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2011 Knicks Draft Roundtable

The 2011 NBA draft saw the Knicks take Iman Shumpert with #17 pick in the first round, and Josh “Jorts” Harrellson in the second round. Knick fans were divided as a whole as to whether it was a successful draft, and so with inspiration from Lohud Knicks, who hosted a similar roundtable discussion at the end of the season, we present you with the 2011 Knicks Draft Roundtable.

TheKnicksWall was able to gather some of the most intelligent Knick bloggers on the web for this discussion.

In my best Michael Buffer voice, I present you with the members of the 2011 Knicks Draft Roundtable.

  • Dan Miranda is the creator of KnicksVision, a site that should be in your bookmarks if it is not already. Follow him on Twitter @RandaNYK.
  • Dan L is one of the best bloggers in not only the Knicks’ blogosphere , but the blogosphere as a whole. Additionally, he is a must follow on Twitter @KnicksFanBlog. Also, convince him to blog more while your at it.
  • KnicksTweets is taking over the Knicks’ community “one tweet (and blog post) at a time!”. He can be found on Twitter @knickstweets.
  • Jamie O’Grady Runs the LoHud Knicks Blog. Follow him on twitter @LohudKnicks
  • Seth Rosenthal runs Posting And Toasting, an SB-Nation hosted blog. Need I say more?
  • Tommy Dee runs TheKnicksBlog.com, an SNY blog that is devoted to all things Knicks. Check him out on Twitter @TommyDeeTKB .

 

Q: What was your initial reaction to the pick? Do you think Iman Shumpert was the right pick, if not, whom would you have taken?

Dan Miranda:

The Knicks had a bunch of non-assets, so they needed one, and they got one. My initial reaction to the pick was that I couldn’t believe the team had passed on a player who retained the title of Defensive Player of the Year in the ACC, Chris Singleton. I was speechless, but then again, I really didn’t know much of anything about Iman Shumpert. As I described in this post, over the twenty-four hours directly after the Knicks took Shumpert, I did my research and liked what I saw. Then again, that mainly consisted of YouTube videos where he was the interviewee, as well as highlight videos from his time over Georgia Tech. Talk about biased sources.

KnicksTweets:

I was not surprised by the pick, which is not to say it was the right pick. Actually, I tweeted right before the pick, “Singleton or Shumpert?”. I felt like Singleton or Faried were more obvious choices at that spot. Singleton especially because of his potential for shutting down LeBron James in the future. I really liked Faried’s rebounding prowess – keeping possessions alive on the offensive glass and preventing second chance points on defense.

Dan L:

I don’t really know too much about college ball. I kind of wanted Singleton, soley because I probably succumbed to groupthink once he started to fall. One thing that encourages me about Shumpert, though, is that while people question whether the Knicks should’ve taken Singleton, nobody really disputes that Shumpert is a good player.

Jamie O’Grady:

Surprised, pleasantly. Wanted Shumpert, but assumed they’d go Singleton because he was rated higher. Yes, I 100% think Shumpert was the right pick. The Knicks need size and defense at every position, but SF and PF (and we’ve all asked for more effort on D from Amare & Melo). Also, since New York’s cap situation and ability to fill out the roster are murky at best, drafting with upside is more important than ever. This is a player with legitimate upside.

Seth Rosenthal:

I’d heard the Knicks liked Shumpert even though he was projected to go later, so I was only mildly surprised and mostly pleased. I’m really intrigued by Kenneth Faried, but my ultimate hope was that the Knicks could come away with a guard and a big man, and they did. I’ve come to like Shumpert as much as you can like a guy who hasn’t actually played yet, so I’m pleased.

Tommy Dee:

I had Singleton making the most sense for the Knicks, period, and especially at 17. The general consensus, or draft rule of thumb, is to take the highest rated player on the board. Singleton was a lottery pick in many experts’ minds. Singleton aside, I was a bit disappointed in the pick because I had a handful of guards rated higher than Shumpert. One in particular was Reggie Jackson who went 24th. But as we all know, drafts are crap shoots.

