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Friday, October 31, 2014

What Did Everyone Think About Imam Shumpert, Pre-Draft?

Ed Weiland, who in my opinion is one of the better stat-savvy draft prognosticator, says the Knicks have a pick with potential, albeit much of it unrealized.

College career has been disappointing, but Shumpert is the sort of player who might emerge from this draft as a bargain. His 10.6 RSB40 and 3.3 S40 suggest a player with great defensive potential. On the flip side he has never shown any ability to score efficiently and has flashed only mediocre distribution skills. So right now he’s at best a defensive specialist who can’t shoot.

The reason I like Shumpert is he has flashed NBA athleticism on the defensive end. That tells me he has the necessary athleticism to play in the league. This is a skill that players either have or they don’t and Shumpert has it, which puts him up on the rest of these guys. The hard part for him will be developing some offensive and/or point guard skills. A longshot to be sure, but offensive skills are much easier to develop than defensive skills.

For the draft, Draft Express’ stats are indispensable. They show Shumpert as a strong rebounder & pocket picker. However he has terrible scoring efficiency, and his passing to turnover ratio is worrying. An article on the combine confirms what Ed said above:

Iman Shumpert stole the show at the combine, looking like clearly the most physically gifted player in this entire draft class. To start things off, his 36.5′ standing vertical leap was the highest since Nick Young posted the top mark in our entire historical database (39.5′) back in 2007.

Iman Shumpert’s 42′ max vertical leap ranks just as high in our historical database as his no-step vertical—tied for the best result in the last seven years. He’s an inch behind Vince Carter’s mark from 1998 and just an inch and a half behind Nate Robinson’s 2004 leap. That’s not too shabby for a 6’6-225 pound point guard—and one reason why NBA teams are beginning (or rather continuing) to think long and hard about just how high his long-term ceiling might be.

NBADraft.Net wasn’t too keen on his potential, although they confirmed his ability to defend at a high level.

Overall: Shumpert has rare physical tools for a guard on any level of basketball … His defense should get him on an NBA roster and possibly into a rotation, but his poor basketball IQ will certainly hurt his effectiveness … Should be an early-mid second round pick this year …

Fellow TrueHoop Network blogger Patrick Hayes mused that Shumpert was “a likely second round pick, but if he enters the league using defense as his ticket and willing to play that role, he can be a very useful player on a team’s bench and be a potentially valuable second round pick.”

Finally, there is the obligatory YouTube clip…

22 comments on “What Did Everyone Think About Imam Shumpert, Pre-Draft?

  1. CRJoe

    If he has the physical tools to be a big backcourt defender… Send him to Golden State or Toronto or something, get a cheap guy who fills a need for us, move on, never talk about it again…

  2. Jake S.

    Another (meaningless) question to consider: If the Knicks were so keen on drafting Shumpert, why didn’t they move back in the draft? Sounds like they were much higher on him than anyone else.

  3. JK47

    Shumpert wasn’t really on my radar, as I thought we were probably looking at Faried or Singleton.

    Funny, I was out running errands with my fiancee, so I was following the draft on my iPhone, and I mistakenly thought Philly had drafted Shumpert and that NYK had drafted Singleton. Then I realized what had really happened and thought, “NOOOOOOOOO!”

  4. BigBlueAL

    JK47:
    Shumpert wasn’t really on my radar, as I thought we were probably looking at Faried or Singleton.

    Funny, I was out running errands with my fiancee, so I was following the draft on my iPhone, and I mistakenly thought Philly had drafted Shumpert and that NYK had drafted Singleton.Then I realized what had really happened and thought, “NOOOOOOOOO!”

    Shumpert was mentioned numerous times as a potential Knicks draft pick the past couple of weeks.

  5. New Guy

    Actually sounds like we could have bought the 31st pik the nets bought and drafted him, plus nabbed Faried at 17. Serenity now. Serenity now.

  6. JK47

    @6

    Yeah, I know his name was in the mix and that some of the KBers were championing him, but I just didn’t see him as the Knicks’ likely pick, so I didn’t pay much attention to him.

    I do think we’ve needed a guard who can take the ball to the hole and finish with authority– none of our guards are really great at that. He seems to have the potential to be a good two way player. Maybe this will work out.

  7. precocious_neophite

    TDM:
    This pick feels a bit like Mardy Collins – big guard known for D but with little O.

