New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis made the jump into the top 25 of ESPN’s NBA player rankings before his third season.The New York Knicks have had plenty to gripe about this week with ESPN. In their new NBA rankings, Carmelo Anthony slipped all the way to No. 64. The team had nothing to complain about on Thursday, though, when Kristaps Porzingis’ ranking came in.
ESPN ranked Porzingis No. 22, an 11 spot jump from last year, ahead of multiple All-Star players. It’s sure to cause controversy that a 22-year-old ranks ahead of players like Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, and Mike Conley.
Stats and info projects Porzingis to have a RPM of 3.42 in 2017-18. Last season, his RPM was 1.59. He finished 14th among all qualified power forwards. Like everyone else, the experts who make these rankings have an opinion on KP as a No. 1 scorer.
He protects the rim like Rudy Gobert and shoots 3s like Dirk Nowitzki in his prime. The next step for Porzingis is consistently carrying an offense, as he ranked just third on the Knicks in usage percentage last season behind Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose. Some evidence that Porzingis still isn’t the “give it to him and get out of the way” offensive threat? He shot just 38 percent last season on shots in which he held the ball two or more seconds before shooting.