being a teenager entering the draft.

“I’m 22 years old and I get treated like I’m 65 going into the NBA,’’ Kaminsky said. “When I talked (to Jackson) about me being 22 years old and being treated way older than that, it impressed him.

“When you look at the greats in NBA history, it’s not like they were drafted at 18 or 19. I’m not going to be one of the greats in NBA history but … where they want younger players now has been blown out of proportion.’’

The Knicks are desperately in need of young talent, having dumped salary throughout their disastrous 17-65 season. Jackson initially stated he wanted to rebuild the roster through free agency and was open to the idea of trading the team’s first-round pick, but he later softened on that, declaring instead he was leaving all of his options open.

And that includes possibly trading down to acquire more assets. Kaminsky, who has been projected as a late top 10 selection by draft experts, could indeed be in the conversation for the Knicks should they go that route.

He said he’ll be ready.

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“Where I get drafted, I’ll make the most of it, but you always want to best your competition in anything, be named the winner and be on top of everyone when it’s all said and done,” Kaminsky said.