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NBA / Sep 3, 2010 / 2:00 pm

The Knicks will see Hall of Fame potential from Anthony Randolph

Anthony Randolph (New York Knicks)

After he averaged 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds in the month of April during his rookie season — as the youngest player in the League, mind you — I knew Anthony Randolph was going to be something special.

This is a kid who put up 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a freshman at LSU before bolting to the NBA. After being selected with the 14th pick in the ’08 draft to run in Don Nelson‘s up-tempo offense — which should have been a blessing for the ultra-talented human highlight reel — Randolph started 22 games as a rookie and capped the season with averages of 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Everyone knows that defense is the key, however, and not many players with Randolph’s raw gifts put effort into defense; it’s usually the overachieving grinders who relish playing D, not the naturally talented guys who seem born to score. Randolph approaches defense like a grinder. He averaged 2.3 blocks as a freshman at LSU, then averaged 1.2 blocks in just 17 minutes per game as a rookie, and 1.5 blocks in 22 mpg in his second year in the League. His scoring and rebounding skills are exceptional as well. Randolph ranked 20th in Defensive Rebounding Rate last season with 21.4, and ranked 10th among power forwards in Offensive Rebounding Rate (10.7). While his strong first year and an amazing Vegas Summer League performance earned him an invitation to train with USA Basketball, Randolph was slowed by ankle and back injuries in what was supposed to be his breakout year in ’09-10, appearing in just 33 games for the Warriors.

This summer, Randolph was traded to the New York Knicks in the David Lee deal. And if head coach Mike D’Antoni allows him to play 30-plus minutes and he stays healthy, Randolph will be highly effective — possibly even more than Amar’e as an all-around player on both ends.

Randolph is quite simply the ideal prospect, the versatile big man who can play any one of three positions; score in bunches and intimidate his opponent on defense (7-3 wingspan). He’s become something that Darius Miles couldn’t become due to his lack of effort and propensity for injuries. Depending on how D’Antoni plays it, Randolph could start at small forward in a big lineup (with Danilo Gallinari at two-guard) or power forward in a small lineup (with Amar’e at center). Either way, he will make this his breakout season.

Randolph is still on his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $1.96 million this year. That’s part of the reason the Knicks wanted him: Aside from his potential on the court, his cap number allows them to still hoard space for a run at Carmelo Anthony or Tony Parker or another big-time free agent next summer. The only thing left to do now is see how good Randolph will become. The high expectations and added pressure of playing in New York will play a factor, but in his interviews since the trade, Randolph sounds excited to take on the challenge.

Randolph has already been compared to L.A. Lakers forward Lamar Odom — a lefty who hovers around 6-10 and can play multiple positions — and in turn, Odom has high praise for Randolph.

“It’s like looking in the mirror a little,” Odom said of Randolph in a 2009 article in the Contra Costa Times. “He’s also 6-11, he’s left-handed and he can put the ball on the floor. He’s two times as athletic as I was at that age.

“He should set his goals high,” Odom said. “He has All-Star potential, Hall of Fame potential, with that size, his ability to put the ball on the floor, he can shoot the three, he can pass. If he stays focused, the sky is the limit for him.”

If Randolph manages to stay healthy this season, New York and the rest of the League is going to find out why they call him the “UFO.”

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  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    HOF? I think we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves…

  • Steve Nash

    I actually told a buddy of mine that Amare’s signing won’t even be mentioned in 3 years after Randolph becomes the face of the NYK franchise

  • Kevin

    Way to many articles and props for a guy that has done about as much in the league as I have.

  • Steve Nash

    Miami
    Orlando
    Boston
    Chicago
    Atlanta
    Milwaukee
    Charlotte
    Unless DC really comes together… i see NYK taking the 8th seed where Randolph will become like Marcus Camby and lead us into the ECF

  • JAY

    Can someone at Dime please hand Mr. Macaluso his pink slip??

  • WinDelRoj

    I like this guy. But maybe I like him because hes a Don Nelson cast off. Don Nelson is horrible, and yes I realize how many wins he has.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ JAY

    I understand that you don’t like my writing, but why continue to read everyone of my articles?

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    Seriously #6? Bellineli was a Nelson cast off and he showed potential during the summer leagues. Where is he now? Oh ya stuck on the Raptors bench doing nothing.

