The NBA general managers named three New York Knicks in their annual survey while Doug McDermott works for a starting job.The annual survey of the NBA’s general managers was released this week and Kristaps Porzingis was well represented. The unicorn was one of three New York Knicks featured in the survey released by NBA.com.
Porzingis was voted second most likely to have a breakout season in 2017-18 behind only the Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns was the first overall pick in the same draft as Porzingis — 2015.
Last year’s GM survey named Porzingis in the breakout season question under the “Also receiving votes” category. Phoenix Suns superstar shooting guard Devin Booker was chosen first.
Porzingis was also ranked the fourth best international player in the league. The 22-year-old is behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Marc Gasol. He was voted fourth in last year’s GM survey too.
KP wasn’t the only Knick named in the survey. New additions Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. were named too.
Kanter received votes under “What bench player makes the biggest impact when he enters the game?” Hardaway received votes for “What was the most surprising move of the offseason?” The latter wasn’t a glowing endorsement of the Knicks front office or their new acquisition.
There’s a competition to replace Carmelo Anthony in the starting lineup at small forward for the upcoming season. After one preseason game, it looks like the Knicks could already have a favorite — Doug McDermott.
McDermott’s receiving praise not just from Kanter but head coach Jeff Hornacek too. Kanter says McDermott is “probably the top 3-point shooter in the league.”
Via Marc Berman of The New York Post:
“First of all, with Doug, he can get an easy … triple-double,’’ Kanter told The Post. “Teams sending double-teams, and if you find him, he’ll make shots. In practice, I’m trying to pass to him all the way on the other end because I know he’s going to make it. I love playing with Doug — nice locker-room guy. [The fans] should be really excited about him.
Hornacek—a 40 percent shooter from three-point range in his 14-year career—praised McDermott’s shooting and noted that he can be better on defense.
“Obviously Doug can really shoot the ball,’’ Hornacek said. “His rotations are in the right spot. Most of the times you don’t have to be a great defender to be a great team guy on the defensive side. [Former Jazz coach] Jerry Sloan always said that about me about defense. … I never really thought I was a very good defensive player [but], I was always in the right spot. You look at some of the guys on our team: Doug, Ron [Baker], these guys that aren’t maybe the athletes some of the others are, just by being in the right spot 100 percent of the time is very helpful.’’
The former college star at Creighton is competing with shooting guard Courtney Lee and fellow newcomer Michael Beasley for Anthony’s former job.
If Hornacek wants to go small he’ll go with Lee. Beasley gives them some of the isolation scoring that Anthony provided.