Knicks Draft Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant, Trade Hardaway Jr.

With the fourth overall pick, the New York Knicks drafted 19 year old Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian power forward, by way of Baloncesta Sevilla Spain, is 7 feet and 1/2 inch tall and from my estimation, weighs about 115 lbs. He’s an outside shooter and shot blocker that needs to go on the Eddy Curry/Jerome James diet. A typical high-risk high-reward player, that we’ll have more (lots, lots more!) on in the morning.

The second surprise of the night was the Knicks acquiring the 19th pick from the Atlanta Hawks for Tim Hardaway Jr. The shooting guard wore out his welcome in New York with lots of crappy shooting nights, failing to play defense, and perhaps single handedly costing them the first overall pick in the draft by getting hot at the wrong time.

New York picked up Jerian Grant, a mature (23 years old) and large (6-5) point guard. Grant has an NBA-ready body, and he’s a strong finisher at the hoop. He made 73.1% of his shots at the rim his senior year, and averaged 6.2 fta/40 his senior year. Also careful with the ball, the Notre Damer was 7th in the NCAA in assists per game, and his assist per turnover ratio was a healthy 3.0. His three point shooting did regress his last season, but was healthy the seasons prior. Oh and Grant made one hell of a dunk this year (see #1 in the YouTube Video) where it appears his shoulder gets to the height of the rim.

EDIT: The official press release about Grant/Hardaway

NEW YORK, June 25, 2015 – New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the draft rights of Jerian Grant, out of Notre Dame, the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, have been acquired from the Atlanta Hawks, via Washington, in exchange for guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

Grant, 6-4, 198, averaged 14.6 points and 5.8 assists over four seasons with Notre Dame. In his senior season, the Silver Spring, MD native was named a First Team All-American and was one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award as the National Player of the Year by averaging 16.5 points and 5.8 assists in 38 games.

Hardaway, 6-6, 210-pounds, was originally drafted by New York in the first round, 24th pick overall, in the 2013 NBA Draft. Last season, the Orinda, CA native averaged 11.5 points in 70 games.

EDIT2:

Apparently, the Knicks have made another trade! Statistically Hernangomez appears to be a rebounders & inside scorer. Unfortunately at 6-11, he doesn’t appear to be a shot blocker at all. Apparently he’s not very athletic, but supposedly has a high-IQ.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A New York Knicks official says the team has acquired draft rights to Spanish center Guillermo Hernangomez from the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the trade had not been finalized by the NBA. The official says Philadelphia received two future second round picks.

Hernangomez played with the last two seasons with New York’s fourth overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, with Sevilla of the Spanish League. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in 31 games last season. In 74 career games with Sevilla, Hernangomez averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.

The official says Hernangomez will play next season in Spain.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

84 thoughts to “Knicks Draft Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant, Trade Hardaway Jr.”

  1. Thank you whomever managed to get nekkid pics of Wes Wilcox’s mom. It was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it!

  2. Kristaps Porzingis needs a better nickname than Zinger. If he reaches his potential and becomes the greatest European basketball player ever, I move to name him Dr. Doom for Latvia sounds like Latveria and nobody likes the Knicks anyway.

    He shot at a TS of .640 in the second best league in the world last year in over 1000 minutes, and he was only 19 years old. An interesting tidbit about him is he studies Anthony Davis and Kevin Garnett film, and that in Europe the basketball players don’t have an open gym 24 hours a day. I know a lot is made about his weight, but he’s only 19. He will gain 20 pounds by the time he’s 21 just because his metabolism will slow down, so I think he should be strong enough in today’s NBA. The only thing I’m worried about is his ability to rebound. I need at the bare minimum 8 boards a night. I think he will be a good scorer in the triangle and I think he’s athletic enough to be a good defender, but I don’t know if he will be a good rebounder.

    Porzingis should not be allowed to play with Bargnani or Jason Smith. The Knicks chose to take a developmental prospect so they better not screw this one up by putting him around bad on court influences.