Q. Do you think Shumpert will be in the rotation from the start of the season?

Dan Miranda:

I don’t think Donnie Walsh would have selected Shumpert if he wasn’t going to be able to come into the Knicks’ rotation right away. It also helps that D’Antoni was the one to sign off on the Georgia Tech product.

KnicksTweets:

Tough question. D’Antoni went out of his rookie mold with Landry Fields last year, but Andy Rautins suffered the typical D’Antoni rookie fate. From what it sounds like, Shumpert was selected because of his fit in the rotation, so who knows. Yet, with the labor issues and a lockout looming, it seems like the odds would be against Shumpert to join the rotation from the start of the season.

Dan L:

I think the idea going into the draft was to fill out the team with some depth, so I do think he’ll get some time right away.

Jamie O’Grady::

Starting, no. Rotation, absolutely. For now, the Knicks best backcourt to start and finish games, absent a significant FA upgrade, is Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas. Landry Fields better make himself into a reliable shooter, because Iman’s defense and draft position will garner him significant burn.

Seth Rosenthal:

Yes, definitely. Unless he completely stinks for some reason, the Knicks are too shallow (especially in the backcourt) not to include him in the rotation.

Tommy Dee:

I honestly think, based on a few conversations and my own gut feeling, that Shumpert won’t start the year as a Knick. He just isn’t a D’Antoni-type guard. Maybe that’s more a testament to D’Antoni’s future, but I see him as part of a deal. It very well could be one involving Steve Nash.

Q: With the recent addition of Iman Shumpert, do you think Toney Douglas will be on the roster next season?

Dan Miranda:

The selection of Shumpert leaves four guards on the Knicks roster: Billups, Douglas, Fields, and the seventeenth selection himself. That can only mean one thing: with D’Antoni relying on his 8-9 man rotation, one man probably has got to go. I’d guess it will be Douglas, who’s role is now redundant, but it could also just as likely be Fields. The CBA leaves a lot to be determined though, and that will likely change the way trades are developed.

KnicksTweets:

I think Toney Douglas may be safer than Landry Fields. If Shumpert and TD can collectively run the offense, that pairing has the ability to shut down opposing teams from penetrating on the Knicks (poor interior defense). Landry, who looked completely lost on void of confidence once the Melo trade occurred, could be the casualty in all of this.

Dan L:

Now that they have another defensive combo guard, the Knicks certainly have the flexibility to trade TD. They could still use a backup PG or another center, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Knicks trade Toney. However, I wouldn’t expect them to just give him away.

Jamie O’Grady:

I hope so. He’s a unique player in the league, and with additional maturity and better coaching, he can be one of those indispensable puzzle pieces we hear so much about.

Seth Rosenthal:

Well, the Knicks might be interested in trading Toney, but I don’t think Shumpert’s pushing him out or anything. They have different skillsets and are equipped to fill different kinds of roles, and defend different kinds of people. I suppose that, if the Knicks want to trim back down to having a really weak backcourt, then they’ll be comfortable with Shumpert, and just Shumpert coming off the bench. They will feel inclined to deal Douglas. That seems unlikely, though. That was kind of incoherent, but basically I doubt that the Knicks are compelled to trade Toney any more or less than they were in the first place.

Tommy Dee:

I would say that one or the other will be on the roster. Not both. Douglas is a tough, two-way player who has earned D’Antoni’s trust. But he was Walsh’s pick and with him not here, I can see him being moved for another need. I don’t think you trade or trade for a player coming off surgery, however.

Q: What do you think the best and worst NBA comparisons for Shumpert are?

