The folks over ESPN are back with their infamous “NBArank” for the 13th time ahead of the 2023/24 season... and judging by the first installment they released on Tuesday and the second on Wednesday, things are looking bright for your New York Knickerbockers.
Last season, ESPN ranked four Knicks in their particular Top 100 list, in order: Mitchell Robinson (98th), Julius Randle (71st), Jalen Brunson (67th), and RJ Barrett (63rd).
This year, just for starters, four Knicks cracked the bottom 50 places among the Top 100 players for the upcoming year, with to more in the 50-11 clip released in the second entry. Not bad!
Here are your six Knicks listed in ESPN’s Top 100 NBArank for the 2023/24 season along with chopped blurbs provided by the experts ranking them.
No. 98 — Mitchell Robinson (C)
“An elite offensive rebounder providing the Knicks with plenty of second-chance opportunities.”
“Robinson’s 4.5 offensive boards per game last season were the second highest in the league, behind Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams.”
“That, paired with a 67.1% field goal percentage, makes him exactly the kind of big man coach Tom Thibodeau looks for.”
No. 92 — Immanuel Quickley (SG)
“A finalist for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year last season, his contract status will be worth watching over the next few weeks.”
“If he and the Knicks can’t come to an agreement by Oct. 23rd, Quickley’s name will come up in trade talks.”
No. 91 — Josh Hart (SG)
“Hart’s energy proved to be a difference-maker partnering with Quickley to revitalize New York’s second unit.”
“The Knicks outscored teams by 11.9 points per 100 possessions in Hart’s 750 regular-season minutes on the court.”
No. 71 — RJ Barrett (SG)
“Barrett shot 40% from 3-point range in his second (2021) NBA season.”
“His percentages in his other three seasons with the Knicks are underwhelming: 32%, 34% and 31% last season.”
”The difference between Barrett being an adequate player and one who can be a real impact player is him becoming a league-average-or-better 3-point shooter.”
No. 45 — Julius Randle (PF)
“The efficiency has yo-yoed from year to year with the Knicks.”
“In the two years he has made the All-Star team, he has had an effective field goal percentage of over 50. In the year in between, it was under 46%, and the Knicks missed the playoffs.”
“Remaining an at least somewhat efficient player is going to be crucial for the Knicks to replicate last year’s success.”
No. 32 — Jalen Brunson (PG)
“He was everything the Knicks ever could have hoped for after joining them as a free agent.”
“Set career-highs across the board, led the Knicks to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade, and established himself as one of the biggest stars in the Big Apple.”
“After shooting 41.6% from 3-point range on more than 4.7 attempts per game, if Brunson can again boost his 3-point rate, it will give him a chance to exceed his career year last season.”
“After bumping his stats up across the board while taking on a bigger role, the goal for Brunson will be to prove he can do all of it again.”
How do you like that list? Anyone missing? Anyone getting a bit too much love? Let everybody (and the players, who certainly read P&T on a daily basis) know in the comments section below!