The New York Knicks moved up eight spots (55 to 47) with the Sacramento Kings to grab Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis in the 2019 NBA Draft. As Ignas fell, the Knicks knew they had to make a move for the talented scorer — a player that will hopefully make an impact on a team full of youth and hope.
“Well this guy is going in the first round,” Mills, the Knicks team president, previously stated, according to the NY Daily News. “We’re not going to have a chance to get him. And as we watched the draft play out, our analytics guys, he rates out really high as a rotational NBA player. So we said, when there’s an opportunity to go get him, we decided that was something important for us to do.”
Ignas has the ability to be a true sixth-man — a player that can come in spark offensive production. His speed and impact on the game are impressive, which is why the Knicks didn’t think twice about moving up to grab him.
The statistical analysis by the Knicks have him being a solid rotational player – add in a solid combine performance and he’s a value pick at 47. Averaging 14.8 points-per-game with Michigan in his freshman year, the Knicks know what they’re getting from the winger.
Pairing him with RJ Barrett in the draft, the Knicks walk away with two solid players that can develop into true assets. Clearly, Barrett will play a more immediate role on the starting team.
“I’m a relentless player, I don’t fear anyone or anything,” Brazdeikis said. “I don’t back down from anyone, either. I’m very confident in myself and my abilities as well. I go as hard as I can every single game. I do whatever it takes to help the team win. I’m aggressive. I feel like I know who I am as a basketball player.”
Despite his glaring confidence, Ignas has his fair share of deficiencies. Defense and elite athleticism to name a few, however, he’s great around the rim and shot 39% from behind the arc last year. He can be a better version of Steve Novak in a sense.
It will be interesting to see how the Knicks use him in his first year as a professional.