14. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks) draft Kel'el Ware
Ware was ranked sixth overall coming out of high school in 2022, but his freshman campaign at Oregon did not go as planned. The 19-year-old averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 15.8 minutes per game. His playing time and production were inconsistent, but Ware transferred to Indiana for his sophomore season where he hopes to rebuild his draft stock.
The seven-footer will play a different role with his new team. Can he become a floor-spacing big man who protects the rim, rebounds well, and makes plays on both ends of the floor? Ware needs to increase his effort and make scouts remember why he was ranked ahead of Brandon Miller coming out of high school.
The Knicks have a deep roster, but are searching for a superstar to lead their charge. Their team could look extremely different by June’s draft. They have Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and Isaiah Hartenstine in the frontcourt, but could use a developmental big man who could take over as their starter in three years if Mitch Rob departs.
Kel’el Ware has tremendous upside, but the 20-year-old must prove he can be an impactful contributor to be selected in the lottery.