With the New York Knicks drafting RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, all of the headlines and focus was steered in his direction. However, their second-round pick could have a similar impact in year one.
Ignas Brazdeikis, who was expected to be a first-round selection dropped to the second giving the Knicks an excellent opportunity to snag him and utilize his offensive talents.
The 20-year-old was the first player to score 30 points in this year’s summer league competition. Against the Phoenix Suns, he put up 30 points, eight rebounds, with three baskets from beyond the arc.
Brazdeikis showed off impressive versatility and diversity with his offense this summer. His jump shot seems to be translating to the NBA, and he has the athleticism to compete against stronger and faster players.
In his last and only season at Michigan, Ignas shot 39.2% from three-point land and .462 from the field. He averaged 14.8 points per game over 29.6 minutes.
With the Knicks, some might think he will be a developmental player that competes in the G-league. Others think he can be an impact player right off the bat and provide offensive production early on in the season. He has looked more refined and impressive compared to RJ Barrett, but the Knicks’ first-round pick has more overall potential.
New York has had great success in the second round of the draft the past two seasons, snagging Mitchell Robinson last year. With Iggy now displaying serious potential, he could be a rotational player with the first team. The veteran signings this off-season pose a problem for the rookie as he will need to fend off quality talent to crack the first team and earn playing time.
Players like Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson could keep Brazdeikis off the floor and in the G-league. Only 12 players can dress for a game which puts him on the outside, looking in.