NY Knicks: How Kenny Wooten can help the rebuild

New York Knicks forward Kenny Wooten #14. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
New York Knicks forward Kenny Wooten #14. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

Getting to know New York Knicks prospect Kenny Wooten.

Kenny Wooten is a New York Knicks prospect that has recently won over the internet community for his highlights and exciting engagement with fans on Twitter. Let’s take a quick dive into how Kenny Wooten is winning fans over and learn more about who he is.

Kenny Wooten is a 6-8 Pf/C who plays for the Westchester Knicks. If you’re a diehard Knicks fan, you’ve surely heard of him and were hoping either he or Ignas Brazdeikis were called up at the end of last year when the season was already clearly lost.

Last month, he resurfaced on fans’ radar when he took to twitter and showed some personality that led him to be trending in the Knicks community. He’s an unknown commodity to the average fan so I wanted to dive into his career to this point and allow everyone to be introduced to Mitchell Robinson 2.0 aka Kenny Wooten.

College Career

Kenny Wooten went to the University of Oregon for two seasons between 2017-2019. If you looked at his numbers, the traditional counting stats look underwhelming. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing 21.8 minutes per game over his college career.

Where he did stand out was with his defense and efficiency. He was a two-time Pac-12 All-Defensive selection and led the Pac 12 in blocks his freshman year. He had a 63.4 field goal percentage, averaged 2.4 blocks, and had a PER (player efficiency rating) of 18.7 while playing for the Ducks. His was also a highlight factory on a nightly basis.

Wooten left Oregon as their third leading shot blocker of all time, despite playing there for only two seasons. The talent is clearly there and it was surprising no one picked him up in the draft. He’s exactly the type of late round pick that has NBA talent and the upside that is worth picking in the final ten picks of a draft.

While Wooten’s potential in the NBA may never be anything more than a pick-and-roll big man with a knack at shot blocking, there is a spot for that type of player in the NBA. If he can develop a shot, (he’s been practicing) then he will no doubt be in the NBA for many years to come.

G-League Westchester Knicks

Last season on the G-League affiliate Westchester Knicks, Wooten averaged 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, while dishing out 1.3 assists. Keep in mind he did this while only averaging 24.9 minutes per game.

His per-36 puts him at 11.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and a whopping 5.3 blocks per game!!! While that block number is obviously unsustainable, those are eye-popping numbers. He even went on to earn spots on the 3rd team All-G League and G-League All-Defensive team. Those are some pretty impressive achievements for a 1st year player and shows that his game has translated from college. You can see in the highlights below just how exciting a player he can be.

After watching that video, who does Wooten remind you of? That’s right, the current Knicks’ hopeful cornerstone Mitchell Rob(Lob?)inson.

Both players are rim-running shot blockers who have above average athleticism. It’s eerie just how similar their play styles are and it’s the reason fans have been calling for Wooten to be called up all last year.

If the Knicks smartly commit to a proper rebuild (and they should), having Wooten on the team as the 11/12th man would be an excellent idea. As with Ignas, both players should see bench minutes next season so that the coaching staff can properly evaluate them as NBA caliber prospects.

Wooten Winning over the Twitter Mob

Without playing a single game yet, Kenny Wooten has already won the Knicks internet mob over. It was in late September when Mr. Wooten decided to bless our social media feeds with fan-worthy hot takes. Let’s take a look at some of the tweets that has led the Knicks fans to like him more than any Nets fan could like Durant (They’ve played the same amount of games on their respected teams btw).

He wasn’t going to say anything, but we’re glad that he did.

Hopefully he isn’t the only one.

Hopefully Giannis will agree.

I feel the same way when writing these articles, Kenny.

He’s not wrong, you know.

Kenny Wooten is an exciting young prospect who already has an elite NBA talent with his shot blocking. If the team correctly commits to a youth rebuild, there is no reason he shouldn’t be getting bench minutes next year.

Next. How rugged forwards can help Knicks. dark

With what would be an extremely cheap contract and his potential to contribute meaningful minutes to the franchise, the correct move would be for the Knicks to play him and see what they have in the young center. What’s not to love?