So far this summer league I have watched the Knicks stink up the joint in Vegas. However, I have seen a few positive moments, including the play of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure Murry. But there is one player who dwarfed all of those moments. That player is Jeremy Tyler.
At 6’10” 260 pounds, Jeremy is the prototypical power forward in the NBA. His blend of size, strength and agility is undeniable. With the proper tutelage and hard work, Jeremy can be the starting power forward for the New York Knicks if they play their cards right.
What to Do: New York needs to sign Jeremy to a 3-year deal with a team option for the 3rd year. This deal would lock up Jeremy in a Knicks uniform for the next 2 years at the least, giving Jeremy security and time to develop on a team that needs future assets at the PF position. Locking him up keeps him away from other hungry teams and allows Mike Woodson and the Knicks coaching staff to teach Tyler how to play the game of basketball at an NBA level.
Not Just About Now: The last thing the Knicks want is another Chris Copeland situation: Giving a guy a chance to make the team, he then thrives, and then leaves for more money. The Knicks need to commit to a player for 2 to 3 years in hopes he can contribute in a positive way. It is time to think forward not just for the “now”.
What Jeremy Needs to Do: Jeremy Tyler has all the skills in the world to be a very good NBA player. What Jeremy lack’s is the time and patience from an NBA franchise to develop into the player he has the potential to be. He also lacks the basketball IQ that he needs to have at this elite level. Jeremy is just 22 years of age; he has great footwork, a nice steady jumper and good rebounding abilities. If he can keep his motor at a high level he could be VERY GOOD.
Furthermore, Jeremy also needs to cut down on silly fouls and use his size and quickness to box out on a consistent basis. He does NOT need to swipe at the ball and try to steal at all times, if he just uses his size and height he can effect more plays in a positive way then he realizes.
The Future of Knicks Basketball: The New York Knicks are at an interesting crossroads. Winning now is paramount; however building for the future is also a MUST. Having players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert on this roster is a great step forward. Adding Jeremy Tyler to this mix could help the Knicks more than they understand. If they sign him to a 3-year deal, New York can give him a real shot to make the rotation this year and more importantly, beyond.
Having him as the 15th man on the roster allows them to send him up and down to their D-League team to get the proper reps in when the Knicks are not getting many practices in during the season. This is why a 3-year deal is important. It is not necessarily all about NOW, but it is also about the future of Knicks basketball. Let the kid mature, evolve, and become a solid asset for the Knicks in the near future.
End Result Could be a Home run: I can guarantee, if Jeremy learns the game and gets the proper reps in the next 2 years, either up and down in the D-league or on the Knicks active roster, Jeremy will end up being the starting power forward for this team by the end of year 2 or 3 at the latest. Best-case scenario would be Jeremy contributing to this team in the 13/14 season. In either case, I am on board with a Jeremy Tyler signing for 3-years, are you?
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