Hello, everyone! Wasn’t Summer League great? I certainly enjoyed it.
Now that it’s over, everyone’s got opinions. And, if you can believe it, most of the coverage of the Knicks has been... dramatic pause... favorable!
Here’s something happy to listen to:
Positive vibez only!
— Ricky O’Donnell at the SB Nation mothership ranked Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson the fifth- and second-most impressive rookies at Summer League. That’s incredible!
It’s clear Knox is going to benefit from NBA spacing after playing with so many non-shooters during his one year at Kentucky. He used Vegas to show just how much he’s improved his perimeter skills. He had no problem crossing up defenders to create room for his downhill drives and flashed pro range on his jump shot off the dribble and on catch-and-shoot opportunities.
You usually need a top-five pick to find a center with Robinson’s size and athleticism. The Knicks got one in the second round. He still has a lot to learn when it comes to grasping the nuances of NBA defense. His offensive skill level remains unpolished.
But when the game is made easy for Robinson, and he can use his natural gifts to run and jump and make plays above the rim on both ends of the court, he has all the talent to be an effective NBA center. If Vegas is any indication, the Knicks got a steal in round two.
— Kevin Pelton of ESPN writes that MitchRob could maybe be the steal of the draft by using some proprietary metric that I don’t entirely understand. But hey, a win’s a win!
It should come as no surprise that Wendell Carter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who were among the picks for the best rookie in summer league in our 5-on-5 on Monday, crack the leaderboard. But when it comes to exceeding expectations, they can’t quite match New York Knicks second-round pick Mitchell Robinson.
Despite a relatively strong projection based on his effective play in the 2016 Nike EYBL, Robinson still leads all rookies on this list by virtue of the best per-minute win percentage for any player in summer league this year. Robinson made 67 percent of his 2-point attempts, pulled down more than a quarter of all available offensive rebounds and swatted one in every seven opponent 2-point attempts. He’s the early favorite for steal of the draft.
— Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tries to figure out if Mitchell Robinson is just a Summer League star, or if he could be the real deal in the big leagues.
— Basketball Insiders’ Moke Hamilton writes that if Mitchell Robinson pans out as a high-level player, it could already be a legacy-defining move for Scott Perry.
— Knox and Robinson were chosen by a few different writers for responses in ESPN’s end-of-Summer League roundtable. And all for good things!
— This is pushing a week old, but in case you missed it, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman raved about Knox.
— Geoffrey Campbell of Elite Sports NY writes about coming around on Kevin Knox, even if Knox wasn’t his first choice on draft night.
— Barbara Barker of Newsday wrote a great feature on Tim Hardaway Jr., covering from when he considered quitting basketball after he was traded from the Knicks to his desire to be a leader to the young Knicks now. Very good read.
— The Knicks Wall’s Jonathan Macri attempts to pin down 10 questions that the Knicks should try to answer by this time next year.
— Maxwell Ogden at Daily Knicks tries to figure out how Kevin Knox and Kristaps Porzingis could play together once Porzingis returns.
— Marc Berman of the NY Post somehow turned the Kawhi Leonard trade into a win for the Knicks? Sure, why not.
— Berman also interviewed Magic radio analyst Richie Adubato, who gave some deets on Mario Hezonja.
— Dan Favale at Bleacher Report thinks that Kevin Durant is the Knicks’ best case scenario in free agency next summer. I... think I agree, yeah.
— The Knicks are once again the most valuable team in the NBA, and seventh in all of sports, according to Forbes. Jimmy Dolan’s favorite organization is now worth a whopping $3.6 billion.
That’s all for today! Til next time!