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I think Don Nelson can tell if a guy can play or not or is not worth his time:

    -Marcus Williams,
    -Bellineli
    -Brandan Wright
    -Ike Diogu

    and lastly
    Anthony Randolph

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    And Anthony Randolph is not HOF talent. He is Jermaine O’Neal cast off talent that was shipped from the Blazers to the Pacers. Hopefully Randolph can flourish.

  • Michael M

    Before you all start running your mouthes, remember there’s a reason Mr. Macaluso works at Dime and you don’t. Just saying.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I don’t think it’s really fair to compare Randolph to O’Neal. Randolph has twice the potential and is twice as athletic.

  • Three Stacks

    @ post 11

    Dude, have you never seen the young Jermaine O’neal playing for the Pacers? The guy was an absolute BEAST for like 5 yrs. I understand ppl’s enthusiasm about Randolph but discrediting what Jermaine did in the League for several years and saying AR has TWICE the potential and TWICE the athleticism is just talkin out of your ass.

    The real reason it isn’t “fair” to compare the two is because their skill sets are different. Randolph is tall and lanky but has more guard skills, O’neal was always more of a post player with a reliable midrange shot.

  • Brown

    @ Robocop

    Bellinelli was traded to New Orleans for Julian Wright.

  • 100k

    I’m a NYK fan and I think HOF potential is a stretch to say.

    Son is a legitimate problem though. He just needs minutes and a weight trainer. Him in Mike D’s system will benefit him greatly.

    In about 2-3, if you have him at the 3, Amare at the 4 and a rebounding/defensive 5…you’re gonna have a problem.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ 100k

    Keep in mind that I didn’t state he was a HOF player, the quote from Lamar Odom stated he was.

  • axel

    Jermaine O’neal was one of the best nba players a couple of years ago..Knicks fan are putting too much hope in a kid who hasn’t done much beside dominating a very weak summer league..Knicks are clearly better this year they just need to get a shooting guard, a center and fire D’antoni’s ass

  • Fan

    You gotta at least make an All-star team, play in a playoff series before you can even think to discuss HOF. come on man. I hope he kills this year but you are a bit ahead of yourself on this one just like yesterday and SWAT City. I know your a Knicks fan and you deserve to be excited but…

    On another note, I think he will be more productive then Amare will be for you next season.

  • nihilist

    I’m the first to admit that Don Nelson didn’t give Randolph the minutes that he should have, but Anthony hasn’t “become something that Darius Miles couldn’t become.” Great upside with Randolph, but at this point he hasn’t even achieved the modest level of Miles, regardless of how disappointing Miles career turned out to be in retrospect. For all we know, Randolph could be the next Darius Miles when it’s all said and done. Randolph has proven nothing yet. He has played 96 games over two years . . . 96 games – averaging under 20 minutes a game. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy on a consistent basis, and when he managed to suit up he couldn’t maintain regular minutes on a team that had zero front court depth or talent.

    I realize why Knicks fans are gushing over Randolph, because his talent is undeniable, but let’s not get carried away. I’m high on him, but he has proven absolutely nothing yet other than the ability to put up modest numbers on a a bad team.

  • JAY

    @Andrew Macaluso: “I understand that you don’t like my writing, but why continue to read everyone of my articles?”

    Because I read pretty much every basketball related article I can find (this is how I know which Dime articles is/was posted on other sites). I don’t pay attention to the author until after I’m done reading the article. If i think it’s a good article, I’ll scroll up wondering “who wrote this great piece?”. If i disagree, I’ll scroll up wondering, “Who the heck wrote this piece of shit?”. I’m not sure what most people are like, but I’ll read any article, regardless of who wrote it. I don’t consciously troll the internet only reading articles from specific writers.

    Secondly, when did I complain about one of your articles before?? This is the first time I called you out unless you wrote one authored by “DIME”. I comment about Austin’s articles more than anyone else.

  • Maynard

    I’m actually ok with this one. The “Hall of Fame” thing came from a quote, like he said. I’m pretty excited about Randolph myself, that was an under-the-radar steal to trade Lee in for someone more talented than him plus two other players, while still keeping flexibility.

  • JC

    “Hall of Fame potential” loosely translates to “perennial All-Star,” I figure. That said, I’m not buying it.