  3. Apparently we’re giving up 2 future 2nd rounders for Hernagomez. I still think it’s worth it given if you’re shrewd in free agency it’s very easy to get 2nd round picks thrown in as sweeteners, as we’ve always been wont to do. He’s probably a first round worthy talent.

  4. Also, why the hell were the Nets so intent on trading Plumlee? He’s better than Lopez!

    Although I like Hollis a lot.

  5. Who else is on Sevilla? Can we draft their whole starting lineup? It’d probably make Dr. Doom feel more at home.

  6. Porzingis had a 64 TS in the Eurocup, which is the second best European tournament. His TS in the world’s second best league was middling, but he’s really young, so that’s not so bad. He’s probably gonna suck next year, so be cool, but he’s got a shot at developing

  7. Can anyone verify that those measurements are legit?

    No one will verify those. That’s what was so funny about the draft, when they were talking about Zinger before the draft began, Fran was talking about how he’s seven foot two and 230 pounds and as he says this, the graphic says he’s seven foot one and 220 pound. The 220 pounds are probably bullshit, too, but closer to the typical NBA BS. The guy’s a twig. Doesn’t mean that he will always be a twig, but don’t believe any 230 pounds nonsense. Weight is almost always pretty much what the player says to put down. Height is different, but even there, it’s like if you’re, say, six feet tall, they’ll say, “Well, he’s slightly over six feet, let’s call it a half inch.” And then that half inch get rounded up and suddenly you’re six one.

  8. Well, looks like Half Hollow Hills own Tobias Harris is probably on his way out of Orlando. Maybe he gives us a hometown discount?

  9. Yeah, he’s thin. His height is legit, though. Look at the group photo before the draft. He’s in the back center, and he’s noticeably taller than WCS, Turner, and KAT.

    If the Knicks want him to gain weight fast, send him to live with my family for a couple of months. He’ll gain weight. :-)

  10. Oh sure, he’s a legit seven feet. That’s really tall. His height and his shooting are definitely the best thing about him. Imagine if Bargs could shoot from the outside? The guy would be quite useful as a scorer. Zinger will score. It’s just a question of whether he’ll do anything more than shoot from the outside. Right now that’s pretty much what his NBA game looks like. That’s not without its value, of course. Players who can’t do anything more than that still make $10-12 million under the old cap.

  11. porzingis cannot suck next year… he’s gotta put in work and it’s gotta start this summer…

    if he truly doesn’t wanna be a bust… he’s got to be more physical and play inside… sooner he realizes that.. the odds of a bargs situation goes down…

  12. That’s the thing, though, it’s not like he plays inside already and just needs to gain weight. He doesn’t play inside period. So you’re asking him to totally remake his game while not losing the other skills he does have (like his fluidity and his ability to run down court). If he can do that, then he’s basically a taller Gallo, which would be a hell of a good player.

  13. I think the Porzingis pick means we’re going after a wing heavily in free agency. It will take Doom sometime to be dominant, but I think you have to build a team as if he’s the face of the franchise from here on out. Signing a player to take 36 minutes at the 4 probably isn’t a good idea. I also think the Porzingis pick means Melo is gone by February. I don’t see how Melo wants to stick around a full rebuild when he has 3-4 years left of all-star play.

    I just hope Doom is a flat out stud we won’t regret picking.

  14. Yeah I’m pretty surprised that Alexander wasn’t drafted. He underperformed, but he still merited a pick in my eyes. Frazier and Christian Wood should get camp invites too I think.

  15. I think the Porzingis pick means we’re going after a wing heavily in free agency. It will take Doom sometime to be dominant, but I think you have to build a team as if he’s the face of the franchise from here on out. Signing a player to take 36 minutes at the 4 probably isn’t a good idea. I also think the Porzingis pick means Melo is gone by February. I don’t see how Melo wants to stick around a full rebuild when he has 3-4 years left of all-star play.

