So much negativity has been spun around the Knicks franchise in recent years. The New York Knicks have been plagued by bad draft picks and terrible management. In recent years, the hire of Steve Mills as the president and Scott Perry as the general manager showed a shift in the franchises ideology. They have stayed true to developing a surplus of players through the draft that they can develop or trade for better talent. This year, the Knicks have three rookies that have shown they can compete with the best of them in any given NBA game.
Knicks Rookies Looking Like Franchise Building Blocks
Mitchell Robinson may be the most surprising player out of the bunch. He skipped his first year of college to prepare for the NBA draft. With no college experience, some teams were hesitant to draft him. A risky move since he fell under the radar. Robinson had amazing numbers in high school. In his last two years of high school, Robinson averaged 22.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 6.9 blocks. After sitting the year out, Robinson was drafted 36th overall by the Knicks.
Robinson struggled early in his first couple of months in the league. Dealing with injury and also getting in foul trouble early in games, not being able to get consistent minutes on the court. The month of February has shown what kind of special talent Robinson truly is. February, Robinson has averaged 11 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks. He has developed himself into one of the best shot blockers in the NBA averaging 2.3 blocks per game. He ranks third in blocks among all NBA players, only behind Myles Turner and Anthony Davis.
After going undrafted, Allonzo Trier had to prove a lot of doubters wrong. He joined the Knicks after signing a two-way contract, after making an impression in the summer league. It was there he averaged 17 points per game. He is currently top ten in many categories among rookies, such as points per game, field goal percentage, and free throws made.
This season Trier is currently averaging 10.5 points per game. He’s scored 20 or more points in seven games this season. In one of those games, he scored 31 points. Trier is fighting an uphill battle. Trying to make a name on a team that already features an abundance of guards. However, it’s very hard to miss his raw ability to attack the basket and score.
Although he’s struggled recently, Kevin Knox has shown us flashes of how good he can be. This season he’s averaging 12.4 points per game. He’s shooting 36 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range. Knox’s low shooting percentages are a bit concerning, however, it’s definitely something he can improve on in years to come.
On the positive side, Knox had a phenomenal month of December. He averaged 17 points on 40 percent shooting from the field. More impressive, he had a stretch where he averaged double-digit points in 12 straight games. Five of those games included 20 point performances.
Knox has the potential to be a go-to scorer in this league. Things can only get better with a year of NBA service under his belt. Some say he should have stayed at Kentucky another year. While this may be true, he can only improve playing against the best talent in the world.
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