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Thread: ESPN: Draft's Biggest Sleeper Loves NY

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Nyk Logo ESPN: Draft's Biggest Sleeper Loves NY

    Tyler's maturity (and game) might fit Knicks

    By Jared Zwerling
    GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks draft prospect Jeremy Tyler, who made national headlines in 2009 for skipping his senior year of high school to play professionally overseas, impressed GMs at Chicago's NBA draft combine in mid-May with his interviews.

    Last Monday at the Knicks practice facility, Tyler gave a group of about 10 reporters a taste of how he did that. When a door opened into the media room and the 20-year-old center appeared, he introduced himself to every member of the media with an extended handshake and "Hi, I'm Jeremy." In my years working in sports, I had never seen a player do that before a press conference, large or small.

    It was a pleasant surprise considering how Tyler had been portrayed in the two previous years. Back in 2009, several months after signing with the pro basketball club Maccabi Haifa in August, reports surfaced out of Israel that he was having a turbulent time. The New York Times reported: "His coach calls him lazy and out of shape. The team captain says he is soft. His teammates say he needs to learn to shut up and show up on time. He has no friends on the team. In extensive interviews with Tyler, his teammates, coaches, his father and advisers, the consensus is that he is so na´ve and immature that he has no idea how na´ve and immature he is. So enamored with his vast potential, Tyler has not developed the work ethic necessary to tap it."

    Tyler admitted that being overseas in the foreign city of Haifa as an 18-year-old without his family by his side was "pretty tough," but he had an appetite to take on the challenge -- and he said it was a coming-of-age experience.

    "That's exactly what I wanted," Tyler said. "I was coming to a situation not really knowing how to handle myself. I wanted to challenge myself, challenge my skills, challenge me as a person. It was like a developmental year. I grew up. I developed a lot of good daily things that I didn't have, such as being a professional, just learning how to carry myself and learning how to conduct myself in the public as a sports figure, as a model person."

    Tyler left Haifa in March of 2010 to return to his hometown of San Diego, but it didn't take him very long to book another international flight. This time, it was to Tokyo, Japan, to play for the local Apache club -- and this time, he was mentally prepared. With the guidance of his sideline boss Bob Hill, who coached the Knicks in the 1986-87 season and other NBA teams in the 1990s, Tyler became the mature person the group of reporters met last week.



    "[Bob's] been everything I could possibly want in a mentor, a coach and a father figure," Tyler said. "I was there by myself. I basically lived at his house. I was going there every day eating and he was installing how to be a professional, how to be a man, how to be a good person -- and all that transitioned over to basketball. He's been everything as far as teaching me the game. He always told me, 'If you have everything that I have in my brain in your body right now, you'll be the best player ever.' So I said, 'I'm going to soak up everything every single day.'"





    Not only can Tyler sway the Knicks from now until next week's draft with his maturity -- one of the most important intangible assets needed to make it under the bright lights of New York -- but he plays a position, center, the team would like to upgrade. It appeared early on in the pre-draft process that they might look for a point guard to back up Chauncey Billups, especially with the concern over his age (34) and his recent playoff injury. But since his follow-up MRI showed no further damage to his left knee suffered in Game 1 of the first-round series vs. Boston, a player like Tyler (or a versatile forward like Chris Singleton) could re-direct the Knicks' focus heading into June 23.

    Tyler, who was one of the top high school players in the country in the class of 2010 (he never went to college), is also applauded for his NBA-ready size (6'11", 260), big hands, 7'5" wingspan and athleticism, which onlookers raved about in Chicago. According to scouts, Tyler was one of two players (the other being Kentucky center Enes Kanter) who dramatically improved their stock.



    Regarding his Knicks workout, Tyler said it was "real competitive" and he did "pretty good." Becoming a 'Bocker would be a dream come true for arguably the biggest sleeper in the draft.

    "The Knicks are my favorite team," Tyler said. "I definitely can bring a lot of intensity, especially on defense. That was basically my role in Tokyo. I have a motor that never stops. I want to play hard and I go after it every single play. What I can bring to the Knicks is great, fundamental defense, especially a lot of heart added in to the heart that's already there, and just playing hard -- giving it everything I got."

    Pretty soon, he may be sending out a welcome letter to every Knicks fan.


    I had no idea this guy was even an entry. I've watched him over in Tokyo twice, though the game here relies purely on isolation and kick-out for 5s offensively. Really not a big man's game, and hardly a good indicator, so I won't be able to assist with my own analyses. I've heard nothing but good things about his mentor, Bob Hill.

    Size, weight, athleticism.

    Could this be our guy?