Dan Miranda:

The best I can see Iman Shumpert doing in the NBA is being a Russell Westbrook type, and that is a pretty high ceiling. In order for him to do that though, he needs to be able to develop a consistent jump shot and a potent drive to the rim. Will he be able to? If he can’t, he’s going to end up a defensive tool (not the annoying prick in school who defends himself at every turn) and won’t survive in the league longer than 30.

KnicksTweets:

I do not like comparisons.

Dan L:

This is where my lack of knowledge regarding college ball presents a challenge. I’ve honestly never seen Shumpert play. I don’t know who to compare him to, but he’s a defensive scoring combo guard. Maybe one day he can emulate Chauncey. I’ve also heard that he had trouble finding Derrick Favors a couple years ago. That kind of reminds me of Toney Douglas.

Jamie O’Grady:

Too soon to say, but we’d all be thrilled with Lamar Odom-like versatility, stats, and health (although at different positions). Worst case, hopefully Iman’s as productive as OJ Mayo.

Seth Rosenthal:

I like the “big Kyle Lowry” one that Draft Express posted. Whenever I see big point guards with imperfect jumpers, I’m haunted by the specter of Mardy Collins, so I suppose that’s my worst fear.

Tommy Dee:

I’m not a fan of comparisons. I mean, when Jason Terry came in the league he was a short, explosive, offensive-minded point guard. Naturally, people called him an “Isiah Thomas-type.” Has he reminded you of Isiah Thomas over the past decade? Comparisons are more look-a-like contests than anything. How about I just compare him to the first Iman Shumpert?

Q: Do you think the Knicks will trade Iman Shumpert, or does the front office/you believe he can be the point guard for the future?

Dan Miranda:

Because I have faith in Shumpert’s attitude, drive, and work ethic, I really do believe he can hit his peak. That is why I’ll make the bold statement that the former Yellow Jacket will be the Knicks point guard of the future. He played some point in college, and that experience (which Toney Douglas never had at Florida State) will help him tremendously in the pro game. He has the tools, the defensive mindset, and overall appearance to be a great player. The reason, though, I don’t think we will see a superstar manning the point in Madison Square Garden is because of the new CBA which will likely feature an advantage to small market teams. Whatever the words of that document look like, will shape the salary cap, how many superstars will be able to be on each respective team, and the length of contracts. All these rules will eventually dictate a Chris Paul or Deron Williams push to the Mecca, and I simply don’t think the words will favor the Knicks. Time will tell.

KnicksTweets:

I don’t think he was drafted with a trade in mind. If that were the case, the Knicks would have selected Singleton. As for PG of the future, knowing Dolan’s all-star envy, Chris Paul will be the prized target to fill that role. Assuming there is a summer league, I look forward to seeing Shumpert in action and hope that he was the right selection.

Dan L:

They’ll trade him if the Suns or Hornets want him.

Jamie O’Grady:

If he works hard, listens, and learns, he has the ceiling of an untouchable player. If he plays solid D, the MSG crowd will always support him. If he meanders, and doesn’t deliver, he’ll be dealt. Just like anyone else.

Seth Rosenthal:

Whether or not they think he’s the point guard of the future, (and, really, how could I or they have any idea?) I don’t think they’ll trade him, nor would I like them to. Trading first round picks before they get to suit up is always foolish.

Tommy Dee:

Mike D’Antoni knows point guards. Even his biggest detractors would concede as much. And when you think of point guards in his system, you think shooters, and shooting is not Shumpert’s strong suit. So, no, I don’t see him as the PG of the future.

Q: Does Josh Harrellson have any value other than his 6 fouls per game?

Dan Miranda:

I wish I had watched Kentucky basketball this season to say definitively that Josh Harrellson’s success in the NCAA tournament will translate to the pros, but I can’t. From what I’ve read and seen, it seems like his impact on the Knicks will be minimal, but then again, that’s what we thought would be the case with Landry Fields, a fellow second rounder.