    Interesting. I don’t think Phil is looking at it like that, but I agree, it probably would be smarter to look at things as if Zinger is the face of the franchise.

  16. I have absolutely no problem with the Zing man hanging outside as long as he hits his shots. I’m mostly just worried he’s gonna get killed on the boards.

  17. right… the HOPE is that someone on the knicks realized this and they have some sort of plan for him… the thing that’s working in his favor is that he’s going to hear all the criticisms from day one… and i hope it rings in his ears until he’s tired of it and decides that he’s not gonna be that guy…. or he gives up…

    that’s the hope at least…

  18. I thought the Buz before the draft was that Melo really liked Porzingis. I believe he was there watching his workout with the Knicks. It’s like he switched places with Billups who watched Darko work out and was impressed. Hopefully the results will be different. I think it will.

  19. Here’s a list of things Doom needs to be good at in order for him to be a great 4:

    1) Rebounding (we don’t know if he’ll be good here)
    2) Defense (seems to have the brains and athleticism to be good here)
    3) Shooting (he’ll excel here)
    4) Running the floor (he’s already great here)
    5) Post up/Face Up game (I think he’ll be a better face up big than a post up big)

    If all Doom is good at offensively is shooting and getting transition buckets, he can still score double figures a night. I just need the boy to be a good rebounder and all of my other concerns about him will no longer exist. If he can rebound as well as do what he ALREADY can do offensively? That makes him more valuable than a guy like DeAndre Jordan to me. But that rebounding is a big if.

  20. that’s the danger… his shooting is good now… and it’s good to the point where he might use that as a crutch when he doesn’t wanna bang down low…. if he can hang in the paint for a year and learn what he needs to do in there to survive.. he has a real good chance..

  21. So, if the Knicks were planning to trade Porzingis (ie, drafting him for somebody else), would it have been announced (or at least leaked) by now?

    I am stunned if Phil selected KP to keep. But stunned in a good way, as the only thing that I thought was important was choosing whomever they thought was the best player available and KEEPING him.

    Also, the fans are pathetic to be booing him. Embarrassing to Knick fans all around the world. That bratty kid was actually crying on tv.

    Part of me hopes the Knicks trade him and “The Peja from Liepeja” goes on to become a superstar, just so that kid keeps on crying.

  22. @27 He might actually make a pretty good pair with Monroe at the 5 then. Obviously not in year 1, but if we sign Monroe (who’s only 25), in a couple of years that could be a lethal 2-way 4-5 combo. Now Melo doesn’t exactly fit into that timeline, but you take what you can get, haha. So yeah, I think Monroe + Danny Green is my preferred option in free agency.

  23. Did anyone else think that kid was faking it? Like an actor or trying to become internet famous? He looked like he was taking selfies of himself crying that whole time.

  24. So, if the Knicks were planning to trade Porzingis (ie, drafting him for somebody else), would it have been announced (or at least leaked) by now?

    I think definitely that we’d know it by now.

    Also, the fans are pathetic to be booing him. Embarrassing to Knick fans all around the world. That bratty kid was actually crying on tv.

    Agreed. The booing was in really poor form. Especially, who the heck were they hoping for? Winslow? Winslow would have gotten cheers? Dude has just as many question marks as Zinger.

  25. I think Zinger can come in as a PnR finisher. His body type and athletic ability is very similar to Tyson Chandler when he came out.

  26. Did anyone else think that kid was faking it? Like an actor or trying to become internet famous? He looked like he was taking selfies of himself crying that whole time.

    The selfie thing definitely was curious and makes it seem like he’s full of it. If he WAS faking it, I imagine he would already giving out interviews by now. Anyone see one yet? If he isn’t talking, I think it might be sort of legit.

  27. LOL. Only player we ever cheered in recent drafts is Tim freaking Hardaway Jr. Shows how much we know.

  28. Porzingis shot 30% from downtown the last 2 years in the ACB. That’s good for a young 7’0 kid, but its not actually good. Hezonja shot 38%-thats actually good. So he’s got a lot of work to do.

