This year’s draft didn’t have the same feel that past drafts have had. For starters, the draft was held in Newark at the Prudential Center, not at Madison Square Garden (renovations). The Knicks surprisingly had a first-round pick, but it wasn’t in the lottery. The last time the Knicks had a non-lottery, first round pick?

Try 2007. The pick? Wilson Chandler.

The Knicks selected Georgia Tech point guard, Iman Shumpert with the 17th selection and purchased the 45th pick to draft jort-wearing Kentucky center, Josh Harrellson. One thing that didn’t change? Knick fan reaction to the 17th pick.

With Florida State forward, Chris Singleton still on the board, the Knicks opted for the 6’5″ defensive-minded guard. Knick fans wanted Singleton. Knick management wanted Shumpert. Overall, the Knicks should come away from the draft feeling good for three reasons.

#1 Shumpert’s Defense: While not known for his scoring prowess, Shumpert was rated as one of the better defensive guards in the draft. Shumpert is a little bigger than your protypical guard (6’6″), but is extremely agile and has a massive wingspan. A lot of people were comparing Shumpert to Renaldo Balkman, but I just don’t see it. Shumpert is a very raw prospect, but if he maximize his ability and slow down the Derrick Roses and Dwayne Wades during the playoffs, he’ll justify his draft position.

#2 Harrellson’s Size: The Knicks landed a very solid second round pick last season when they selected Landry Fields. Could Harrellson make the Knicks 2 for 2 in the second round? If watch any of Kentucky’s games during the NCAA Tournament, you would have seen Harrellson dominate future lottery pick, Jared Sullinger from Ohio State. Harrellson is a big body (6’10”, 275 pounds) and should be able to give the Knicks quality minutes off the bench.

#3 The Knicks Addressed Needs: Whether you like the picks or not, the Knicks addressed two of their biggest needs in the draft. They have a tall, quick guard that will play good defense. The Knicks don’t need shooters and they didn’t draft Shumpert for his shooting ability. Chauncey Billups will spend a lot of time mentoring the young guard as the Knicks continue their defensive movement. As for Harrellson, he wears jorts and is a big dude, which is cool in my book. The Knicks need some big, jort-wearing dudes rebounding the basketball. Doesn’t hurt that he played for John Calipari last year, either.

Overall, the Knicks selected two solid players that have good ability. Are these players projects? They are, but almost every player in the draft is. I’m excited to see the roles of these two players this fall.