The Knicks’ front office scouted additional players they think are building blocks to the organization’s goals. Only this time, the Knicks invite an unexpected local from New York.
According to Ari Kramer of Newsday, the New York Knicks recently scouted East Northport native Luke Petrasek of the Columbia Lions. An unanticipated prospect, his 6’10” size and cited weight of 230 pounds are only the crux of Petrasek’s special measurables at the small forward position.
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornaceck reportedly ran a Tuesday workout that hosted Petrasek with a variety of other more well-known talents in the draft. Petrasek’s college coach, Jim Engles, offered his opinion on the skillset of his client.
"“[Petrasek] reminds me of [former Chicago Bulls player] Toni Kukoc,” said Jim Engles, who took over as Columbia’s coach last year. “He’s a big, 6-10, rangy athlete who can shoot it. He can dribble it. When I first saw him play, I was really excited. I said to my assistant, man, this kid’s got a lot of talent.”"
Phil Jackson is known for conglomerating a nostalgic vision in his building efforts of the Knicks. We Knicks fans have seen it fail countless times during his last two campaigns as the anointed Knicks executive.
But this commemoration of ex-Bulls player Toni Kukoc looks like it could prove useful with this unique specimen at the wing. Jackson usually likes his prospects to be less “ball-dominant,” and Petrasek seems to be up his alley with this trait.
The New York native is physically gifted, antithetically and athletically. Watching tape of him seems as if his agent hasn’t used a cheap salesman trick to boost his client’s stock as prospect.
There are no guarantees quantifying his success to that of a Kukoc at the NBA level. But his measurables as a lengthy perimeter threat acknowledges the NBA’s demand for versatility.
Add in the fact that Petrasek is only 21. I have recently been critical about investing in “project-material” players. That differs to the skillset of a current player who has already taken up this mantle: Kristaps Porzingis.
However, the Knicks have a chance to acquire a player who’s similar in skillset to Porzingis—only shorter and with more athletic potential.
Petrasek proved as much with averages of 15.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.6 3-point field goals made in 2016-17.
It would service the Knicks mightily if they were to succeed in acquiring Petrasek and culturing his skillset around Toni Kukoc. If that were to transpire, he could make mismatches running the floor in transition, or make them in half-court situations.
Petrasek may not be drafted by the Knicks, but give his unpopular reputation, he can prove to be a convenient signee in free agency. Or the Knicks could trade for an extra pick in the draft.
Let’s hope either scenario is proven successful.
It’s also worth noting that Petrasek grew up a Knicks fan. Perhaps he’s a player fated to be wearing the orange and blue.