Anthony Randolph:

Anthony Randolph is like an emaciated Eddy Curry.Anthony Randolph is listed as a 20-year old, 6’11, 220 lb SF/PF from LSU.   

Should the Knicks add a third Randolph to their front court, alongside Zach Randolph and Randolph Morris?

Right off the bat: he's a stringbean. He averaged 15.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 1.2 apg last year at LSU.  He also had an impressive 1.1 spg and 2.3 bpg.  Good numbers for a really young guy, right?

Now let’s look at the bad:  46.4 FG%.  Not a good enough jumper to be a SF, not reliable enough to be a PF.   69.3 FT%.  10.5 3PT%.  Ouch. 

Also: 3.0 turnovers a game.  That number fits in all too well with Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry in the front court.  Not that the Knicks even need a PF, with Zach Randolph and David Lee already vying for time there.

Anthony is left-handed, which will no doubt delight Stephon Marbury.  Damn, I miss Stephon's interviews.  Randolph is long, quick, lanky, thin.  He’s often compared to Brandon Wright, Tayshaun Prince, and Chris Bosh.  Those names come up repeatedly in his various draft profiles.  But are they valid comparisons?

He’s not a strong, take-it-to-the-hoop PF.  He has finesse moves.  In fact, let’s quote Draft Express for this one:

…settling for weak, off-balance, turn-around jumpers from midrange, fading away from contact in the post…

Snap Judgment:  Not good.  But let’s delve deeper.  Here is what is written in his NBA Draft profile:

" Runs the floor like a deer and has amazing fluidity ... "

What the f*ck do I want a Bambi on the Knicks?  I suppose that's a better compliment than "runs the floor like a gazelle".

Randolph scored a 10 in size.  So does Eddy Curry. 

He also get a 10 for "potential".  Again, so does Curry.

When it comes to, you know, actual basketball skills, like "defense", "jump shot", and "passing", he gets an overly-generous 7 in those categories (try finding a draft pick with less than a 7 in any category).

He sorta sounds like a short Marcus Camby, or maybe the next Andrei Kirilenko?  Keep in mind that Camby at least dominated college, enough to be the #1 overall pick, before moving into the NBA. Then keep in mind that it took him a lot of years, and a few injuries, before he become a strong center in the NBA and an All-Star.

"A high risk, high reward type pick at this stage of his career."

 How many times has that turned out good for anyone?  Free Darko calls this "The Myth of the Next (Andrew Bynum/Jermaine O'Neal, etc)...".  It’s rarely works out for a team.  Wait, there’s more:

"Must gain confidence and not get discouraged when things aren't going well "

 "He's a very shy, quiet kid, and the year in Baton Rouge has been great for him but he could really use a second year to continue his maturity and off court development before taking on the bright lights and distractions that exist at the next level. "

"Must get a lot stronger physically, needs about 25-30 pounds minimum ... Also must get a lot tougher mentally ... "

Okay, I’m now totally sold on the idea that Randolph is a skinny version of Eddy Curry.  Maybe the Knicks can lock them in a room together with a plastic surgeon, and have the surgeon graft 25-40 lbs of fat/muscle off Curry and onto Randolph?

Anthony Randolph looks like a Raptor.It’s clear that Randolph’s long neck is why he is sometimes compared to Chris Bosh. 

Combine Results:  Decent strength for a skinny guy, with 7 bench presses of 185 (not bad, though, for comparison, Joe Alexander benched it 22 times, for the second highest score, and little DJ Augustin benched it twice for the lowest score).  Randolph put up decent, run of the mill times in the ¾ Court Sprint (3.26 seconds), Lane Agility (11.86) and vertical jump (35 inches).  

More important in his case, though, is the measurement results, since that is what his potential is based on, right?  Well, turns out his height and weight are actually a bit misrepresented.  He’s 6'9 without shoes, 6'10.25 with shoes.  Close enough.  He also weighs a whopping 197 lbs.  For personal reference, I weigh 205, am 6’2, and am considered “slim”.  A guy 8 inches taller than me, weighing 10 pounds less?  “Anorexic” is the first adjective that comes to mind. 

