2011: Iman Shumpert
In 2011, the Knicks were still a somewhat good team. They had just finished the season with a record of 42-40, good enough for sixth in the Eastern Conference. As a result, they would not be picking very high in the 2011 NBA Draft, an incredibly talented draft class. So it was up to them to make their 17th pick worth its money.
Unlucky as they were, the two previous spots, No. 15th and No. 16, were filled by Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Vucevic, two players that would later go on to become All-Stars, with Kawhi quickly becoming an unquestionable top-five player in the NBA.
On the other hand, Iman Shumpert who was ultimately selected by the Knicks, would not go on to have a similarly successful career in the league. Though he is not a bad player, Shumpert has always been a 3-and-D type of player to use off the bench — nothing to go nuts about.
Should have drafted: Tobias Harris
Just two spots below Shumpert, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Tobias Harris, who was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. After barely getting any playing time during his rookie and sophomore seasons, Harris was traded to the Orlando Magic.
Since then, Harris has grown to become one of the best scorers in the league and an incredible shooter. Up to this day, he has failed to find a place he can call home, but every team would be lucky to have a Tobias Harris on the roster.
Dream selection: Jimmy Butler
Isn’t it fun to think about the juxtaposition between Harris and Butler, since they are sharing the court at the moment? Butler is without a doubt the better player, but let’s face it: He was not a realistic option for the 17th pick at the time. Thus, the perfect title for him would be a “dream selection.”