Willy Hernangomez

Willy Hernangomez didn’t come with high expectations in his rookie season. He was a second-round pick, and after the Knicks had traded for him on draft night, he elected to spend another year overseas.

Hernangomez was most well-known for being friends with Kristaps Porzingis. Now we know he’s so much more.

Hernangomez is New York’s best roll man and their third leading rebounder. He has an on/off net rating of 5.1 points per 100 possessions. The team’s better when he’s out there.

Hernangomez is leading rookies in field goal percentage, second in PER, and third in double-doubles and rebounding. This is despite being 19th in minutes with just 16.4 per game.

The 22-year-old’s salary is less than $1.5 million for 2016-17, but he’s completely outplayed Joakim Noah on his salary of $17 million.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek said there was no guarantee Noah would have the starting center job when he returned from injury next season. Right now, Hernangomez is the favorite.