With his thunderous dunks and overall solid play, New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis is looking like a very promising player. Selected No. 4 overall in last June's draft, Porzingis was rumored to be picked as high as No. 2 by the Los Angeles Lakers, but they drafted D'Angelo Russell instead.
The Lakers were intrigued by Porzingis though, and after watching him play for the Knicks, head coach Byron Scott admits that they misjudged how long it would take the Latvian big man to develop.
From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“He really didn't show any fear. We just thought it would take him some time,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said of Porzingis. “Obviously we're a little wrong about that. He's playing pretty well right now.”
So what did the Lakers miss?
“The one thing we can't test is your heart. We can't test guys in what they have inside of them. Obviously this kid has a hunger to be really good,” Scott said. “The kid is going to be really special one day.”
Scott is not suggesting that if the Lakers could've done it over, they would selected Porzingis over Russell. He is simply stating the fact that Porzingis has already surpassed many people's expectations.
Of course, Porzingis is already make an impact because Knicks head coach Derek Fisher is actually playing him significant minutes and starting him right from the start of the season. This is something Scott has been reticent about with Russell and the other younger players on the Lakers.
Maybe Scott would see Russell develop just like Porzingis if he gave him a consistent role? It is just a thought, but with the Knicks having faith in Porzingis, he is showing that he has plenty of potential and could be a solid building block for the future.