No player's draft stock gained more from the 2011 NBA Combine than Iman Shumpert's. As Draft Express' mock draft history chart shows, Shumpert's standing plummeted as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets season slumped further into disarray until he was barely a second-rounder, with his NBA declaration sending him back near the first round.
But it wasn't until his impressive workouts at the late-May Combine that Shumpert really cracked the first round, which isn't exactly the most affirming sign of his pro prospects. As of Thursday evening right before the Draft, he'd risen as high as No. 17 to the New York Knicks. And now here he is, being picked No. 17 by the New York Knicks, a terrible defensive team. Nice call, Draft Express.
Shumpert is a fantastic defender, one of the best in the nation, and clearly a fantastic athlete. The biggest knock against him? Effort. The Knicks will need to make sure they get 100 percent out of him -- then again, factor in the Paul Hewitt effect however you'd like.
Though he played point guard in Atlanta, he often seemed more fit to play combo guard -- especially with very few teammates worth passing to in 2011. As a designated defensive stopper off the bench, I can see him contributing to New York's rotation right away, especially considering the pieces like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire he'll have to work with on the other side of the ball. Spike Lee didn't sound all that pumped, but likes defense.
A quick video:
For more Georgia Tech sports and notes on Shumpert, visit From The Rumble Seat.