One of the most intriguing prospects of the 2020 NBA Draft is Serbian great man Aleksej Pokusevski. Dubbed “Poku”, the 7-footer could be the real deal as a late pick in the first round with lottery potential. Coming down, the Knicks can afford to take a flyer on him while still having extra choices to secure a reliable point guard.
As the Knicks recover from the Kristaps Porzingis trade and failure to recruit Kevin Durant, perhaps Poku can wipe out those disappointments as a big man offering similar uniqueness to those two players with his size, agility, and shooting potential.
While its height and wingspan (7-foot-3) suggest it is a prototype center, Poku can theoretically play any forward stance, sometimes moving more like a guard than a big man. His game may use some sheen, but with the right development path, he could easily become the next unicorn in the NBA.
Poku is the perfect modern big player, who can score in a variety of ways: be it in transition, out of capture or in pick and roll opportunities. His passing game is something that might be tempting for a manager like Tom Thibodeau who has employed great directors in his lineup in the past.
What separates him from other great shooters is his agility on the floor, which allows him to be used in a variety of ways, whether starting a game with basketball in hand, or moving without the ball in actions not typically designed for seven feet.
It will be interesting to see if Leon Rose, who is reportedly looking to beef up the organization’s development staff, is willing to bet on a high-risk / high-reward selection like Poku. However, if the Knicks are able to gain resources by trading for it, it could be a bet worth taking.