“With the 4th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select Kristaps Porzingis, forward from Latvia.”
That announcement was followed by boos all round Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Many suspected the 19 year old at the time (now 20) could be selected as high as the second overall pick. Instead, the Timberwolves took Karl-Anthony Towns first, followed by D’Angelo Russell second to the Lakers and Jahlil Okafor third to the 76ers. Porzingis, seen as a project, was falling. The Knicks were up at number four and some options but ultimately went with Porzingis.
Standing at 7’3 and just 240 pounds, Porzingis is frail and lanky. Despite being booed on draft night, Porzingis has been a revelation for the Knicks. Currently, he’s averaging 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Even better is his ability to knock down mid range jump shots and even three point field goals despite being listed at 7’3. In 12 games, Porzingis has hit 9 three pointers and is shooting 84% at the free throw line. Kristaps has four double-doubles on the young season and seems to only be getting better as the season progresses. In his last game, a win vs Charlotte, Porzingis put together a stat line of 29 points, 11 rebounds and 1 block. He was also 2-2 from three point range.
Going forward, the Knicks still would like to see more development from Porzingis. One things certain, they want him to fill out his frame. In order to keep up with big men in the NBA, he’ll need to add more muscle mass. They also want him to become more consistent and that may happen with more minutes. Right now, Porzingis is averaging roughly 25 minutes a night. In time, I’m sure the Knicks would like to get that to the 32-35 minute range. If given that opportunity, I think the Knicks can see more consistent play. He definitely looks to be a great pick and has flashed glimpses of a young Dirk Nowitzki.