With the 17th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the New York Knicks selected Iman Shumpert, from Georgia Tech. In a matter of seconds, Iman was booed by the fans. And, from the little I saw from the kid, it’s a move they’ll regret.
But first, let’s talk about the players Knicks’ fans wanted.
Jimmer Fredette: Oh, right, America’s new sweetheart. Young man from BYU, New Yorker and, of course, white (C’mon! Don’t even pretend this last minute love affair press and fans had with dude have nothing to do with that fact).
Now, Jimmer is known as a scorer. What most people forget to mention is: Jimmer took a lot of contested shots in the NCAA. If dude couldn’t get the best shot against College kids what makes you think he will find a shot in the NBA? Not saying he won’t, but it will be harder to find his shot. Leading to more contested shot and a poor shooting percentage.
The biggest problem with having Fredette in a Knicks’ uniform would be his defense. Fredette can’t guard his shadow. Shooter? Knicks have Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups. They don’t need shooters. But defense? A-ha!
Why would the Knicks bring a player in, if that player would not improve the team in an area that needs major improvement? It’s not like Jimmer is the next Kobe Bryant, people!
The other prospect Knicks’ fans wanted was Chris Singleton. Singleton is one of the best defenders in this draft class. But, he is a contemptible offensive player. He turns over 14% of his offensive possessions. Plus, it would be hard to find him minutes as a SF or PF, you know, with Melo and STAT hogging minutes there.
And then there was Iman.
Iman was the best athlete in the draft combine. His 36.5’ standing vertical leap was the best. It was, actually, the highest since Nick Young posted a 39.5’ vertical in 2007. His max vertical leap reached 42’, one inch behind Vince Carter. He has a 6’10” wingspan in his 6’6” body. A formidable athlete.
Iman was 7th in the NCAA in steals (2.7 per). The combine guard is, arguably, the best defender in this draft class. He is able to guard from 1 to 3, bringing a lot of possibilities to the team.
His biggest problem is in the offensive end. Iman has a poor shot selection, nothing that he can’t work on. Still, he was a good enough offensive player to impress the guru of O, Mike D’Antoni.
But, he wasn’t brought to the team as an offensive weapon. He is in NYC to stop people and help the team improve in the defensive end. And that is what I expect he will do.
So, good luck Iman. Please, make me look good for supporting the Knicks for picking you.