The newest, shiniest of Knickerbockers, Jerian Grant and Kristaps Porzingis, were unveiled to the media on Friday morning as Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher (and Steve Mills!) sounded off on the team's future plans to incorporate the rookies into a strong veteran core.
Porzingis got the thumbs-up from Phil's top scout, Clarence Gaines -- the same guy who suggested New York sign Langston Gallloway:
Phil: Top scout Clarence Gaines suggested to him that Porzingis presents a "once in a lifetime" opportunity in terms of how talented he is— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
Phil also consulted with Pau Gasol:
Phil says he spoke to Pau Gasol, who told him he weighed ~220 when he was drafted. Gave Jackson confidence to take Porzingis.— charlie widdoes (@charliewiddoes) June 26, 2015
How will Porzingis be used?
Phil Jackson on @kporzee's role: "He can be a stretch 4, he can be a moving post, he can be a pinch post."— charlie widdoes (@charliewiddoes) June 26, 2015
Porzingis realizes he's clearly just a stretch 4 at this point, but says he wants to eventually be able to play some 5 once he gains weight— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
Porzingis, on his skill set: "I don't wanna be a guy who just hangs out at the 3-point line." Wants to and thinks he can do more than that.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
#Knicks Phil Jackson believes Porzingis should help create space on the for Carmelo to operate because he's a threat as a shooter.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 26, 2015
Pozingis wants to get dirty:
.@kporzee: "As young guys, the first thing we need to bring is energy. Dirty work, defense, blocking shots."— NBA New York Knicks (@nyknicks) June 26, 2015
Just call him LaKevin Gasolzki:
Porzingis says he's watched Garnett, Aldridge, Dirk, P. Gasol a lot and tries to incorporate aspects of their approach into his game.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 26, 2015
He and potential future Knick Willie Hernangomez are amigos:
Hernangomez also seems close to former Knick Kenyon Martin:
As for Jerian Grant, he thinks he can start right away. Good thing, too, because he almost certainly will start right away:
I like Jerian Grant's confidence. He says, humbly, that he thinks he can come in and start right away for the #Knicks.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 26, 2015
Derek Fisher said he's willing to adjust the offense to suit Grant's talents...up to a point:
Asked Fisher whether selecting Grant -- as a skilled pick-and-roll guard -- suggests NYK will continue incorporating P&R. Says team will...— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
... modify its offense as necessary around its players' skill sets. But Fish suggests there won't be a wholesale change within the triangle.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
Derek Fisher says screen and roll will be a part of the #Knicks offense but adds that NY won't rely on it to get shots as heavily as others— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 26, 2015
As for free agency, the Knicks plan to sign some veterans and rim protectors because...duh:
.@PhilJackson11: "We'll balance the team off with veterans so the load doesn't fall on Kris and Jerian right away."— NBA New York Knicks (@nyknicks) June 26, 2015
Derek Fisher on #Knicks free agency: "I don't think it's any secret that we need some size up front." Says that will be a focus for NYK.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 26, 2015
Fish says team would have wanted and needed to sign a veteran rim protector regardless of who they'd taken last night— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 26, 2015
Finally, I would like to end with a little segment I like to call "Kristaps Porzingis: Portrait of a Baller"
I told Kristaps Porzingis this week that I heard he went on WorldStar every day. Zinger's response: "Not every day."— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) June 26, 2015
That hashtag game is already at an All-Star level.
Welcome to New York, Kristaps and Jerian!