Knicks interested in drafting Auburn's Sharife Cooper?
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks interested in drafting Auburn's Sharife Cooper?

The New York Knicks inevitably will be linked with big names in trade rumors now that the NBA Finals have ended, but those running the organization must first concern themselves with the draft that takes place July 29. 

Per Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks are "gathering a lot of information about" Auburn Tigers guard Sharife Cooper. As Wheat Hotchkiss noted for the Indiana Pacers' website, Cooper averaged 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds across 12 games during his 2020-21 college campaign first delayed because the NCAA reviewed his eligibility and later prematurely ended because of an ankle injury. 

"Cooper’s ballhandling acumen is absurd, as he keeps the ball close to the ground and tight to his body while creatively contorting his body, changing paces and adjusting directions," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote about Cooper in his latest mock draft while predicting the guard will fall down to pick No. 29 (the Knicks are at No. 19 in the current draft order). "His live-dribble passing also is an extremely high-level skill. The intersection of those two skills should allow him to at least be a backup in the NBA. Where the upside will come is with his shooting and defense. He’s terrible at both right now. And he’s extremely small, making it highly unlikely the defense is going to come along. For Cooper to reach his ceiling, it involves getting better as a shooter." 

The Knicks are repeatedly mentioned as a potential suitor for a different undersized guard: Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers. As with Cooper, there remain serious questions about if Sexton could be a starter for a legitimate contender at the highest level. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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