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    Seems to have pretty good measurements. I especially like that wingspan of his...but we all know that doesn't always translate, otherwise Jerome James would be, well, good.

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    Member kylepicklehead's Avatar
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    THANK You Crazy 8's. I just posted about this guy on possible draft picks, and then a second later you go and make a forum about him.

    This kid could be great for us.

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    Superstar Sage's Avatar
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    Sounds impressive, if he's available we should definitely go for it.

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    Veteran Sprewell-Houston's Avatar
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    Common sense says this could be our guy, Mike D'Antoni says: Jimmer Fredette!

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    Hannibal Lecter TR1LL10N's Avatar
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    What # is he projected to be selected? I would not mind trading for an additional 1st rounder and rolling the dice with this guy.

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    Veteran AmareForPresident's Avatar
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    Draft him. Center is our biggest hole in our roster, we can easily find a backup pg but a good center is hard to find. Jerome Jordan + Jeremy Tyler looks like a pretty solid frontcourt.

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Question Mark

    Originally Posted by AmareForPresident
    Draft him. Center is our biggest hole in our roster, we can easily find a backup pg but a good center is hard to find. Jerome Jordan + Jeremy Tyler looks like a pretty solid frontcourt.
    I doubt that they'd have an immediate impact. And whether they'd be well received by the coach is another matter entirely.

    I'm satisfied with the proposal of Tyler, Jordan and Turiaf, but whether or not the combination of 2 rookies and a vet with arthritis is the silver bullet that is going to quell the Knicks front-court dilemma still seems like a long shot.

    Considering Herb Williams contribution to big man coaching over the years, even with what little talent he's had to hone, I'd like to also see an assistant hired specifically for big men if this does somehow magically materialise, and we draft Tyler and add Jordan.

    Then, as I say, we have to somehow pry D'Antoni away from his small ball serendipity. Otherwise known as Rimmer Fagette.

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TR1LL10N
    What # is he projected to be selected? I would not mind trading for an additional 1st rounder and rolling the dice with this guy.
    He's projected @ 32 which is the Cavs pick.

    You can see picks 18-31 here.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    What I'd really like to see us do is buy an early second rounder or late first from either Cleveland, SA or Chicago, for example, and draft both Farried and Tyler in that order, and stock our front court for the sake of Amar'e's niggling back and Ronnie's knees.

    We've seen what Melo is capable of when having to be 'that guy' on offence.

  10. #10
    Quiet Storm New New York's Avatar
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    Best CaseeAndre Jordan (less shot blocking)
    Worst Casean Gazerich (spelled wrong)


    Age would suggest an upside, vertical would suggest he fits well into Mike D's up and down system. Maturity would suggest he is willing to work hard, he has been a pro for sometime another plus.


    Not much of a shot blocker which is concerning because we don't just need size but an interior defensive presence. Body fat is kinda high which is attributed to the off season, but do we really want a player who balloons once he steps off the court for the season? (Curry Jerome James)


    If we purchase another pick to get him then role the dice but with the lack of depth on our team we can't take a shot w our pick.

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    Veteran mafra's Avatar
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    GREAT FIND. good job...

    Reminds me alot of B-Jennings, in the sense he was a top High School prospect who got lost overseas... and plays a position of need.

    Why not right? And, if this is true... we plan to trade up with Indy, it has to mean we are looking at a BIG, and our worried PHI might snag our target.

    Chances are Thompson and Jimmer are gone, and if we want a PG we can probably find Jenkins, Jackson or Shumpert in the late first (if we buy another pick).

    So... finding a true BIG with size... or go for a polished presence with some question/risk (Faried or Singelton), or build on our strength (offense) and find a sniper (Brooks, Thompson, Fedrette). Tough call.

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    Veteran nyk_nyk's Avatar
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    I didn't see anyone in that article speaking about dudes game. All i saw was some comments on his size and length at the Chicago workouts. Oh yeah, he also impressed people with his politeness.

    Are we serious here?

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    I don't know. I think it's possible that he stays in the second round...and most second round picks are projects anyway so I definitely would not mind drafting this kid as a second rounder or signing him as an undrafted free agent. I would NOT, however, use our existing first round pick on him.

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    Veteran nyk_nyk's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SSj4Wingzero
    I don't know. I think it's possible that he stays in the second round...and most second round picks are projects anyway so I definitely would not mind drafting this kid as a second rounder or signing him as an undrafted free agent. I would NOT, however, use our existing first round pick on him.
    I wouldn't waste a pick on him period. No one is raving about his basketball skills. He appears to just be a nice guy.

    If there was any particular thing he does well, it would have been mentioned.

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