In the 2009 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected Jordan Hill out of Arizona with the #8 overall pick. This move has not worked out well thus far and the Knicks passed on Brandon Jennings, who was taken with the #10 overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.
With Brandon Jennings scoring 37 points in a win against the Knicks on Friday, fans in New York saw just what they were missing.
Jennings is only 21 years old and brought the Bucks to the playoffs as a rookie last season. On the year he is averaging 15.8 points and 4.9 assists per game. While he often displays erratic shooting and a lack of being a great facilitator, he has shown the ability to be great. His sophomore campaign has not been a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination and his strong play is leaving a lot of teams dreaming about what could have been.
Jennings did not play college basketball, but instead he went to play in Italy. This brought down his draft stock because many teams said that he never faced great competition and questioned his ability to grow into a solid NBA player.
All of these teams were wrong, and one of them was the New York Knicks.
You would figure that Mike D’Antoni would favor drafting another kid who played in Italy, much like the Knicks drafted Danilo Gallinari out of Milan with the #6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. While rumors say that Isiah Thomas was urging Knicks’ personnel to draft Jennings, the organization went another way and drafted Jordan Hill.
Jordan Hill was sent to the Houston Rockets in the blockbuster trade when the Knicks acquired Tracy McGrady and created salary space. Many people feel that if the Knicks had drafted Jennings that he would have been included in either the Tracy McGrady trade or the Carmelo Anthony trade.
When you consider all of the young talent that the Knicks gave away in both of these deals, the assumption that Jennings would have been traded is probably correct. Still, the Knicks made the wrong draft choice by taking Jordan Hill over Brandon Jennings, and probably still regret it to this day. Every time the Knicks play the Milwaukee Bucks they are reminded of what could have been.
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