Tommy DeeHere are my scouting reports on players at today’s Knicks workout…
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State 6’1 195
- Pure PG who can score. This is talked about a lot but doesn’t always apply. This kid can absolutely do both.
- Absolutely cannot leave him open. Number one factor in evaluating PGs is can they knock down open looks. Norris Cole comes to mind. His shooting, knowing NBA defenses would dare him to make, separated him in Riley’s mind. Can Canaan prove he doesn’t deserve to be left wide open from 22 anywhere on the floor. Major plus for me.
- He gets you in transition. Major need for the Knicks last year was lack of transition buckets. They need a player who can run and find Melo in secondary break. I like this kid’s vision and understanding.
- Not the pure athletic combo guard the Knicks desperately need.
- Although he didn’t shoot well against St.John’s I loves that he didn’t force shots and bad passes. That patience showed me a ton as in his shot would show up again. He trusted his teammates. His next 3 games he made 28 of 44 shots from the floor.
Conclusion: He’s ahead of last year’s draft class offensively. Not a starter but a player you draft and develop in practice. NBA rotation ready if you need to spread the floor like the Knicks. I have him Projected anywhere from 35-45.
Desaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State 6’7 225
- Love this kid’s scoring savvy
- Tough, strong, fearless. Reminds me a lot of Michael Redd off the ball before the catch. Not the creator with the bounce but knows how to find his spot and get his shot.
- Big shot maker. No clue why Craft always feels the need to take the last shot all the time. Michigan game he should have called Thomas’ number down the stretch. Motta’s inability to get him touches late lost this game.
- Not a superior athlete but crafty. Recognizes mismatches well and can post smaller defenders. He can play the 2/3 in the NBA with range and mid range but can he guard more than 1 position? Do you need him to?
- I think he can play 15-20 a night right away but can he hold up over 82?
- Handle? You’d like to see more of a bigger James Harden in terms of navigating to the basket. He relied on Craft to break down defenses. Does this make him purely a 3?
Conclusion: I have him anywhere in the 2nd round from 40-50. NBA scorers are commodities and this kid can definitely fill it.
Brandon Triche, PG, Syracuse 6’4 210
- Legit NBA size and ball control but can he play 2 positions and guard them? No. Lacks lateral quickness to guard NBA PGs and length to guard 2s. Doesn’t shoot well enough to play the 2 today.
- Surprisingly athletic in spurts. Plays low to the floor sort of like Doc Rivers used to but can hit you with that sudden burst of athleticism. Would love to see more and more consistently.
- Questionable jumper and mid range game should be far more advanced for a 4 year player.
- Solid ball defender at college level but don’t see enough of it. These Cuse guards get bailed out playing in zone with forwards like Southerland and Fair with major length. Don’t have to cover that much ground.
- Not overmatched by PGs in conference from what Ive seen but rarely is the best guard on the floor.
- Identifies lane and can be a competent DDM guard if he can gain aforementioned consistent explosion to the block. First step is NBA-ready but not finishing ability.
Conclusion: Nice Euro career if he learns more pick and roll timing. Development League stash if you think he can become a far better athlete with proper training. But way behind D-League curve particularly last year’s class.
Murphy Holloway, Forward, Ole Miss 6’7 240
- Signed with the Ravens to play football
- I think Portsmouth is a hub for tweeners at the 3/4. Holloway is gifted physically but lacks the range to hit 3s.
- Could fit a need for a team who needs a strong 3. A lot of Anthony Mason/Rodney Rogers in my mind. Crafty lefty who causes problems from a match up standpoint with size and strength.
Conclusion: I like him a lot but not a fit for the Knicks right now in terms of need. I’d think about signing him as a free agent.
AJ Matthews, Center, Farmingdale State 7’0 240 (with help from R. Sauerhaft)
- Plays often with his back to the basket. Not difficult to push him off the block which at this level is a MAJOR red flag.
- He’s very comfortable finishing at the rim with either hand. Clearly, he’s worked on his left. It’s a big part of his game.
- Nice footwork on spin moves in the lane but nowhere near NBA ready. That can be worked on see Hibbert or Larry Sanders.
- He doesn’t go up soft, he attacks the basket.
- Caught the ball one time more so on the wing than the low block, faced up to the basket and hit an easy jumper from 15 feet. Good shooting mechanics. Very simple. Soft touch.
- Good FT shooter. Few moving parts in his shooting motion. Again, a very simple stroke with few moving parts.
- Is patient when the ball comes to him in the post, is willing to pass to the open man when Purchase College brought the double team. He doesn’t seem particularly strong with the ball when the double team comes, though.
- Dribbled up the court two or three times trying to lead the break. Doesn’t look uncomfortable dribbling the ball but the jury is still put whether he can dribble with someone guarding him. Too small a sample size.
- Defense – I never saw him guard anyone above the lane so I have no clue if he can hedge on the pick and roll, play help and recover, etc. I’m still not sure what he’s capable of on defense.
Conclusion: All in all, he’s an intriguing guy. There’s something there. I just don’t know how much. I could see him playing in the D league or overseas, and where it goes from there, I have no idea. Would I spend one of the 60 draft picks on him? No. Would I sign him as an undrafted free agent? Heck, yeah.