With their second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected Ignas Brazdeikis, after his first season in the G League, lets take a look at how he did.
The New York Knicks are still rebuilding, trying to look for quality young players to help build around their core players like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. 2019 second-round pick Ignas Brazdeikis may fill that role after a terrific G League season.
Brazdeikis was selected from The University of Michigan with the 47th pick in last year’s draft. He joined RJ Barrett on the Knicks, as the two had previously spent time as teammates on the Canadian national team during the under-17 World Cup.
He didn’t spend much time with the pros after the preseason as he was unable to crack a forward rotation filled with guys like Marcus Morris and Kevin Knox. This may have been a blessing in disguise, as the former Big Ten Freshman of the Year shined in the G League.
Brazdeikis averaged 20.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on 50/34/69 shooting splits during his season in Westchester. He finished fifth among G League rookies in points per game. However, his impact goes beyond the stat sheet.
Here are some of his NBA-ready skills:
Mid Range Shooting
Ignas Brazdeikis was absolutely lethal on jumpers inside the arc, shooting 54% on mid-range shots. This is even more impressive when you consider that 65% of those field goals were unassisted, showcasing his rapidly-improving shot creation.
At just 21 years old, it isn’t hard to imagine Brazdeikis expanding his mid-range shot-creating skills out to the three-point line as he gets older.
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Standing at only 6’6″, the Canadian guard/forward hybrid has been a consistent rebounding machine throughout the year, averaging over six boards in each month of the season. He also had some major rebounding nights, grabbing double-digit boards on four separate occasions.
Crashing the glass is essential for winning teams, as eight of the top 10 rebounding teams during the regular season are now in the NBA playoffs. Brazdeikis will likely fill a bench role next season, but strong rebounding instincts are always a plus.
Late Season Improvement
The man nicknamed “Iggy” upped his game as the season went on, shooting 31% from deep in his first nine games to 36% from behind the arc in his last 15 games. He also cracked 30 points just once in the first nine games, hitting the 30-point mark four times in the same 15 games mentioned previously.
It’s great to see clear evidence of Brazdeikis improving throughout the year, and it’s going to be exciting to see how he can take his game to the next level next year. He’ll have a very real chance to make the roster, and if he can sharpen his already-developing skills then he should have a spot in the 2020-21 New York Knicks rotation.