Re-draft of the 2011 NBA Draft for the Knicks: Iman Shumpert
Knicks pick: 1st Round, Pick 17
Actual player selected: Iman Shumpert
Picking Iman Shumpert in a redraft over Tobias Harris (19th pick) will be controversial, but I stand by Glen Grunwald taking a shot on Shumpert. You play Shumpert’s career over 20 times, it will likely end differently and better for him and the Knicks every time. The Knicks also had Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, two scoring bigs that overlap with Harris’ skill set.
Shumpert tearing his ACL in his rookie season during the 2012 playoffs prevented him from being one of the top 3-and-D players in the league. He was a phenomenal defender in his rookie season and took up the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best player every night.
Shump was an elite defender, and the Knicks had themselves a multi-time All-Defense guard if he stayed healthy. He had freakish athleticism, elite defensive prowess, and a swagger few Knicks have possessed since the 90s.
The Knicks got swept by the Boston Celtics in the 2011 NBA playoffs, and it was clear that the team needed to get Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire some serious help. The Knicks could have grabbed Tennessee’s Tobias Harris in that draft, who looked like a skilled offensive player with the potential to grow as an offensive threat, but they went with an unknown kid from Georgia Tech. The pick was not well received by Knicks fans, who felt that Shumpert was not a great offensive player and was not the best player on the board.
However, Shumpert was just what the Knicks needed. New York was not a great defensive team, and they needed a guy like Shumpert to help the team on that side of the ball. From day one, he flashed the potential to be an elite defender and defensive stallworth.