Ike Diogu is yet another one of the journeyman forwards looking to find a spot on the New York Knicks‘ regular season roster, along with Cole Aldrich and Jeremy Tyler. Diogu is fresh off of some dominant play at the awesomely-named AfroBasket tournament (he’s one of Team Nigeria‘s leaders).
Ike has a few advantages over his competition. The former 9th overall pick easily has the best offensive skills of the group. He has a few strong, reliable moves on the low block and he complements it with a pretty reliable baseline jumper. He’s also performed very well on the glass, both in the preseason and in international play, although he hasn’t been a great rebounder at the NBA level in the past (8.9 boards per 36 minutes for his career).
Defensively, he’s improved a lot since his last stint in the NBA and he’s capable of making timely rotations to cut off drives. He’s not a standout player on that end of the floor, though, and he lacks the size and length of Alrich and Tyler, which should keep him from playing center for extended periods of time. He’ll be limited to playing mostly at power forward, where the Knicks already have a bevy of options, including both traditional power forwards and small forwards capable of moving up one position like Carmelo Anthony and Metta World Peace. While at this point he’s a better and more skilled player than his main competition, he wouldn’t address the team’s needs the way the other two would. Still, he should be considered a strong candidate to make the team.