    At best, I see Randolph providing 16 pts, 11 reb and 2 blks. That’s David Lee, minus 4 pts and plus 1.5 blks. That should put Randolph in position to be mildly discussed for an All-Star game, if a couple people are hurt. The Knicks would benefit greatly from this kind of production, mind you, but HOF simply wouldn’t be up for discussion if he “only” gave you 16, 11, and 2 blocks unless he won a couple rings while doing so. Anthony Randolph would basically be a quarter-step ahead of Zach Randolph, since Ant’s team would more likely make the playoffs.

    You can’t expect someone who put up “really good” numbers on a not-great team to make the Hall. You have to put up phenomenal numbers. If you’re not on a great team, you need to be breaking (or at least challenging) league records in statistical categories. Otherwise, as Kenny Smith always says, you’re just a looter in a riot.

    Now, IF the Knicks become a great team, AND Randolph capitalizes on his potential (how many times have we said that about hundreds of other players lol), we’ll talk about something.

    I just feel like it would be too early to say something like this even two years from now after the Knicks repeated as NBA Champs and Randolph was putting up 24 pts, 12 reb, 6 ast, 3 blks & 2 stls.

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Barrio C Money

    Heres the problem…You signed STAT to this long term deal you let Lee (AlL STAR)go for a Randolph (unproven) and 2 bench players in Turiaf and young but injury prone guard Azabuike. Amare isnt going to been keen on playing the 5. Randolph cant play the 3 consistently and in all this being said wheres Gallo? Is he a 3 or a 4? I would say Gallo has more HOF potential than Randolph. To be totally honest from what I have seen from Landry Fields (and you can quote me on this)Before or around the All Star break the starting position will be filled by Landry Fields. (a diamond in the rough) So while every one waits on Mello we fail to take in to account of the pieces we have now. I say keep a team together and build the young talent! I like Chandler but I think we need to make a simple move and send him and Azabuike and Douglas to Portland for Fernandez and Bayless. (But thats some fantasy deal I like) 2k11 XBOX SOON COME GET AT ME
    Xbox GT: Mr Barrio

    FOllooooowwwwwwww meeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    twitter.com/Chris_Barrio

  • karizmatic

    I guess this is the argument against New York making the trade for Rudy Fernandez.

  • P Rich

    Lets not forget Don Nelson said the Knicks offense should run through Anthony Mason and not P. Ewing. And he said HubertDavis was better than John Starks. What a Joke!!!!

  • Seven Duece

    I think he’s a small forward, but there’s no way the Knicks are going to trade Galinari yet. Wish he was in Orlando, with Dwight.

  • atticusmitch

    @Andrew Macaluso

    Wow first the Deron Williams post and now this. I like how Dime is trying to protect you cause you’re an intern, but damn your writing real bad articles man. The guy hasnt done shit in the league yet.

  • Steve Nash

    Well if Riley substituted Davis in for Starks Game 7 back in 94… ahhhhhhh

  • TD

    @28

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Good memory

  • King Henry the 2nd

    The guy never once said this guy will be a HOF. Lamar Odom said it, not him so why are you bashing him?

  • Desrat

    @Andrew Macaluso

    No sweat dude. Just look at the amount of replies–You are doing what you should. If AB got your back, then you have a good place to learn.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Desrat

    Appreciate it, fam.

    @ All Dime Readers

    This article is meant to be about Randolph having a breakout season with the Knicks. The Hall of Fame quote from Lamar Odom was just a bonus since that’s who he’s being compared too.

  • Chaos

    Is no one reading the part about “potential”? Yo andrew i feel where you coming from but i probably would have used all star potential…

    AR needs to put on about 20lbs of muscle then he would be a force. can you imagine two athletic plays like Randolph and STAT, but in order for him to be the rebounder and defender he can be, he’s gotta get up to 230-240lbs so he doesnt get thrown around. he cant play in the post at his weight or he’s gonna get overpowered by guys like boozer, jefferson, dwight (thas a given tho), d. west and blatche. he’s just to wiry. dude needs some muscle

    I will say this tho, he will earn a nickname this year

  • jzsmoove

    book it, AR will be a fantasy league staple. i’m glad to have a spot saved for him in my lineup anyday.