KnicksTweets:

Yes. Did you see the NCAA tourney? This kid was instrumental on both ends of the court to UK’s Final Four run. Once DeMarcus Cousins left for the pros, Harrellson rededicated himself, shed some lbs and showed he could play increased minutes. I was at the UK vs. UNC Elite Eight matchup and left with a very positive impression of Big Jorts. Speaking of which, he was a fan favorite at UK. If the question really is will he crack D’Antoni’s rotation? That’s anyone’s guess. All Sheldon Williams hustle and grit at the end of last season earned him was a seat on the bench in the playoffs. D’Antoni rotations is another subject for another roundtable.

Dan L:

Again, I’ve never seen him play, but based on what I’ve read, it seems like he’s a banger type. I think if things go well, we can hope to get more than just fouls out of him. Some tough defense, some rebounding, and some blocks.

Jamie O’Grady:

I haven’t seen Jorts play beyond the NCAA Tournament, but maybe he’ll have a little something more than your average Michael Doleac. Again, willingness to guard (or least annoy), box out and take charges goes a long way in this town.

Seth Rosenthal:

I don’t know much about the guy, but he seems big, hard-working, and really obnoxious on the court. That sounds ideal, really. If he’s not athletic or skilled enough to hang with pros, then he might not pan out, but his game sounds like it could directly fill a major need. The Knicks need a big guy to grab rebounds, hit people, and sweat a lot. Also, jorts.

Tommy Dee:

You have to like Harrellson’s work ethic and the fact that he played in a fast-paced system at Kentucky, with plenty of pros. Kentucky probably wouldn’t have gotten out of the first round of the NCAA tournament without him. That said, if he’s getting major minutes for the Knicks to open the season, then they failed in their mission to upgrade the frontcourt.

Q: Finally, were you satisfied with the Knicks’ draft?

Dan Miranda:

Was I satisfied? Kind of. I think the Knicks organization tried their best to fill some gaps. And they did. They got better in terms of rebounding and defense, but only minimally. There are some guys I would have preferred them to draft, namely Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Jimmer, Klay Thompson, but it was too much of an impossibility. Will all of those guys pan out at the pro level and prove they were worth trading up for? Time will tell. Were those teams even willing to trade their picks? The sad truth to that is: the Knicks were not willing to trade enough assets.

KnicksTweets:

We rated it a B, which was a lot more generous than “the experts” opined. At the end of the day, this was a weak draft and the Knicks filled needs at center and defense. Can’t say combo guard was a need, but Shumpert can play defense, has size, and if he can shoot and distribute per Donnie Walsh’s comments, I’d be thrilled.

Dan L:

I can’t say I’m satisfied with the Knicks’ draft, but I won’t know until I see the picks play. Also, I’m sure they were on a budget, but I would’ve liked to see them buy another second rounder.

Jamie O’Grady:

Not fully. Would have really felt better if they had followed Bryan Gibberman’s and Azaz Ahsan’s advice to purchase an earlier 2nd rounder for Selby, Tyler or the like. What’s done is done and now we hope for quick labor resolution.

Seth Rosenthal:

More or less, yeah. On the night of, I felt a little underwhelmed, but that always happens. They got frontcourt and backcourt depth, and improved the defensive profile of the team in general. With luck, maybe they got even more than that (if Jorts proves to be NBA-caliber or if Shumpert succeeds as a point guard). Sounds good to me.

Tommy Dee:

No. Again, drafts are crap shoots, but I studied very hard for this exam and I truly believe this draft was not about immediate need or taking the proper steps to be title contenders. It makes little sense to me, frankly. Do both players fit needs? Yes, so, okay, that makes a LITTLE sense, but there were, in my opinion, better players who would be instant 25-30 minute per game rotation players. What they do as a result of how they drafted remains to be seen. And to be fair to Shumpert, if he is on the team next season he could have an incredible impact. So we shall all see.

And there you have it, the top Knicks bloggers’ opinion on the Knicks’ draft. Follow us on Twitter @TheKnicksWall and @AzazNYK. Also be sure to comment with your own answers to the questions!

