Auburn basketball: Sharife Cooper linked again to New York Knicks

Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

The Auburn basketball season is over, and as far as everyone knows so is Sharife Cooper’s career on the Plains. After putting up eye-catching numbers in just 12 games, Cooper is expected to go early in the 2021 NBA Draft.

In a Bleacher Report mock draft last month, Jonathan Wasserman predicted that Sharife Cooper would be the eighth pick to the New York Knicks. His playmaking ability could make him valuable to a team that needs someone to create shots.

Now, Jason McIntyre of Fox Sports has once again linked Cooper to the New York Knicks:

"He has played only 12 games, and he hasn’t shot the ball well – 22% on 3-pointers – but he already has five games of 25-plus points. His counting stats – 20.2 PPG and 8.1 APG — are strong, and he’s relentless attacking the basket. He attempts 8.6 free throws per game. Only two of the top 100 scorers in the country take more than eight FTs per game."

If Cooper is drafted to New York, he’ll become the third former Auburn basketball player to be wearing orange and blue of a different shade. Former Tigers Jared Harper and Bryce Brown are currently on the Westchester Knicks roster, the G-League affiliate of the New York Knicks.

Though Cooper may be considered undersized, The Knicks Wall agrees that he could be a good fit for the New York team:

"Elfrid Payton has shown that Thibodeau will live with a guard with a suspect shot if he can break down a defense and get to the rim. If that guard can also be the lead facilitator, all the better. That is why Auburn’s Sharife Cooper and the Knicks are already being talked about in the same sentence.The only true concerns with Cooper are his size—6’1″, 180 pounds—and his outside shooting. Those concerns, while valid, are outweighed by the spacing that Cooper can provide just on his ability to break the defense down. He is a smart passer who will find guys rolling to the rim or guys spotting up, and if all else fails, he can create for himself."

It would be great to have Sharife for one more year, but it’s looking like Auburn’s second one-and-done is about to get going. At least if he gets drafted to New York there could be a time where Jared, Sharife, and Bryce are all on the same floor again.

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