Knicks fans have had a beef with Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE projections ever since the 2013 offseason (How dare you say the 2013-14 Knicks will finish 37-45!!!). But what this article presupposes is ... what if SCHOENE said something nice about a Knick?
The Knick in question happens to be Kristaps Porzingis, of course. Bradford Doolittle used SCHOENE and real plus-minus to the predict the top 2016-17 seasons from international players (Insider only), and our own precious unicorn came in third:
3. Kristaps Porzingis | Latvia
Projected WARP: 10.59
Last year's rank: 13
SCHOENE and RPM agree on where Porzingis is slotted here. The sky is the limit.
For this season, the only subjective concern is whether Porzingis will struggle for touches in a Knicks lineup shared with Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony. But he may be so good that, actually, the other guys will need to hunt for shots.
Rudy Gobert (11.69 WARP) and Nikola Jokic (11.01 WARP) came in first and second, respectively. After Kristaps’s 10.59 WARP there is a fairly large dip before we reach No. 4, Al Horford, who is projected at 8.89. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jonas Valanciunas, Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Vucevic and Nicolas Batum round out the top 10.
Sadly, no other Knick made the top 20. No respect for Maurice Ndour? Shameful.
You may not agree with everything on this list, but it is intriguing to see our boy projected with near the top of the international player list, a cut above most of the commoners from around the globe.