Knicks seem to have realistic chance of landing Westchester County’s AJ Griffin in NBA draft

If he’s available, the hometown option will intrigue the Knicks on draft night.

Duke’s AJ Griffin, a product of Westchester County and an Archbishop Stepinac graduate, was previously considered out of Leon Rose’s range at No. 11. But as the draft process hits the homestretch, it seems more realistic, even if not likely, that Griffin will still be on the board.

For the sharpshooting 18-year-old, the idea of being drafted by his home team is an exciting prospect, much like with Obi Toppin two years ago.

“To play for the Knicks, that would be a dream come true,” Griffin said. “Obviously I grew up here and that would be a fun time in New York. I know the plays. I know most of the players. It would be really, really, really good. I don’t know the emotions I’d be feeling about that. I just know it’d be exciting.”

The Knicks, according to multiple sources, have targeted Purdue guard Jaden Ivey but need to trade up for that opportunity. Ivey, a potential lead guard with elite athleticism, is expected to land fourth or fifth, and jumping there would be costly in terms of future first-round picks and prospects.

Griffin has been on their radar but could go earlier than 11th, with Portland (picking 7th), New Orleans (8th) and San Antonio (9th) showing interest.

As one of the youngest draft prospects, Griffin is a gamble on potential with a sweet jump shot. Injury concerns likely hurt Griffin’s stock, but his former Stepinac coach, Pat Massaroni, explained to the Daily News why they’re either overblown or misunderstood.

As a junior, Griffin dislocated his knee in January but would’ve returned if the season hadn’t been shut down because of COVID-19. “Didn’t tear a thing,” Massaroni said. Griffin then sat out his senior season, but that was only because Stepinac’s schedule was …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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