    Iman is the best athlete in his class. Mardy was chubby. And by the looks of that youtube video he has the strength and speed to get his shot off. His shooting form isn’t bad either. Athletic players excel in this offense so its a good fit and his offensive game has a chance to flourish. This is a pick with clear potential. In conclusion, this guy ain’t mardy collins.

  8. DRed

    I felt it was a pretty terrible pick. We need a big who can rebound and play defense, and instead we drafted a kid at a position we already have depth at between Landry and TDDWTDD

  9. taggart4800

    Depth? A 6’7” SF/SG that can’t stay in front of his man and an under sized SG that can’t play point.

  10. adrenaline98

    I like the pick. Look, I agree with THCJ that Faried is probably the safer pick. Rebounds translate well, but that’s a different story.

    He’s a 6’6 in shoes, with a 6’10 wingspan. He’s athletic as hell, with a 42″ max vert, and a 36.5″ standing vert. He’s defensive minded, which means he has a good motor.

    And according to Walsh, at the workouts, he was lights out with his shot. If you watch his videos, he has good form. I think there’s a ton of potential here and he has the motor.

    Now, granted, he has some bad habits, which Ted mentioned during the draft thread. He’s inefficient at scoring, and maybe that’s a product of him having to score too much in college. Look at the GA. Tech team, they didn’t have another NBA quality player in this weak draft. This team needs some perimeter defenders. Chauncey isn’t that person anymore at 35. Melo has never proven to be consistent. But if we need a lockdown defender at a crucial moment, and Melo steps up, TD hustles, and Shumpert closes out, it may be an important element next year.

    The real debate was whether Faried, a need, was more of a need than Shumpert, also a need. Shumpert has way more upside on the offensive end. It came down to offensive upside vs rebounding, and the FO must have thought the fit at 3 and 4 was weak, because we have 2 all-stars there already.

  11. David Crockett

    adrenaline98:
    I like the pick. Look, I agree with THCJ that Faried is probably the safer pick. Rebounds translate well, but that’s a different story.

    Now, granted, he has some bad habits, which Ted mentioned during the draft thread. He’s inefficient at scoring, and maybe that’s a product of him having to score too much in college. Look at the GA. Tech team, they didn’t have another NBA quality player in this weak draft. [...]

    I just wrote this long-winded diatribe that I lost. So I’ll just respond to this. Agreed, adrenaline98. I can’t get mad at anyone who is disappointed that NY passed on Faried. (I do think it’s been a tad melodramatic.) My impression, and someone mentioned this elsewhere, is that the FO/MDA sees Shumpert as Raja Bell 2.0.

    I’d agree that Faried is likely the better short-term play, but I think Shumpert will age better if he can get his efficiency up from awful to respectable. That’s a big if. But… It’s not like he has a major mechanical flaw. He took lots of bad shots. He’s a high usage player on an untalented team where the coach couldn’t bench him for taking bad shots. I doubt he’ll ever be a high-efficiency player (3 years of ACC data strongly suggest otherwise). But, I think with lower usage–and if like Bell, he develops a reliable corner jumper–Shumpert can become efficient enough not to undermine us on offense while potentially growing into a superior perimeter defender.

  12. NYFaithfull33

    I like the pick, Faried is a nice rebounder and defender but he’s still undersized as a power forward and has no offensive skill. Shumpert on the other hand is an explosive, tall point guard who impressed the Knicks during his workouts, specifically with his passing in the pick and roll (which is a huge part of our offense) and his shooting. From what limited footage I’ve seen of him he seems to have good defensive instincts on and off the ball.
    The criticism of his shot has to be put into context, he forced a lot of shots that he shouldn’t have, a lot of which can be attributed to the lack of scorers around him, not a problem with the Knicks. His form is not bad and if we look at Russel Westbrook and Derrick Rose it’s not hard to be optimistic that he can improve significantly, especially since Melo and Amar’e will take a lot of attention off of him. We still need a big man, but this was a best option for us.

