The New York Knicks will have to put up with Michael Carter-Williams for many years to come. This year’s Rookie of the Year averaged 18.8 points 11.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists in four games against the Knicks this season, and believe it or not, he has the 19-win Sixers are on the rise.
New York’s prized rookie, Tim Hardaway Jr., proved to be a steal in last year’s draft, but being the Rookie of the Year in New York seems a lost art. With the franchise constantly building through free agency, their draft picks usually come late in the lottery, if they even have any at all. Still, a member of the Knicks has brought home the award on three separate occasions. Can you name who?
Willis Reed (1965)
Reed was the eighth overall pick in the 1964 NBA Draft. While bringing home Rookie of the Year honors in 1965, Reed put up 19.5 points and ripped down 14.7 boards per game. The Knicks improved by nine games that season, but he didn’t have much team success until Walt Clyde Frazier and company arrived several years later. Reed set the precedent for interior toughness in the league, playing nine more seasons with the Knicks, totaling 12,183 points, 8,414 rebounds, seven All-Star Game appearances, and two NBA titles.
Patrick Ewing (1986)
Thanks in part to a frozen envelope, the Knicks won the first ever NBA Draft Lottery and the rights to draft Patrick Ewing. They got an immediate return on investment when he averaged 20.0 points and 9.0 rebounds en route to winning the 1986 Rookie of the Year Award. The Knicks still only finished in 11th place in the Eastern Conference that season, but it was okay because everyone knew that the future was bright. Ewing went on to play 14 more seasons in New York, setting tons of franchise record and getting the team to the NBA Finals twice.
Mark Jackson (1988)
Just two seasons after Ewing brought home the highest rookie honor, the team drafted a point guard that won one of his own. Mark Jackson averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 assists in his first year, improving the Knicks by 14 games and getting them to the playoffs for the first time in four years. He is the only non-lottery player to win the award since the introduction of the draft lottery in 1985. Unfortunately, Jackson didn’t stick in New York, and he was traded to the Clippers for Doc Rivers and Charles Smith in 1992. He went to play 19 total season, totaling 10,334 assists, ranking him fourth all-time in NBA history.
Who was your favorite Knicks rookie in the last ten years? Tim Hardaway Jr.? Iman Shumpert? Landry Fields? Let us know in the comments section below!
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