New York Knicks: Ranking rookie seasons of the last 10 first-round picks

New York Knicks (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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4. Iman Shumpert (2011)

Iman Shumpert flashed signs of playing competent offensive basketball, but it never became his strong suit. Instead, it was work as a perimeter defender, which he thrived in for the New York Knicks and on a title-winning Cleveland Cavaliers team in 2016.

Shumpert joined the Knicks when they were relevant in 2011, coming off a rare playoff appearance. He played 59 of 66 games in the strike-shortened season, averaging 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 40.1 percent shooting, which were fine numbers for a player selected in the bottom half of the first round and more known for his athleticism and defense.

This factored into New York’s next playoff push, and, for the next few seasons, he played a meaningful role off the bench and as an occasional starter.

3. Kevin Knox (2018)

Kevin Knox with the third-best rookie season of any first-round pick of the past 10 years is not much of an award. He was a horrific defender in Year One and had terrible shooting nights along the way as a 19 year old.

However, the bright spots, at times, outshined the negatives of the Kentucky product’s first season. A December NBA Rookie of the Month award highlighted what he could do, with over 17 points per game in those 31 days, on 40 percent shooting. It boosted his overall line to 12.8 points on 37 percent shooting for the year.

The book is hardly written on Knox, but he has a long way to go in development, before becoming an impact NBA player. Still, his stats exceeded most first-rounders of the past decade, placing him in this spot.