The New York Knicks received draft rights to 20-year-old Issuf Sanon through the Marcus Morris trade deadline deal.
The NBA trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon with multiple players having been moved around the league. This includes Marcus Morris Sr., who found himself a new home in California through a three-team trade between the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Washington Wizards. In return, the Knicks received Moe Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick (via the Clippers), a 2021 second-round pick (via the Pistons), and a 2021 first-round pick swap (with the Clippers).
Reported by David Aldridge, the Knicks also received the draft rights to Issuf Sanon.
Draft rights to PG Issuf Sanon, taken by Wizards in second round in ’18 and who is still overseas, will go to New York as part of this deal.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) February 6, 2020
Issuf is a Ukrainian guard who the Washington Wizards selected with the No. 44 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He played with KK Petrol Olimpija prior to entering the draft.
The 20-year-old spent some time with the Wizards during that offseason, showcasing his talents in the 2018 NBA Summer League. After that, Issuf went back to play with KK Petrol Olimpija for the 2018-19 season, where he averaged 4.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists through 17 games in Liga ABA.
For the following 2019-20 season, Sanon decided to go back to his home country of Ukraine and play for BK Dnipro. He and Dnipro recently played in the FIBA Europe Cup and ranked fourth in their group standings.
Sanon originally played for Dnipro in 2016 and then again during the 2017-18 campaign before being drafted. Coming into the NBA, what stood out was this stat-line: 24.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.4 steals through five games in the Ukrainian second division Higher League.
Issuf has steadily improved with Dnipro. He averaged 12.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists with a 46.6% shooting percentage through six games in the Europe Cup.
Other teams on his basketball card are the U-16 and U-18 Ukrainian national teams.
But all in all, it’s mainly what Sanon brings to the table that can make him a valuable asset to New York.
The point guard position has remained a Knickerbocker bugaboo. Standing at 6-foot-4, Issuf would be a solid size option for that spot. For someone his height, he’s very athletic and explosive at the rim.
Sanon additionally possesses a decent motor and plays with high energy. He’s always playing each game with his foot on the gas and isn’t afraid to attack the rim with a defender underneath. He can also go straight to the basket to finish the shot.
From driving to the basket to making his shots, you can always rely on Sanon to knock down the open three. This is convenient, considering how the Knicks have struggled from beyond the arc all season long (shooting 33.6%).
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson has been quite the monster when it comes to pick-and-rolls and finishing alley-oops. Sanon is a ball handler that the Knicks can use, as he possesses terrific pick-and-roll skills.
For a 20-year-old, Issuf can pressure the ball well with his quick hands but lacks a degree of anticipation to stay in front of elite athletes. With his leaping ability, you can occasionally see him chasing down blocks.
New York could possibly see the rise of its newest point guard. The remaining 12 games with BK Dnipro will give him time to still progress before heading to the NBA.