For whatever reason, the Knicks have done a decent job of getting value and production out of their second round draft picks over the last decade. In 2010, the Knicks drafted Landry Fields 39th overall. Landry made NBA All-Rookie first team, the only second round pick that season on the team. In his two seasons, Landry played 30 minutes a night averaging 9.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and scored 0.8 three pointers per game. Landry happened to play for the Knicks in a rare playoff appearance in 2011.
In 2017, the Knicks drafted SF Damyean Dotson 44th overall. In his second season in 2018, Dotson made 44 starts for the Knicks, playing SG averaging 10.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.7 three pointers per game. Dotson will probably lose playing time this season to 2019 1st round pick RJ Barrett, who will slide in at SG this season. Dotson will most likely be a wing player off the bench this upcoming season.
In 2018, the Knicks drafted Mitchell Robinson 36th overall. To put it simply, Robinson is a beast. The 7’1 center is 21 years old, and played 20.6 minutes a night his rookie season. Robinson is unique in that he was committed to attend Western Kentucky University, however he withdrew and spent the 2017-2018 college season training on his own. He decided to declare for the 2018 NBA draft, despite not playing for any college team. Robinson became the first player to be recruited in the NBA draft who did not play for an organized team the year before entering the draft. Perhaps the Knicks would not have been able to grab him in the second round had he had an orthodox college career.
Last season, his rookie year, Robinson averaged 2.4 blocks per game (BPG), good for 161 blocks over the full season, which led all rookies. Jaren Jackson of the Memphis Grizzlies ranked second in blocks for rookies with 82 (Robinson doubled Jackson’s amount!!). Robinson was actually second in the entire NBA in blocks, only behind Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. Robinson had a field goal percentage of .694, which led all rookies. Robinson ranked 6th among rookies with 6.4 rebounds per game (RPG). He was named to the All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season.
The Knicks turned a second round pick into one of the most ferocious shot blockers in the entire NBA. Robinson is fast and athletic for a center, and snagging him in the second round looks like an absolute steal right now. His dunks are majestic (he had 128 of them last year), and will score more than 7.3 PPG with an increased role next season.
The Knicks signing PF/C Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Julius Randle will complicate Robinson’s role with the team next year. If they’re smart, they would treat Robinson like the starting center and develop his talent, as he is explosive enough to be their center for the foreseeable future.