    That little kid is a fraud and an asshole

  29. 2) Defense (seems to have the brains and athleticism to be good here)

    If he has the brains for it, then why was he terrible in Europe? I don’t think he has good defensive instincts at all. But really, if he can get into the middle on offense while keeping his other skills, I’ll be more than fine with mediocre defense at best. His offense will more than make up for his defense. Sort of like Dirk.

  30. Porzingis shot 30% from downtown the last 2 years in the ACB. That’s good for a young 7’0 kid, but its not actually good. Hezonja shot 38%-thats actually good. So he’s got a lot of work to do.

    It is weird when it’s like, “He shot 46% from three in EuroCup this year! He is a great shooter!” and not “He shot 31% from three in the ACB this year in twice as many games! He might not be a good shooter!”

  31. His euro career he was .355 from 3 overall. .359 between Eurocup and ACB.BBR numbers

    Bargs put up better number when he was in Europe, granted he was 2 years older before he got drafted.

  32. No one player has to be a good rebounder.

    IF Zinger is an adequate defensive rebounder that’s all that matters. Much of his value comes away from the basket.

    Dirk was a below average rebounder his entire career.

    Zinger doesn’t have to be a transcendent offensive player like Dirk — in terms of shot creation — to be a really good or even great player.

    His shooting in combination with his first step and short burst quickness, length and spring should virtually guarantee he’ll be a highly efficient complementary player, even if he doesn’t fill out as some are hoping.

    That kind of combination of offensive attributes is awfully similar to Davis, Durant.. There’s no indication of him shying from contact on his penetration, which in combination with his length should mean he’ll be at the line a lot.

    He might be the best big man Euro prospect since Sabonis, and if he doesn’t have the mental weakness of his recent predecessors he’ll likely turn into a great player.

  33. A mid-30s career 3-pt shooter with at least half of those attempts coming at 17/18!

  34. Is Phoenix the official home of former UK point guards? That’s crazy. lol.

  35. Dirk was above average on the defensive glass 15 years in a row. He was a bad offensive rebounder. Probably from a combination of talent and role. Overall in his prime he was average-slightly above. He was also terrific at generating fouls. And he could shoot. (Obviously). Kristaps has a lot of work to do. Onthe plus side,he’s a good shot blocker for a non-center,he’s athletic for his height, and he was much better at drawing fouls last year than two years ago. This kid could be really good, but I’d just like us all to remember we’re betting on significant improvement.

  36. he’s def gonna be a center…. he’s too tall… we might be able to hide him a little defensively early on also…

  37. More (K)nicknames for Kristaps.

    Zingy Marley
    Zingy and the Spiders from Mars
    The Wedding Zinger
    The Pin Cushion
    Krist What a Shitty Pick
    Kristmas Day DNP
    Javaris Kristandin
    Emmanuel Mudingis

    I kid, I kid. I’m really rooting for him and I don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, who’s to say KAT is a sure thing? Would anyone commit to MIN making the playoffs next year? 40 wins for them?

    To me, truly whiffing on a pick has to do with missing by one. If five other GMs pass on a guy (Winslow), then you can’t really blame Phil. Or it means taking someone out of the blue over a much more known commodity (and missing by one) (Weis/ Artest). A lot of people liked this kid. So, this was a safe pick if there is such a thing.

    The visuals don’t inspire confidence. He looks gaunt. He is gaunt but he’s seven feet tall and nineteen. I “see” nothing Dirk like in this kids game, but I’m not supposed to trust the “eye test” anyway, right? I mean, Justise gets the GQ cover but I imagine we got the better player. Or the one with more upside.

  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PP1qu1JRC4

    This video already has me feeling a lot better about Zingis. Just hearing him talk, it sounds like he’s got the right mindset to reach his potential. Also I do think he’s going to be able to play offensively from day 1, just looking at his fluidity off the dribble, obviously with his shot, and even in his post moves.

