2011 NBA Draft: 3 Reasons Iman Shumpert Is a Steal for the New York Knicks

Zach HerringCorrespondent IIJune 28, 2011

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Iman Shumpert #1 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets dribbles down the court during the second half of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

We heard the boos when Iman Shumpert was selected as the New York Knicks' 17th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

But Shumpert is a steal for the Knicks, and he will prove it. He already proved to coach D’Antoni he can shoot the ball, D’Antoni told the New York Post.

I’m going to give you three other reasons why Shumpert will succeed in New York.


1. Defense, defense, defense.

The Knicks allowed 105.7 opponent points per game last season, which put them 28th in a league of 30 teams.

Shumpert’s strong point is defense, which is why the Knicks chose him.

Last season at Georgia Tech, he averaged 2.7 steals per game. If he can keep up the lock-down defense at the next level, Knicks fans will rejoice.

Coach D’Antoni made very bold statement when he said, "He has the athletic ability to guard a Derrick Rose or a Dwyane Wade or a LeBron James."

The Knicks could have brought Shumpert in for the same reason the Celtics signed Shaq—the playoffs.

When the Celtics signed Shaq, the sole purpose was for him to guard Dwight Howard when the playoffs came around. The Knicks, like every team, are looking to better their team for the playoffs, and drafting Shumpert was definitely a step toward that.

If it is true Shumpert can guard these top offensive players, he shall help the Knicks drastically in the playoffs.


2. Crazy Athlete

Shumpert established himself as one of the most athletic players in the draft at the Chicago combine. He and Josh Selby tied with the best maximum vertical jump at an impressive 42 inches. Just behind Derrick Williams and Justin Harper—who benched pressed 185 pounds 19 times—Shumpert finished at 18.

Shumpert showed throughout his college career that he was extremely athletic, and he will prove he is probably the most athletic player to come out of this draft class.

Don’t be surprised to see him compete in a few NBA Dunk contests in his career. Being athletic doesn’t make or break a player, but it can’t hurt.


3. Who Needs Offense?

The Knicks don’t.

They already have 'Melo and Amar'e, and the team averaged 106.5 points per game last season for second-best in the NBA.

I’m not saying more offense is bad, but by bringing in Shumpert,—like I said in reason No. 1—the Knicks have better defense.

Don’t think Shumpert can’t shoot though, because he can; he just needs to become more consistent with his jump shot. He has great ability to drive and finish strong at the basket.

Imagine him driving, getting caught in the double-team and kicking it out to 'Melo for an open three. Not only would the Knicks get easy buckets, but it would look good on Shumpert's part
because he would be racking up assists.

Playing behind/alongside a guy like Chauncey Billups helps too. If Billups takes Shumpert under his wing and helps his development, it would only result in great things.

Iman Shumpert will be looked at as one of the biggest steals of the 2011 NBA Draft; just wait about three to four years, and you will all see.

By the way…

Don’t forget how successful of a rookie season Landry Fields had.

For more 2011 NBA draft coverage, stay tuned to Bleacher Report for NBA draft results and NBA draft grades.