Top 25 Favorite Knicks of the Modern Era: #14-13
We continue our look at who you voted for as your top 25 favorite Knicks of the Modern Era (1979-present, also known as the “Three-Point Era,” as that is when the three-pointer was adopted by the NBA)! Every weekday we will reveal two more Knicks until we reach #1! Click here for a master list of all Knicks revealed so far!
14 Derek Harper
Drafted with the eleventh overall pick in the first round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, Derek Harper spent his first ten and a half seasons in the NBA for the Mavericks as their point guard (he was the back-up the first two seasons and the starter beginning in his third season). An outstanding defender, Harper made the All-Defensive Second Team twice in his career. The Mavericks made the playoffs during Harper’s first six seasons, but by the end of his tenure, the team was getting pretty darn bad. Therefore, during the 1993-94 season they decided to let Harper go to a good team, trading him to the Knicks for small forward Tony Campbell and a future first round pick (that, amusingly enough, the Mavericks then traded to the Toronto Raptors who, in turn, traded it back to the Knicks). You might notice that the return was not that great, that’s because Harper actually looked kind of washed up at the time. However, he dramatically turned things around on the Knicks (going from a .446 TS% to a .516, for one) and was a big part of the Knicks playoff run that season.
Harper fit in perfectly with the Pat Riley-led Knicks, as he played hard and he played rough. The Knicks ultimately fell in the NBA Finals to the Houston Rockets in seven games, but there were plenty of people who felt that if the Knicks had won the seventh game, Harper would have been named the Finals Most Valuable Player (he averaged 16 points and 6 assists a game in the low-scoring series).
Harper had a strong first full season as a Knick in 1994-95, but struggled a bit in 1995-96, causing the Knicks to choose to go with Chris Childs as their point guard the next season instead of Harper. Harper re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks, then finished his career with a year apiece with the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers (one year shy of the first title in the Lakers’ recent three-peat).
In his two and a half seasons with the Knicks, Derek Harper produced 12.7 win shares. For more of his stats, check out his profile at Basketball Reference!
13 Danilo Gallinari
Drafted with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft, Danilo “Gallo” Gallinari was injured during the 2008-09 pre-season, causing him to miss most of his rookie season. He showed some flashes of potential in the few games he did play during that season. In 2009-10, his first full season on the Knicks, Gallinari showed a strong outside shooting stroke, as he both attempted and made the second-most three-pointers in the NBA. His three-point shooting led to him participating in the 2010 NBA Three-Point Shooting Contest (he did not make it out of the first round). During this season, while his shooting has been erratic, on the whole he is a very efficient shooter and his turnover rate is among the lowest in the NBA. A crowd favorite, it will be interesting to see if Gallinari is still a Knick at the end of the season or if the Knicks trade him for a player like Carmelo Anthony.
In his short time with the Knicks, Danilo Gallinari has produced 9.5 win shares. For more of his stats, check out his profile at Basketball Reference!