The boos and groans rained down heavily at the Barclays last night with the Knicks’ selection of 19-year old European prospect Kristaps Porzingis.
All the coaches and scouts seem very high on the kid, touting his 7’1 frame, ability to space the floor with 3-point shooting, and shot-blocking potential. The trepidation with Knicks fans is the fact we’re dealing with a true prospect that needs to grow into a man’s body to guard his position (he’s currently around 220 and rail-thin). With Carmelo in his prime and wanting to “win-now,” most of us were hoping for safer, sure-fire picks like Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard. It also hurt that Philly was just spiteful in taking another big in Jahlil Okafor right ahead of us.
It remains to be seen if the Knicks can create a culture the cultivates Porzingis into a future star. He could soar as high as a Dirk or Garnett, level out somewhere around a Bargnani level or even worse (shudders). The main thing is that we’re patient over these next 2-3 years.
Below are some highlights and background on our new prodigy. He actually wanted to come here and as he put it after his selection, “turn those boos into cheers.” Anyone that willingly wants to come to NY and handle the immense pressure and cynicism deserves our support.