Miles McBride was a fringe first-round pick entering the 2021 NBA Draft. Ultimately, he was selected 36th by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but in a trade prior to the selection, with the New York Knicks, he will be the Knicks.
McBride was the second guard selected by New York, with Quentin Grimes drafted 25th overall. The former Mountaineer has a favorable supporter in the Big Apple, though, as Tom Thibodeau reportedly pushed for him on draft night.
McBride led West Virginia in points (15.9), assists (4.8), steals (1.9), and minutes (34.2) last season. He also shot a team-high 41.4% from beyond the arc. In addition, McBridge recorded an above-average defensive rating (102.3) and an above-average defensive box plus/minus (3.0).
The young guard is a bit of a tweener at the NBA level. Although some question his ability to lead a team at the next level, he's an outstanding shooter. If he can't, he'll spend his minutes as an undersized shooting guard rather than a point guard, albeit he's arguably undersized for the two-guard position at only 6'2; McBride has a 6'8 wingspan.
It's too early in the offseason to know what the Knicks rotation will look like for the upcoming season. There are two keys for McBride to find minutes early in his career, though.
The second-rounders three-point shooting will need to translate to the NBA. McBride won't be asked to take on a large offensive role, specifically with the ball in his hands. Instead, he needs to hit his open shots when the defense slacks off of him.
McBride also needs to bring a defensive mindset to his game. Some refer to this as a bulldog mentality, which is fitting after some compared McBride to Kyle Lowry. Trae Young dominated New York to upset them in the postseason, and McBride can find minutes as a defensive-minded player that can slow down opposing guards and not be a liability of offense.
Ultimately, it isn't likely that the young guard finds many minutes for New York this season, especially if the Knicks make another push for the playoffs. Instead, he can learn from veterans ahead of him, contributing as a 3-and-D guard when his number is called.
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