Former second round pick Willy Hernangómez has a chance to crack the New York Knicks’ roster next season.They call him the forgotten draft pick.
Willy Hernangómez, 21, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with 35th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, before the New York Knicks shipped two future picks and cash considerations for him.
Once one of the biggest prospects in Euroleague, Hernangómez was loaned by Real Madrid to Cajasol Sevilla in the summer 2013. It was there that he met fellow draft pick and rookie phenom Kristaps Porziņģis, who has quickly become one of the most popular players in the league.
It’s not difficult to speculate why he’s not spoken about: In 2015-16, after being returned to Real Madrid, he averaged a meager 4.3 PPG, 0.3 APG and 3.4 RPG.
The scary part? They’re all career highs.
Hernangómez, who averaged 11.2 minutes per game this past season, was semi-effective. He shot sixty-four percent from the field, and played solid defense.
It should surprise no one that his defensive prowess is highly-touted: he is a 6’10”, 249 pound monster with über-lengthy arms who has been called “a stronger version of Luis Scola,” according to Charley Rosen of ESPN New York.
The Knicks are high on the 21-year-old, and are hoping that lightning can strike twice. It’s unlikely, though, as Hernangómez is posting mediocre stats in a league not known for being that tough.
However, Phil Jackson may be willing to give him a shot, especially since his European contract has expired. Hernangómez would reportedly like to come over to New York, and he expressed his sentiments to Ignacio Ojeda of Somos Basket earlier this year:
Report out of Spain that Willy Hernangómez (contacts expires in June) will come and play for the Knicks next season https://t.co/tO4IQHLm8j
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) March 25, 2016
Maybe this kid will be something special. One can only hope.