With the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks have chosen Kristaps Porzingis, who received a lot of hype in the weeks before the draft and will try to drag the Knicks out of the cellar. The Latvian product is an athletic shot-blocker with great mobility and shooting ability from the perimeter, a rare combination of traits for any big man.
Questions surrounding Porzingis include his lack of strength and contract situation overseas. At 7-2 and 230 pounds, Porzingis lacks the girth to bang down low with NBA frontcourt players. With another year on his contract overseas, Porzingis could finish out that deal to get a bit more seasoning, but the buyout shouldn’t be an obstacle and he’s expected to come over right away.
Porzingis is a mismatch nightmare offensively and has two-way versatility; he shot 45.9 percent from three-point range during EuroCup competition last year while blocking 1.2 blocks shots game. With added weight, Porzingis could develop into a stud on both ends of the court, which makes him the most intriguing European prospect in this draft.
NBA comparison: Donatas Motiejunas (more athletic and defensive-minded)
2014-15 ACB stats: 10.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg (47.1 FG%, 31.3 3P%, 77.4 FT%)