With three picks in this year’s draft, the Knicks will have plenty of options to upgrade their talent. Duke guard Cassius Stanley should be on their radar.
The completion of the NBA’s draft lottery gave the New York Knicks some closure into their draft preparation process. The front office now knows that they will select eighth in this year’s upcoming draft, however, they also have another first-round pick (27) and a second-round pick (38) at their disposal.
Combing through the various holes and weaknesses in the current Knicks’ roster, shooting and play-making have vaulted to the top of most fans’ wish list. This past season, Duke freshman guard Cassius Stanley earned All-ACC freshman honors averaging just over 12 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 36 percent from the three-point line.
Stanley is not a primary, maybe not even a secondary play-maker but he has game-changing athleticism, so much so, that he broke Zion Williamson’s vertical leap record (46.5 inches btw) during his only year at Duke.
With teammates like Tre Jones and Vernon Carey jr., Stanley slotted into a role as a catch-and-shoot player, who could attack closeouts and make the defense rotate.
A six-foot-six guard, just under 200 pounds, Stanley posted the third-highest usage rate on the team, and assumed some of the responsibilities as a lead ball-handler, however, he was often more effective as someone who could catch the ball off a cut to the basket and use his elite athleticism to make plays.
Let’s review the strengths and weaknesses of Stanley’s game and his fit with the Knicks.