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Things You Need to Know About NY Knicks Rookie Cleanthony Early

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 03: Cleanthony Early #17 of the New York Knicks poses for a portrait during the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot at MSG Training Center on August 3, 2014 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Frank CesareContributor IIAugust 7, 2014

The New York Knicks added another scorer to their bench.

Cleanthony Early brings versatility to the Knicks rotation and depth at the 3. The 6'8" rookie from Wichita State rebounds well and should be an effective cutter in the triangle offense. He possesses good athleticism and ought to become a reliable defender in the NBA

 

Made in New York

Early was born in Middletown, New York and frequently professes his gratitude:

With a wise head on his shoulders, he should become a consistent rotation player for head coach Derek Fisher. Via Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, Early said the following in regard to his current opportunity: "With no school, I have nothing else to do but time to work on my craft, and I’m all for it. That’s what I’ve wanted to do for my whole life, and now it’s here. You think I’m not going to do it?"

Early could use a little more muscle, but at 23 years old he's more than capable of backing up Carmelo Anthony and contributing on both ends. 

He's been asking questions and studying game film from Phil Jackson's Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams to better understand the triangle offense, as he says in the interview below:

Early has the desire to grow into his unique skill set. 

 

Expectations

Aside from some initial rookie jitters, Early should adapt to the NBA game rather easily. He can score off the dribble and is athletic enough to thrive in transition and finish around the rim.

He was a little tentative at times during the summer league, but that could be chalked up to inexperience.

An NBA scout said the following about Early, via Marc Berman of the Post: "He still hasn’t shown he wants to put the ball on the floor. But his defense is good. He plays hard."

Early had no problem putting the ball on the floor and scoring against the opposition in college, and as his confidence rises with experience, he should find himself and become a productive slasher. 

He'll get plenty of opportunities to cut to the basket and finish easily around the rim as long as the triangle is executed correctly. 

Early also possesses enough range to be a factor along the perimeter. 

The Knicks have a talented young player who should provide the franchise with another consistent option on offense and defense. 

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