  13. Z-man

    Shump is definitely a glass half-empty, half-full type of pick. So was every other guy available at #17. I personally see the glass as half-full for a number of reasons:

    He has a big, fast, strong, athletic body
    He jumps as high as Nate Robinson and is 8 inches taller
    He has PG ball-handling and passing skills (just OK, not great)
    He can go to the rack with either hand
    He goes to the line a lot
    He makes his FTs at 80%
    He was an elite defender in a top conference
    He is an elite rebounder for a guard
    He was on a lousy team with a lousy coach
    His problems seem very correctable (shot selection, ball distribution)
    He doesn’t need to score to be effective on this team
    His new team has excellent offensive coaches
    His new team has a perfect mentor who is also a big, physical PG
    He doesn’t have a 40mpg all-star ahead of him at his position
    He has no defined character issues
    He fills a glaring need (perimeter defense vs. big, athletic guards and wings)

    I keep hearing about what a bad shooter he is, how inefficient he is. I remember the same arguments being made to criticize Wilson Chandler. (Ted, you were adamant in predicting that WC would never be a solid player or shooter, especially from 3, and that he needed to cut down on his 3-point shooting; yet last year he put up good numbers for us, especially from 3 despite increasing his volume.) Shumpert’s athleticism and shot are better for his position than Chandler’s were. Why is it such a stretch to imagine that his shot and efficiency will improve with better coaching, better teammates, and practice?

    Almost all of the guys drafted before Shumpert have huge questions marks about aspects of their games. You could argue that Shumpert’s issues are the most correctable of all of them, and that our situation is tailor-made for his rapid development. Maybe he doesn’t pan out, but if he does, he could wind up making teams that passed on him wish they hadn’t.

  14. Z-man

    I also think that balanced teams have the best shot of being consistent. Dallas exemplified balance, they had players that were clearly suited for their positions, minimizing mismatches. Miami, on the other hand, is not a balanced team. Haslem and Anthony are undersized for the 5 (and even somewhat for the 4) so they don’t really complement LeBron and Bosh. On the other hand, Chandler and Marion perfectly complemented Dirk. Shumpert can be a Marion-type intangible player at the 1 or 2, complementing Amare and Melo better than Faried or Singleton.

    I am wondering why nobody seems upset that we passed on Motiejunas.

  15. mr front row

    Its no secret that our beloved teams lacks a few things. we need defenders, rebounders , and possibly someone who cn keep other teams honest.. did anyone notice that when roger mason jr was knocking down shots all of a sudden the floor opened up ? so wether we get the needs met by 1 player or a few players, needs must be met. so we wake up friday am and find ourselves with iman shumpert.few things to point out.1.this is the same iman shumpert who by all accounts made life difficult for jimmer during there 1 on 1. workouts,2.this kid comes with seemingly no personal baggage,or red flags 3.. he fills a need if for nothing more depth with versatility . personally im tired of playing guys out of position , just cause there athletic , you defeat the point. as much as i like singleton y get a 3/4 who can defend the 2 and maybe the 1 .. when u cn get a big 1 who cn defend the big strong 1’s and 2.s. time under chauncey will prove beneficial. 4. this draft was at best 8 to 10 deep after that, who were u really gonna get? on a team that needs depth this was not a bad pick

  16. mura2337

    none of us should be bad mouthing shumpert as a nba player with potential. the problem is, we took him in the 1st round. you never take a 2nd rounder in the 1st when there are other players available that fit needs that we have. thats why fareid is a better pick. same with landry fields. if nobody else is going to draft him, why not get him as an unsigned free agent and draft somebody like a alex stephenson? the point is, you never waste picks and never over draft someone. a lack of size is a problem we have, and granted fareid doesnt have size, but give me a dennis rodman type off the bench any day. hell, this wouldnt be a problem if we kept randolph. but dantoni only plays 8, and runs amare 38 minutes a game. watch. this is going to be a wasted pick in 3 years. and thats coming from somebody who likes shumpert.

  17. Ted Nelson

    mura2337: the problem is, we took him in the 1st round. you never take a 2nd rounder in the 1st when there are other players available that fit needs that we have.

    You are jumping to a huge conclusion that no one would have drafted Fields in the 2nd or Shumpert in the 1st. It’s not a fact, it’s just your speculation. And I’m going to guess it’s largely because you’ve never heard of either. Fields was the Pac-10 POY and Iman Shumpert was a top 20 recruit at GTech… trust me that NBA scouts had heard of them. Shumpert was in the 1st round of just about every mock draft I saw (as high as 14)… so I don’t know where you’re coming up with 2nd rounder.

    There’s something to be said for drafting “Value,” but there’s a lot more to be said for getting the best player on the board. Whether they’re right or wrong, the Knicks’ seemed to think Fields and Shumpert were the best players.

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