New York Knicks big man and Lord of the Baltic Kristaps Porzingis earned a ton of respect for his his performance in the Las Vegas Summer League. But what has he does to convince the wider nerd community of his greatness?
As it turns out, he's done a whole lot. ESPNs Kevin Pelton (Insider only) plugged the 2015 draft class into his WARP projections, and Basketball SkyNET predicts Zingis Khan to be the fifth-most productive rookie in 2015-16:
I think the widespread notion that Porzingis is a project is somewhat overstated. While the box score can't necessarily capture his issues dealing with stronger opponents, Porzingis was a productive player in a competitive ACB league in Spain last season. And he held his own in Vegas, averaging 18.4 points and 3.1 blocks per 36 minutes -- albeit with just 5.7 rebounds per 36.
The four rookies ahead of Porzingis include two upperclassmen (Frank Kaminsky, Delon Wright), as well as the top two picks, Karl-Anthony Towns and D-Angelo Russell. That's a fairly august group.
It might come as a surprise that Zinger rates ahead of players like Willie Cauley-Stein and Jahlil Okafor, but the computer is not swayed by our rash human prejudices. It took a cold, rational look at this man, and saw immediate impact:
Talking with Mom and Dad while in the cold tub after a workout! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/HzEuDJrkXK— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) July 5, 2015
Never argue with the machine.
By the way, Porzingis is heading back to America even as I write this. The dynasty is about to begin. Get excited, people.