With the sudden trade of Tyson Chandler resulting in two second round picks, we need to haul our hind parts in a whole new direction. Time to learn up some noteworthy prospects. With the lay of the roster still pretty up in the air, I'll profile a guard, a wing and a big. These guys have all had workouts with New York, and could easily be available at the 34th pick or further down the line at 51. Certain players the Knicks worked out struck me more as Summer League Knicks and/or Westchester Knicks.
Jahii Carson, Guard, Arizona State Sun Devil:
Some give me they Netflix account— Jahii Carson (@JahiiCarson) June 14, 2014
Have you ever heard of Brandon Jennings? This guy's game reminds me of that guy's game. Quick to shake and twist on dudes with the ball in their hands and quick to fall in love with shart-defining shots. Jahii has the ability to get hot, and make you wonder if he'll ever "turn the corner" or "figure it out" or "reach his potential" or "ridicule his upside". He sort of unsuccessfully worked on a floater this past season and struggles to score the closer he gets to the hoop in the half court. He should be able to hit the NBA three right away off the catch and manage to keep defenses on their toes just enough to want to close out to his chest.
Jahii has a slight frame, but a compact and muscular build. Plenty of bounce (47" vertical), and uses it to go straight at the rim, decisively and with quickness. When I unfairly compared him to Jennings, I should have mentioned how he has more burst when attacking the goal. His shooting stroke can change from shot to shot a little bit, but he is a good enough shooter that it shouldn't worry ya none.
Right now he's projected as a very late second-rounder SLASH un-drafted. In part, his size is going to make some teams cautious. The thing that will scare those teams away, however, are his liabilities. Carson can struggle to make an impact, especially on the defensive end, where he is easily overwhelmed. Not a particularly intuitive playmaker, he often seemed uncomfortable or unwilling to get his teammates going. It earned him a reputation as selfish and (fairly or not) a bad teammate that is hard to coach. I don't exactly believe that, because the kid is clearly interested in working on the parts of his game that can translate to success going forward.
The chance of him figuring out how to contribute to an NBA team consistently right away are very slim. He would probably be a nice little set of wheels to keep up in Westchester. See how the engine's humming after you get some miles on him. All told, a reasonable choice at 51, but I'd sooner pull him from the scrap heap after the draft, and pick a more stashable prospect.
Further reading & funny tidbits:
House of Sparky knows him well, and didn't exactly give him a ringing endorsement.
Melvin Ejim, Forward, Iowa State Cyclone:
Don't ask me where I'm at, don't ask me what I'm doing, just know I'm in the hyperbolic time chamber! On a mission!— Melvin Ejim (@MelvinEjim) April 15, 2014
This Toronto, Onterrorist, Canarian played college ball at Iowa State University all four years of his eligibility. Sometimes people go, "Yo nah this guy is maxed out, he'll never get better or fit into my perfect (flawed) concept of a team". Thats just kinda goofy oafish ballyhoo. That jumbo dumbo bunghole dung blow, with the kaopectate running down the chin. Ejim is precisely the type of smart hard working jack of all trades you want on your team.
While a little short for the forward spot at about 6'6", he has a nearly 7' wingspan. Wingspan has proven to make up the difference for lots of little problems in people's games. Lateral quickness a little late? Wingspan that shit. Can't get perfect position for the offensive rebound? Wingspan it, baby! Ejim combines his physical good fortune with a good motor, evidenced by his improved his 3-point accuracy. The guy went from 23% as a freshman to 35% as a senior, when he also big-upped his scoring average from basically 10 a game for the first three seasons to nearly 18, in only a few more minutes per game.
His college coach was Fred Hoiberg, who has gotten some consideration for NBA gigs. That, to me, is a great sign of how he'll translate. He's being brought up to succeed at the next level, it just so happened he was a great player on a great team in college.
This guy might not be rated terrifically high, and is generally expected to get picked in the late second round or go undrafted, but he strikes me as a great pick at 51 for some immediate end-of-bench excitement. Kind of like a motivated, not-trying-to-look-cool CJ Leslie.
Very cool name!
He holds the Big-12 single game scoring record... oh look here it is now:
Patric Young, Center, Florida Gator:
Call me Stringer Bell— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) June 22, 2014
47,000% beast. BEAST! That might not even be enough percent. This guy is like the musclebound version of DeJuan Blair. It might make him a little more mechanical on the block, but my goodness is this guy aggressive! He's like the nose-for-the-ball version of Joey Dorsey. Finishes above the rim, with force. A little undersized at 6'9", but the ladies love it.
He's projected as a mid-second rounder, which puts him squarely in between our two selections. So he might look like a reach, or he might look like a steal. No matter what, you're getting a ferocious player who wants to win. He can finish at the rim, but lacks touch, which is one of the things that makes him a bit of an afterthought. He will be able to put grown men on their asses right away in the lig, and with a guy like Amar'e Stoudemire (assuming he's still around) in front of him, I would venture to guess he'd pick up some tricks along the way.
I love this guy. I'm foaming at the mouth. I hope we take him at 34. He's not your prototypical triangle big, and thats too bad. But he'll defend his position on the block, and in spot minutes, should be able to contribute right away. Whats not to like?
Patric played for the USA under-19 team, (with Tim Hardaway Jr, among others) which is usually a sign of a guy who is coachable and driven. Its a group of guys you should expect to make the leap comfortably, anyway.
Will try have three more Euro-stashable options shortly. Love ya, everybody!