  39. I also think the need to put on substantial weight is being overstated.

    How many power forwards in today’s league spend their time banging and posting up anymore?

    Fewer than it was 5 years ago. What about in 2-3 years as Duncan, Gasol, Aldridge, Randolph fade away for the stretch 4 ? He’ll certainly have situations where he’s mismatched, assuming his frame cannot handle a sleek 260ish pounds at some point.

    Like so many other anomalously long players, his length is going to off-set a lot of his issues against stronger players.

  40. With his ridiculous length and solid lateral agility, there’s no reason he can’t play a lot of 3 as he develops his body. It may not be the best scenario long term as it could undercut his offensive advantages (that he already has), but playing alongside Melo should make him pretty interchangeable on both ends.

    If you’re an opposing team with a bigger, slower 4, I’m not sure who you’d guard.

  41. Bargnani, Calderon, Porzingis, and now Hernangomez?

    Da phuck is with Phil Jackson and Euro players???

  42. This video already has me feeling a lot better about Zingis. Just hearing him talk, it sounds like he’s got the right mindset to reach his potential. Also I do think he’s going to be able to play offensively from day 1, just looking at his fluidity off the dribble, obviously with his shot, and even in his post moves.

    I definitely do think he’ll be able to score right away, from outside and on the break. He just really, really needs to get stronger. The dude got beat by everyone in Europe for boards (what rebounds he did get were mostly due to his position and his height). The guy got beat by guards! European guards! There isn’t a center in the game that he can bang with. And forget the really tough fours, he’s currently not suited to bang with guys like Thaddeus Young or Trevor Ariza. If you watch his games in Europe, they were already learning to exploit his toughness with power forwards going right at him over there. And we’re talking European power forwards, which typically means guys not big and tough enough to be 4s here. He’s obviously still quite young, but it’s like with Okafor, if people expect Okafor to suddenly transform him game on defense, that’s asking a whole lot.

    It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, of course. Marc Gasol famously transformed his game as he got older. But for every guy who did, there’s 10 who did not.

    I am certainly not saying Zinger will be one of those ten. But just noting that he has a lot of obstacles in his way if he ever wants to be more than a good shooter and good fast break player. I am glad that he has a good attitude, that’s important, but that’s just a drop in the bucket.

  43. He really is not much at all like Dirk. He’s way more athletic, and he isn’t nearly as good on the boards. Nor is he much like Bargnani, who, again, isn’t nearly so athletic. He actually reminds me of Kevin Durant. If he has Durant’s brain and work ethic, we may have just got the best player of the draft, and a genuine potential cornerstone.

    If he doesn’t have Durant’s brain and work ethic, we just got a weak Rashard Lewis. Bleah.

    But really, the only sure thing in this draft is KAT. Everyone else has boom or bust potential, some more than others. KP is a high-risk, high-reward pick, and it’s hard to quibble with that, given our enormous suckitude.

    For me personally, once I heard about WCS’s foot issues, it became more of a crapshoot. I may still have picked him, but that red flag makes it harder to argue with KP.

    AND Jerian. AND the other Euro. Gotta give Phil either an A or an Incomplete on this draft.

  44. To me, truly whiffing on a pick has to do with missing by one. If five other GMs pass on a guy (Winslow), then you can’t really blame Phil. Or it means taking someone out of the blue over a much more known commodity (and missing by one) (Weis/ Artest). A lot of people liked this kid. So, this was a safe pick if there is such a thing.

    Great point worth keeping in mind. Considering “Noodles” Porzingis was tipped to go top 5 by the majority of scouts and execs, it’s probably not too controversial a pick. Especially seeing as there was talk that he may have gone top 3. Definitely not a sure thing, but there are never too many of those even in the lottery. Summer League should actually be worth watching this year with Galloway, Early, Porzingis and Grant. What are the chance we trial some of the Euro centres we have stashed at camp?

