With the No. 34 pick in the NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Cleanthony Early out of Wichita State.
“I love them,” Anthony said about the Knicks, according to SNY’s Adam Zagoria (June 26).
Early helped lead his team to a 34-0 record heading into the NCAA Tournament last year.
At 6 foot 8 inches and 210 pounds, he averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 27.4 minutes per game for the Shockers last season. He averaged 25.5 points per game per 40 minutes.
He scored 1,135 points and had 425 rebounds in two seasons for Wichita State.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThere’s a lot to like in a prospect with Early’s potential.
He can score the basketball efficiently and crash the boards as well. But perhaps more importantly, he comes from a winning environment at Witchita State. As Phil Jackson aims to create a winning culture in the Big Apple, grabbing someone who knows how to be successful while rising up as an underdog doesn’t hurt.
Like Carmelo Anthony, Early is a homegrown kid. He grew up in New York and spent some time upstate through high school.
Sam SpiegelmanIt’s certainly an interesting decision on the part of Phil Jackson, but it could ultimately be one that pays off.
It fills a need at small forward, especially if and when Carmelo Anthony walks in free agency. I’m not sure how well Early will translate to the NBA, especially right away, but I do like he comes from a winning college program.
Harris DeckerThis is the kind of pick that you love to see from Phil Jackson. It’s a smart pick for so many reasons, most importantly of which is that the Knicks needed a talented forward with the ability to score.
No matter what Carmelo decides to do, Cleanthony can provide depth at a position that has been shallow in recent years. Now, the Knicks find themselves with a young talent that can develop into a “Phil guy” over the next few years.
Below is a profile of Early from the Missouri Valley Conference from earlier this season: