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A Deeper Look at New York Knicks First Round Pick Iman Shumpert

Lets take a deeper look at the Knicks first round pick Iman Shumpert. First lets talk a little about his basketball background. Shumpert chose to forego his senior season at Georgia Tech to enter the NBA draft. He was not heavily slated to be a top 20 pick until he impressed NBA scouts around the league at the draft combine. Shumpert proved that he has surreal athleticism at the draft combine recording the highest vertical at 36.5 inches. A remarkable 4.5 inches higher than last years top recorded vertical by Wesley Johnson.

Shumpert didn’t have to wait too long to hear his name called as with pick number 17 the Knicks selected him. With many Knicks fans not well aware of him, they had a mostly negative reaction to the pick. Many Knicks fans in attendance at the draft were almost certain that with Florida State’s Chris Singleton on the board he was going to be the Knicks pick. At first I was quick to judge this as a bad pick like many other Knick fans, but that was before I took a deeper look at Iman Shumpert. 

Last year Shumpert averaged 17.3ppg, 5.9rpg and 32mpg all career highs for him in his 3 year career at Georgia Tech. His numbers might not stand out as a top 20 pick but his defense along with his athleticism and potential is what got him drafted at 17. Shumpert was called game in and game out to guard the toughest most dynamic scoring guard on the opposing team and rose to the occasion holding some of colleges most prolific scorers to below their season averages. Another thing that’s not measured in the combine is the fact that he’s a bright kid and even made the deans list the past fall semester. With different roles in all 3 years Shumpert has taken whatever situation was given to him and performed the best he possible could.

He’s primarily a point guard but given his size at 6 feet 5 inches and athleticism, he could play the two in the NBA. I see him as a dual guard type of player with athleticism similar to Russell Westbrook or Rodney Stuckey minus the explosive scoring ability. Shumpert will be able to make plays with his ball handling and passing abilities. Shumpert may also be able to get to the hoop at the NBA level if he works on his driving. However Shumperts main weakness to his game is that he is a well below average perimeter shooter.

Shumpert comes into New York with a chip on his shoulder for all people doubting him but if he makes some big time plays and plays solid defense he could easily be a fan favorite in The Garden. Shumpert will mostly have to work on his perimeter game and become a decent outside shooter in order to stretch defenses out. Watching several interviews with him, he seems like a good kid and if he can work hard to continue to improve on his game he has a chance to be a very solid player in this league. Iman is an Arabic name meaning belief and faith and as Knicks fans that’s all we can really do, is try to believe and have faith in our first round pick and hope it all pans out in the end.

2010-11 Stats at Georgia Tech

Height Weight MPG PPG RPG FG pct. 3pt pct. FT pct.
6’5 212 32.0 17.3 5.9 40.6% 27.8% 80.6%

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