I don’t know where to start. I spent all of last night trying not to break things in my house. And this morning, I am still not sure what to do. Let’s start with the New York Knicks 1st round pick. His name is Kristaps Porzingis. Yes you heard that right; PORZINGIS. He was selected with the #4 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He is 19 years old, and he hails from Latvia. He is listed at 7’1″, and his weight remains a mystery, but he is approximately 210 pounds. I don’t know him outside of what I’ve heard on television, radio, and the internet, but I have spent some time watching his film. I am here to tell you that it is not his fault. It is not his fault that he’s going to be a bust. Enter brainwashed “optimistic” Knicks fan: “But you don’t know he’ll be a bust!” Oh yes I do!! Listen, nothing would make me happier than to say I was wrong about this kid. If he turns into the next Dirk Nowitzki in 5 years that would be the best thing that ever happened to the Knicks franchise. However, I am going to stick with the statistics that tell me this kid won’t make it in the NBA.
A very small percentage of international players drafted in the NBA become good players. The last international player drafted in the lottery to become an all-star is Yao Ming (Ming was drafted 1st overall in the 2002 NBA Draft). There is only 1 Dirk Nowitzki for a reason. On the other hand, there are too many busts to list here, but in the past 40 years, less than 10% of international players drafted were still on an NBA roster after only 5 years. So, the media and knowledgeable basketball personnel can tell me how much potential Porzingis has until they’re blue in the face. I don’t care. The odds tell me he will not pan out, especially in today’s instant gratification generation. Notable NBA General Managers have said Porzingis has tremendous upside, however, he may need 3 or 4 years to develop because he is a project. Do you honestly believe in this day and age a player will be given 4 years to develop? 2015 is not 1975. Hell it’s not even 2005. No one has patience anymore. I want my championship, and I want it now!! The other problem with Porzingis is he needs to gain 40 or 50 pounds to even think about banging with the big boys down in the post. Until he does that, big power forwards and centers will have their way with him around the basket. The reason Porzingis has been successful playing internationally is because the level of physicality is nowhere near the same as the NBA. Stretch 4’s grow on trees in international basketball (there is also only 1 Marc Gasol for a reason). Oh, Porzingis, it is not your fault you’re going to be the next Darko Milicic, but by all means, prove me wrong.
As for the rest of the Knicks draft, I actually like the first trade Phil Jackson made. Jackson traded Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks for Jerian Grant. Grant is an athletic point guard who played at Notre Dame, and by all accounts seems NBA ready. Hardaway Jr. is a decent young player, but he only knows how to do one thing; score. Last time I checked the Knicks already have someone who does that. Grant could become the smart, gritty point guard the Knicks have been looking for. The Knicks apparently made another small splash later in the draft. They traded 2 future 2nd-round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers for a center out of Spain named Guillermo Hernangomez. Hernangomez and Porzingis were actually teammates overseas, which can’t hurt. Swinging on 2 international centers and missing can hurt though. With all that being said, we should stay positive and hope for a bright future right? Let’s Go Kni…….ah whatever.
What are your thoughts on the New York Knicks 2015 NBA Draft? Are you as upset as I am, or do you have faith in Phil Jackson?
Post your thoughts in the comment section below.
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