  • DirectorNYK

    Tommy,

    You need to learn to let go of things. Last year at this time it was LeCon and now Singleton. Singleton was ACC defensive player. Yes, but drafting a big PG and looking at another one in Stone could be an indication that your Phil Jackson theory is right.

  • Billing

    Tommy, let it go dude. It doesn’t matter if you studied hard for this draft, it’s if both players perform this season. You can talk trash if Shumpert underperforms. Case closed.

  • http://expiringcontracts.blogspot.com Purdman

    Tommy D is the worst… you guys should have had me on your roundtable. Next time?

  • JerseyFan1

    I agree LET IT GO TDee. Put the Singleton v. Shumpert judgement to rest UNTIL a season starts. Yes I am a BIG time fan of Shumpert/Singleton is a good player(I am NOT a hater of him). If he was that good he would have been an all-american BUT he doesn’t have game like D.Williams & the Morris twins. CASE CLOSED; UNTIL a season starts.

  • Shawn

    I believe Shumpert to be a good pick for a team searching for backcourt depth. If/When Shawne Williams re-signs with the Knicks and the Knicks (hopefully) pick up another big in free agency, where exactly would this Singleton guy have played? With D’Antoni’s rotation at 8 or 9 someone would have to be left out.

  • Wayne C

    Tommy,

    I love your blog and agree with you that Shumpert is NOT a D’Antoni type PG at this stage, but IMHO you consistently overrate SCORING in your analysis of players. That goes quadruple given the Knicks already have Amare, Melo and Billups starting and D’Antoni coaching. The Knicks are going to have the best offense in the league. The need rebounding, defense, play making and versatility for the other spots.

    I’m not saying Shumpert is going to be starter, but I think he can get minutes at both PG and SG without giving up anything defensively at either spot. So while he’s not the offensive threat Douglas is now, IMO he’s going to be the better, more versatile, and more useful defender and player on this team. If he can be a notch better than Douglas as a play maker (which I think is assured) and not too much of a liability as a shot maker, we have a very useful piece. He may not have been my first choice at #17, but if this kid develops a decent shot, he’s going to be very valuable.

  • Pimmer

    Purdman is an idiot! Nice work TD, keep it up!

  • BigTyme

    The only thing I haven’t heard anyone talk about is what happens if Melo or Amare gets hurt for any extended time of the season, who do we turn to then? I think Singleton would have made more sense in that respect and also with their being some other potential point guards to be had later on in the draft. Don’t see why we could not have bought two draft picks; a late 1st and a early to mid 2nd or two 2nd rounders at least…….Would have rather taken a flyer on Benson or Tyler, than Jorts; although, I can see his potential value, as we had absolutely no one who’d even think about knocking an opponent on their azz! Tender Rony couldn’t wait to go give a chap a helping hand up off the hardwood……..disgusting!

  • steve

    Was i the only one that saw how the Knicks were simply Crushed by Boston’s Guards?..we now know that Douglas was hurt and Fields was terrified. Rondo and Ray Allen destroyed us. Our Forwards (Amare in Game 1 and Melo in Game 2) were terrific, and could hold their own, but once Chauncey went down we got nothing out of the Backcourt except for the brief spark Mason and Carter gave us in Game 4. They addressed the need to deal with the explosive Guards in the conference, Rondo, Rose, Wade, then Nelson and Joe Johnson, Jrue Holiday and Collison, Brandon Jennings and on and on. Thats just the Eastern Conference. Its a Point Guard League, and we have to defend the perimeter. Forget the DAntoni system, Walsh knew what we needed and got it. D’Antoni better give Shumpart every opportunity or he will be a commentator on NBA TV in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Iman Shumpert can be Rookie of the Year, if he tries hard… At least that’s what I think!

    I also read a good article about it: http://talkbasketball.info/threads/iman-shumperts-chance-of-rookie-of-the-year.24/

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