Point guard Trae Young said falling to nine in Thursday’s draft can still be “a great situation” because he would wind up a Knick and playing for new coach David Fizdale.
Appearing on WFAN to promote a new endorsement deal, the Oklahoma freshman guard often compared to Stephen Curry said his workout with the Knicks two weeks ago only enhanced his desire to play in New York. Young is not expected to fall to nine, with Orlando needing a point guard at six and Cleveland at eight.
“I really like it, I really like Coach Fizz and the whole organization,’’ said Young, who is in New York. “I got to spend some time with them on my workout out here. I had a really good workout for them. It’s just overall a good experience, a good time out here in New York. So if something happens and I end up here, it’d be a great situation.”
The Knicks may have to trade up if they really want to take another point guard to go along with their young trio, Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. Sources indicate the Knicks believe Young would be a significant upgrade with a high upside and would snatch him if he fell.
Young said he sensed that sincere interest and said of his workout, “I think I got that good first impression for sure.
“I was really excited to get to meet Coach Fizdale and from what I heard he has a players’ code that a lot of players really like him,’’ Young added. “So I was really excited to get to meet him. I know they’re great, the organization is all about winning, and that’s what I know the city wants.”
Young, who led the nation in scoring and assists, is viewed as a perfect fit for the new NBA, which accents 3-point shooting. The 6-2 Young’s knock is his defense and lack of size, and he saw his stock drop after a severe late-season slide.
“I joke about it with my family all the time — I came at the right time,” Young said about fitting into the NBA.
Young will be at the Barclays Center on Thursday but knows the most special New York arena is the Garden.
“The history behind the Garden and all the players that have come through and played on that court in the Garden, I think that the history is the reason why it still is, in my mind, the mecca of basketball,’’ Young said. “It definitely draws me in, that’s the thing about New York, that’s a big thing about the history, and the Garden is a big part of that.”
–Additional reporting by Mollie Walker