Jonathan Givony of ESPN projects in his latest mock draft the selection of Isaiah Stewart to the Knicks with the 28th pick.
Who exactly is Isaiah Stewart?
Isaiah Stewart // C, Washington
- Age: 19 years old
- Measurements: 6’9”, 250 lbs, 7’4” wingspan
- Stats last season: 17.0 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 0.5 SPG, 57% FG
In the age of big men stretching out to the perimeter, Stewart is a nice refresher to the good ol’ days for a big man. Stewart can get it done in the low block. He’s quick with his feet when engaged in the post and is aggressive with his post moves. One of his favorite moves is the hook shot over his left. He can finish with either hand and also has the drop-step, up and unders in his arsenal. Over half of shots are from the post.
Stewart shows great potential when it comes to hauling in offensive boards. He managed 2.75 offensive rebounds a game last year. His motor should interest front offices. Stewart has great energy, high effort, and naturally gets into a good position to haul in a board. He also is able to run the floor well for his height and weight. He’s a pretty good athlete and can flash a vertical that could make a fan’s jaw drop, as long as he has momentum. I figure he could be a great roller on a pick and roll plays in years to come.
He can potentially do well on defense, too. If you could put two Isaiah Washingtons on the court and tell them to go at it one-on-one in the post, it would be highly entertaining. He does just as well as a job defending the rim in the post as attacking it. He continues to improve defensively on the low block. He was able to hold his own against almost anybody in college. His enormous wingspan makes life difficult for anyone trying to drive on him. He isn’t a very explosive player, but his effort and positioning helped him average those 2.1 blocks per game.
On the flip side of the positives…
His playmaking will need the most work. If he has the ball in his hands and doesn’t have the open shot, he’ll probably turn the ball over. He has a tendency to panic when he gets double teamed, and just chucks the ball in the air and prays a teammate will come down with it. He lacks the vision and passing IQ more than one would hope. Also, we don’t really know what we have in Stewart when defending out in the perimeter. Washington’s defensive strategy of playing in the zone really inhibited his development.
Experts say there is room for him to grow in this aspect of his game. He’ll also need to develop a jumpshot. He has a nice-looking jumper but doesn’t take too many. He shot just 34 jump shots in college, drilling 11 of them. He certainly has the touch to develop a mid-range game and maybe even a three-point shot. Again, He isn’t an explosive fella. Sometimes, he can’t reach some help-side blocks due to the lack of explosiveness. His footwork may be a bit inconsistent and will need to work on it once he gets to the next level as well.
He also has a tendency to get out of control and run into the opposition, leading to charges. That MUST be cleaned up at the next level, more guys are willing to put their body on the line for an offensive foul in the NBA than in the Pac 12.
He shot a respectable 77% from the free-throw line in college, but that was just on 6.2 attempts a game. He’ll need a ton of reps and work from the line before getting into the Association.
If the Knicks draft him and are smart enough, they’ll put Stewart in as the second big man off the bench behind Mitchell Robinson.
If Stewart is really far behind, don’t be shocked to see him (and dominating) in Westchester in the G-League (if there is a G-League season this year).
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