2011 NBA Draft Results: Loser -- New York Knicks
When the Knicks nearly emptied their talented young bench to trade for Carmelo Anthony from Denver, it wasn’t for his defensive prowess.
And before that, when New York acquired Amar’e Stoudemire, it wasn’t because he was known as a shutdown defender.
The Knicks knew coming into this draft that they needed to make some defensive improvements, and likely looked at this year’s NBA Draft as the perfect starting point to building that part of their team.
And although they came close with their only actual pick, they fell short, not as much for who they took, but more for who they could have taken.
The Knicks drafted Georgia Tech point guard Iman Shumpert with the 17th overall pick. And, again, this isn’t as much a criticism of Shumpert per se, as he’s a solid all-around point guard who has a reputation of playing pretty strong perimeter defense himself.
But by passing on the then-still available Chris Singleton of Florida State, the Knicks might have missed an opportunity to steal one of the first round’s best combinations of lock-down defense and athletic ability from a big body still on the board.
Singleton was the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year—it doesn’t get much more defensive than that.
And although Shumpert’s no defensive slouch, he doesn’t give the Knicks the same inside-outside offensive and defensive playmaking abilities that Singleton would have provided.
New York’s answer to shore up its interior defense was to purchase the 45th overall pick from New Orleans for around $700,000 and draft Kentucky center Josh Harrellson.
And although Harrellson’s a good story and seems like a great kid, he wasn’t a conference defensive player of the year award winner like Singleton.
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