Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 25. Sharife Cooper, Knicks
The Knicks have been in search of a real point guard since forever. Sharife Cooper barely saw NBA minutes this season, but the Hawks’ two-way guard was a lottery talent in my estimation and I remain confident in his long-term outlook. He’s the kind of table-setter the Knicks could really benefit from.
With Cooper, the main question is can he defend in the NBA? He’s a skinny 6-foot-1 guard who, despite excellent lateral quickness and a real competitive spark, just isn’t going to provide much resistance on the defensive end. Then there’s also the question of whether Tom Thibodeau would ever play and develop someone like Cooper. The Knicks should probably look elsewhere at head coach, but that’s slightly off-topic.
If you think Cooper can reach even mediocre defensive status, then you should be confident in his NBA future. He’s one of the best passers in this draft. His electric Summer League performance served as an introduction for NBA fans, and perhaps a move to New York would open up more opportunities for one of the best “pure point guards” available here.