NY Knicks: 4 Realistic Draft Prospects for New York

NY Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks Draft target No. 3:  Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova

Player comp: David West

This Sophomore power forward from Villanova doesn’t have a lot of wow factor going for him, but he is one of the most intelligent players in his draft class and is getting nowhere near the hype he deserves.

Every year there are a handful of draft prospects who “will not fail”.  Guys who no matter how they progress at the highest level will always have a baseline of ability to give themselves a place in the league.

Prospects like Tyrese Haliburton, Malcolm Brogdon, and Brandon Clarke fit that description.  So does Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

As a big, he has moves in the lane, nice soft hands, and a beautiful shooting stroke.  He’s around 79% from the free-throw line (which projects well for future shooting range), he’s been able to hit some threes in catch-and-shoot situations, but he does the majority of his scoring from the midrange.

He is able to take dribble pullups, face-up in the high post, and shoot over defenders with his high release point.

His weaknesses are more to do with potential upside than his actual play.  At 6’8 with a modest wingspan, Robinson-Earl doesn’t do a lot as far as shot-blocking goes, but he’s always in the right position defensively.

The jump shot provides spacing on the floor, but this Villanova Wildcat has more effective off-ball skills than just standing in the corner waiting.

He plays the dunker spot, clears out the paint when his teammates drive, runs the high pick-&-roll to perfection, and knows how to use his body to seal men out in the paint.

He sees the game at a higher level than most of his peers.  He has a knack for always being in the right place at the right time, and that’s what sets him apart.

On the Knicks, he would be the perfect backup when Randle sits.

There’s still hope that either Obi Toppin or Kevin Knox becomes a viable reserve at the power forward position, but until they prove themselves the Knicks can’t bank on them becoming playoff rotation guys.

Robinson-Earl doesn’t have the athleticism Toppin does or the scoring potential of Knox, but he’s a guaranteed 12 and 5 off the bench right now.  That’s more than either of them can say.