  45. Great point worth keeping in mind. Considering “Noodles” Porzingis was tipped to go top 5 by the majority of scouts and execs, it’s probably not too controversial a pick. Especially seeing as there was talk that he may have gone top 3. Definitely not a sure thing, but there are never too many of those even in the lottery. Summer League should actually be worth watching this year with Galloway, Early, Porzingis and Grant. What are the chance we trial some of the Euro centres we have stashed at camp?

    Yeah, even if he bombs, I think it was a fair pick. You can only judge these things when they happen. At the time the Knicks made the pick, he was a reasonable pick. Not as safe as Mudiay, but more upside. I have no problems with this pick. I have a problem with them winning two games in the last week so that they didn’t have better odds to not have to make this pick, but I have no problem with this pick.

  46. They got Gallo and Mozgov right, I hope they get Porzingis too.

    So who will they trade Zinger for in three years?

  47. porzingis doesn’t have durant’s handles… not by a long shot… it’s going to be a turnover fest with him putting the ball on the floor for more than a cpl dribbles…

    not having some weight isn’t a big concern.. but it’s the desire to play closer to the basket and handle the grind of ppl shoving you and shoving back at least 50x a game for at least 82 games… the taller someone is the more weight they are going to need before even someone off the street can move you a few feet with an ok boxout…

    he’s tall and has that going for him but he’s in that area of height where he almost has to be a center… which means he HAS to be good defensively…

  48. It must be that Monroe changed his mind, right? They can’t be drafting Zinger and then signing both West and Monroe and use up all of the cap room, right?

  49. Many people think the ACB league is a higher level than top end college basketball. It may present some different kinds of challenges, but it’s interesting that people still view many European prospects as less proven than their NCAA counterparts.

    So many previous Euro busts were not thoroughly scouted.

    As for weight being his biggest issue, Chandler, Noah and Gasol were all about his weight.

  50. Am I the only one excited about Kriztapingus’s resemblance to Tim Heidecker?

  51. It must be that Monroe changed his mind, right? They can’t be drafting Zinger and then signing both West and Monroe and use up all of the cap room, right?

    Maybe it was dependent on the draft? Why hear about it on draft night?
    I really hope they get Carroll and A big. Robin Lopez would be excellent.

  52. Oh sorry, I meant the West signing. I mean that them signing West must be because Monroe backed off. I find it hard to believe that they’re going to sign them both.

  53. Whatever the Knicks do, they MUST sign a 3-and-D SG along the lines of Green, Carrol, Middleton, Afflalo etc.

  54. I also think the need to put on substantial weight is being overstated. How many power forwards in today’s league spend their time banging and posting up anymore?

    How many PFs have an unblockable (Kareem-like) jump hook like Zinger? However, he needs the extra weight and strength to be able to establish position against the Draymond Greens to take that shot. To me, that jump hook will be the key to his success. There simply are no PFs who will be able to block or alter it unless they goal-tend. Plus he will need the added weight to box out and snare defensive rebounds.

    I still maintain his best comp will be Amare on the offensive end and let’s hope not so much on the defensive one. Simple but very efficient post game. Elite PnR guy who’s able to pop and dive. Excellent outside shooter. Able to attack closeouts. Able to shoot off screens.

  55. I’m baffled by David West acquisition. Yes he fits the Triangle but he just went over the cliff last season. Did Phil learn nothing from that Calderon trade? Our starting lineup: 34yo broken down Calderon, 35yo broken down West, 31yo gimpy Melo…. What kind of win now foolery is that? Wouldn’t it be better to take David Lee and Looney, waive Calderon (or try to package him and Early), and sign Monroe?

  56. Can’t we at least wait until someone on the Knicks verifies the interest in West and some $ amounts start floating before we just assume it’s done?

  57. Another good thing about Zinger is that he’s so skinny, that at certain angles he’s invisible.

  58. He actually reminds me of Kevin Durant.

    Hahhahaaahahaaa. Reminds me when someone said Landry Fields reminds them of Grant Hill.

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