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Knicks Nab ND’s Grant for Hardaway

AP Images

AP Images

Kristaps Porzingis is not the only player the New York Knicks landed at Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The ‘Bockers were able to get former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant in a deal that sent Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks selected Grant for New York with the 19th overall pick.

Grant was an All-American in his fifth and final season for the Irish, putting up per game averages of 16.5 points, 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals. He shot 48 percent from the field and also managed to add three rebounds a game to his stat sheet.

Grant seems like an immediate upgrade over Hardaway, who averaged 11.5 points in his sophomore season but did virtually nothing else for the Knicks. At 6-feet, 5-inches and 203 pounds, Grant is a large player in the back court and is versatile enough to handle the one and two positions. He plays with a hard nose and grit on defense – something the Knicks are definitely in need of – and brings a sense of maturity sculpted by five years of college hoops to Madison Square Garden.

Grant is a solid passer and has a knack for driving to the hoop and kicking the ball out to the open man. Those skills could allow the 22-year-old to easily gel with Carmelo Anthony and his draft-mate Porzingis as they spot up behind the arch. A Swiss army knife on offense, Grant can also make good use of the pick and roll.

The son of Harvey Grant and the nephew of Horace Grant, Jerian will need to improve his shot – which he does have the ability to create by the way – to better fit Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. If he can up that area of his game he will be able to make up for Hardaway’s edge in the scoring department.

Overall, he comes to New York with much more of a complete game than what Hardaway had displayed in his two seasons of pro ball and should be a nice piece for the Knicks to build around come free agency.

The Knicks also acquired the rights to the Philadelphia 76ers 35th pick in the second round, Guillermo Hernangomez. A teammate of Porzingis in Spain, New York gave up two future second-rounders for the 6-foot, 11-inch, 255-pound center. They will stash him overseas for at least a year.


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