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The New York Knicks Should Pursue Jahlil Okafor

Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor Photo Credit: Duke Athletics Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor

If you're a New York Knicks fan, I know how you feel.

If you bleed orange and blue, trust me, I understand what you are going through and the current weather does not make life any more pleasant.

On the bright side, at least we can feel some sense of encouragement from what Phil Jackson, the president of basketball operations has orchestrated over the past few weeks.

It's called not standing still.

Jackson, action Jackson is active and has traded the contracts of Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers, freeing up cap space for this summer when the Knicks will have an excess of $30 million and more to spend on an impressive 2015 free-agent class (Rajon Rondo, Tobias Harris, Marc Gasol, Paul Millsap, Goran Dragic, Kawhi Leonard and more all expected to be available).

According to Yahoo Sports, the Knicks could waive injury-prone Andrea Bargnani and are shopping Jose Calderon.

Like I said, action Jackson.

What's also encouraging is the fact that the Knicks are 5-35.

It's the worst record in the league but possessing said record favors the Knicks when it's lottery time.

The Knicks will be major players with the hopes of obtaining the No.1 pick and in this year's draft it's a must.

The Case for Jahlil Okafor

It's a must because there's a clear cut, obvious, without-a-doubt No.1 pick this year and he's currently a freshman at the University of Duke, a true definition of a phenom.

Two words: Jahlil Okafor.

The Blue Devils will take the court tonight at 9:00 pm against the Miami Hurricanes on ESPN2 & ESPN3, which brings the opportunity of watching #15.

Okafor, averaging a near double-double in 19-9, is a 6'11 center starting for the Blue Devils.

He's a former McDonald's All-American and a Jordan Brand All-American.

Okafor's production and influence on the (14-1) Blue Devils has made him a candidate for player of the year honors and his game explains why.

Okafor is a true back-to-the-basket big-man, a style which symbolized the root of the big-man and is now extinct.

It's hard to find these days and even Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies takes 15-footers from time-to-time.

But that's why Okafor is worthy of being selected No.1 overall this June.

He had all the post-moves with his back-to-the-basket at the tender age of 19 years-old.

Drop-steps, quick turn-around's to his off-shoulder, hook-shots a face-up game, 15-footer and spins, Okafor can do it all and does most, if not, the majority of his damage in the post-area.

It's the maturity of Okafor's game that makes him a can't miss prospect and being 6'11 with 270 pounds on his frame with the development of his all-around skills as a player and physical stature yet to come is what makes Okafor a can't-miss.

Just watch the video below of what he did to Wofford.

That's all you need to see.

The kid is an instant double-double and he's exactly what the Knicks need.

He can be the inside presence the Knicks have sorely lacked since Patrick Ewing.

Okafor has the potential to be a star at the next level and could be someone Carmelo Anthony can take under his wing, groom and mentor as he progresses towards the later stages in his NBA career.

The Knicks need to hope that the odds are in their favor as far as the lottery is concerned.

Okafor is worth praying for.