New York Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis is struggling to make his way, but David Fizdale is not giving up on the Michigan product.
Thus far, Brazdeikis has yet to score a point during the preseason and his minutes have been scarce. Iggy, over the summer, received a fair amount of hype given his freshman year production at Michigan and his Canadian ties with top-three pick RJ Barrett.
But unlike Barrett, who has steadily improved since the summer league, Brazdeikis is still finding his way. Nevertheless, head coach David Fizdale still has high hopes for his young forward.
“He’s a second-round pick and 19 years old,’’ Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “He’s definitely a work in progress. But again, every minute he plays is important for him. The kid will find his way as he takes his lumps.’’
Despite only averaging a little over 14 points per game and just over five rebounds per game at Michigan, Brazdeikis’s advanced analytics caught the of the Knicks front office, as he finished within the 92nd percentile in spot-up shooting and within the 89th percentile cutting to the rim, per Synergy Sports.
With that in mind, the Knicks felt comfortable with paying the Sacramento Kings cash considerations and trading up to the 47th spot in order to select the 6-foot-7 forward with Canadian and Lithuanian heritage.
Adjusting to the NBA for any player is difficult. Especially for Brazdeikis, the transition will take some time as he is used to having plays run for him as one of the top options of an offense. Add on the fact that the Knicks are very deep at both forward positions, it may seem reasonable to believe that Iggy will spend most of the early part of this season with the Westchester Knicks.
Brazdeikis’s development along with some of his teammates is one of the top storylines for the Knicks this season. With two preseason games left, Knicks fans are hopeful to see Brazdeikis on the floor as the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season draws near.