Not sure if Jackson intended it that way, but his comments could end up causing the rookie to overeat next season.
Knicks fans eagerly await his regular-season debut, but nobody would be surprised if he needs a few months or even the entirety of his rookie year before he finally hits his stride in the National Basketball Association.
“Although the competition in the Spanish League is more physical, more consistent and more advanced than even the best D-I college teams over here, KP more than held his own”.
Jackson says that Porzingis will play somewhere close to 20 minutes per game this season and that his position has yet been determined.
“He’s really interesting to watch and the growth is going to be interesting to see”, Jackson said.
And despite his seeming skepticism, Jackson remains confident in Porzingis’ talents.
“Like Shawn Bradley, who was nevertheless a pretty good player, K.P. might nearly be too tall for the game”, Jackson said in the latest edition of “The Phil Files” published by ESPN.
The Knicks picked the 7-1, 220 pound 19-year-old from Latvia fourth overall in June’s National Basketball Association Draft, the team’s highest selection since 1985. Jackson envisions Porzingis adding about 10 pounds of muscle before this coming season, and the president probably wants his new draft pick to continue developing muscle as the year goes on.
But despite the franchise’s many struggles in recent history, any lottery pick is a rare commodity in New York. From what we saw in Summer League, Porzingis might be the big long and athletic enough to step out and contest all the three-point shooters Melo usually leaves open.
Steve Mills (from left), Kristaps Porzingis, Phil Jackson, Jerian Grant and Derek Fisher. Although the Zen Master expressed some concern about Porzingis’ size, he feels Porzingis will inevitably develop into a very powerful player.
But the Knicks managed to get a guard with their second first-round pick – which they acquired from Atlanta for Tim Hardaway Jr. on draft night – by selecting former Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant. “He’s quick, has 3-point range, knows how to pass, can break a defense down with his handle, knows how to get through screens and is comfortable getting people involved on offense”. “To me, that reveals a lot about his character”. But with a healthy influx of frontcourt bruisers into The Big Apple this offseason (Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin, etc.) and a league that will allow him to focus on his strong perimeter game, Porzingis might not need to.
And with that, Jackson’s second draft, and the start of what he hopes to be a new era for the Knicks, was in the books.