He does have a 7'3 wingspan, hence, the Tayshaun Prince comparisons.  He has a 9'1 standing reach, and 4.7% body fat.  But before we assume that he’s the next Tayshaun Prince, let’s give Tay some credit: he’s not just good defensively simply because he’s tall and lanky.  He worked hard at the craft of playing defense, and he’s got quick feet.  He’s Draft Express on Randolph’s defense:

Where Randolph seems to need the most work, especially when considering how he’ll have to be used at the next level, in his defense. He gets pushed around in the post mercilessly; being unable to hold his spot on the block, and thus letting most big men just have their way with him as they please.

Conclusion:  Anthony Randolph is exactly the kind of player I hate at #6: a guy with upside based on nothing more than his height and size.  The Knicks certainly need defense, but Randolph isn’t strong enough to be a PF, and his jumper is not reliable enough from the outside to be a SF.  The best case scenario for Randolph is that someone drafts him to play SF, a team that has enough offense already to not need Randolph to contribute too much, and he becomes a defensive stopper.  Sort of like what happened to Prince.  Of course, Prince dropped to the Pistons; Randolph is surely a lottery pick.  The best case scenario for him would be to be picked by the Nets  (teamed with Sean Williams in the front court) or the Kings, teams with strong scorers on the wing already.  He would also be a great defensive anchor on the Blazers, if he fell that far.

                                                                Worst case scenario: 

No, that ain't Allan Houston...

For other previews of potential draft picks, see:

Russell Westrook; Joe Alexander; Jerryd Bayless; Eric Gordon; Danilo Gallinari; OJ Mayo.

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[June 20, 2008 4:57 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Rickhouse said

See, if I was a Knicks fan, I'd kind of like a guy like Randolph. The best really have a single good player. AR could turn into that. I certainly prefer him to Kevin Love, someone who will probably turn into the fifth or sixth best player on a good team. Potential isn't so bad, man.

Assuming that Rose, B-Easy, Bayliss, and Mayo are gone, I think Westbrook or AR should be the pick at 6. I guess that depends how you feel about Danillo, but i'd rather take a high ceiling American than European, just because the bust factor for Euros seems so much higher.

[June 21, 2008 1:04 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Brian said

I really hope this guy is gone before the Sixers pick. You nailed this.

Compare Randolph's combine results with Kevin Love's and tell me which one is un-athletic.

[June 22, 2008 11:19 PM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

@Brian: Thanks. I would point out that while I think Love is athletic, he's also fat for a NBA. Certainly that didn't hurt certain guys - Barkley - but that isn't a great sign of work ethic. However, Joe Alexander... now that's a "unathletic white guy" with a ton of athletic ability! He was the second-strongest, and second-faster, player at the draft combine. That is serious athletic prowess. If any lazy reporter or announcer calls him "scrappy", you know they are stereotyping....

@Rickhouse: No way on Randolph. He has Jared Jeffries written all over him! Love isn't terrible at #6, if only because he might fit well in the passing system of D'Antoni. But he seems lazy to me... too chubby. I find it funny that Eric Gordon gets sh*t about his weight, but not Love. As for Westbrook, he's a good player, very talented. Just not sure he's a good fit for the Knicks... he seems like a combo guard. If I could buy into him as a point, then he would be a great pick. I just think better to fix the SF problem now, and worry about PG either via trade (TJ Ford, Monta Ellis, or Mo Williams) or via next year's draft (with Marbury playing PG for this season).

[June 25, 2008 2:49 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Miguel said

StopMikeLupica: Yeah Randolph is going to be a bust. He's a PF that weighs less than 200 pounds. Right now he has the muscle mass of a ten-year old girl, and I doubt he can add on 25 to 30 pounds of muscle, which is what he needs. Considering the minutes he played, his production was not that impressive at LSU, and his team went only 13-18.

I don't know what you're talking about when you say Eric Gordan gets criticized for his weight, but Love doesn't. Draft Express lists Love's first two weaknesses as being "size" and "15-20 pounds overweight." Love was a great player in college and should be a good pro.

[May 6, 2010 5:27 AM]  |  link  |  reply
pocket hole jigs said

I really liked reading about Know The Prospect: Anthony Randolph(Stop Mike Lupica) and think it was well worth the read. The only other site I found on Yahoo wasnt as good as this one, thanks.

[August 8, 2010 2:10 PM]  |  link  |  reply
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