  • K Dizzle

    Year Games Rebounds Blocks Points
    2000-01 81 9.8 2.8 12.9
    2001-02 72 10.5 2.3 19.0
    2002-03 77 10.3 2.3 20.8
    2003-04 78 11.1 2.6 20.1
    2004-05 44 8.8 2.0 24.3
    2005-06 51 9.3 2.3 20.1
    2006-07 69 9.6 2.6 19.4

    Guess whose stats…
    Not Anthony Randolph’s

    Just sayin cuz I thought I saw a comparison to Jermaine O’Neal

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ K Dizzle

    Don’t forget that Randolph has only been in the league for two season, spent most of his time on the bench with the Warriors because Don Nelson doesn’t believe in starting rookies until he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in the month of April. His second season he was slowed by ankle and back injuries and only played in 33 games. Mike D’Antoni is going to let this kid run wild and he’s going to put up numbers just like O’Neal if that’s the comparison.

  • superfreak6

    @ JAY
    You need to fine a better past time lol.

    @jzsmoove
    So am I, I think he’s going to be a steal this year in fantasy. I think other breakout players will be Warrick, DDR and KLove.

  • goat

    Well written article, he’s still mainly untapped potential (and a fantasy draft buster).

    I understood that the quote in the title was from LO after I finished reading. Up until that point I was thinking you were a jackass with no business writing about hoops for evening thinking HOF and Randolph together. Anyways, do us all a favour and put some “quotation marks” around other people’s quotes next time. Without those little marks, it seems like it’s your statement, because you wrote the article, which usually means writing a clever title to go with the article. That comes next week in your education though I guess.

    Oh yeah, and Jermaine O’Neal was top 3 MVP voting (behind KG and Duncan) less than a decade ago. Randolph will never come close to that. Book it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Goat

    I’m a writer, not an editor.

  • Nixluva

    So now we have to act like we don’t have eyes and just go by the stats a kid puts up in his rookie year? AR has the talent and you all know it. His body hasn’t caught up to his talent yet and with experience he’s going to put it all together. Also he has put on some more weight and should continue to get a bit stronger, but I think with his agility and athletic ability he’s not ever going to be a banger. Let him stay a gazelle, stop trying to make him into something he’s not. Mike is gonna get the best out of this kid. Mark my words, people are gonna have their eyes opened this season.

  • the cynic

    Randolph will be good in another 4 years

  • AL

    @ 38: Andrew, you have to be responsible for your own work. If you quote a source, use quotation marks. Don’t rely on someone else fixing your errors.

    I think Anthony Randolph will have a good year, and maybe even a breakout year. But I think it’s a stretch to assume this year he’ll be more effective than STAT. Please tone down the hyperbole.

  • Stack a Dolla

    You would’ve caught less heat if you just would’ve had a title that said “Anthony Randolph is going to have a breakout season”.

    Besides the title mishap this has been your best article.

    Randolph has All-Star potential but he has to put it in the work to reach that potential. He should be aware that Knick fans will eat him alive if he slacks off while Lee is busting his butt in Oakland.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Stack a Dolla

    I don’t think you guys are understanding what I’m saying, when I write my articles I’m not the one that post’s them on the site. My editor’s do all the posting and they choose which title they think is best for the piece.

  • Slips

    You really had to put “HOF potential” in the title? All knicks fans (including myself) are really excited to see what he can do here, but the fact remains that he’s yet to play a full season, and he’s still really young. How about “possible future all star” instead of “HOF potential”? Might get a few less laughs in your face.

  • Slips

    Just read through the comments. That’s poor if the editor slaps that title on your post. Sorry to hear.

  • ManilaFTW

    I didn’t even read the article, the posts of Andrew Macaluso where he’s always trying to defend himself are far more entertaining.

  • goat

    If you’re going to blame your editor, perhaps go and ask him not to throw you under the bus with a ridiculous title on the next article you write.

  • stretch

    I think D’Antoni is an equal quack as Don Nelson. Well younger quack… He is too emotional as a coach and sucks up to star players and treat role players like shit. He clearly has favorites players and they are not entirely based on playing ability.

    He will salivate about other people players and state how excellent they will be in his quack system. Gentry runs a better D’Antoni system than D’Antoni. I suspect Anthony Randolph will end up like Darko, Nate Rob, Marbury, Toney Douglas etc.

    When the coach doesnt play a player when they have skills that can help a team. Then the team is going to suck. Last season’s knicks failure was entirely on the coach

  • Yulupan

    I am a long suffering Warriors fan who has watched every NBA game Randolph has played so far. The reason he didn’t play more in Oakland is because he just wasn’t ready. He couldn’t remember the plays, frustrated the other players because he was so unpredictable and was a foul machine. When he sat on the bench his face looked anguished like he was having a mental breakdown. Nelson would say that he never knew what he was going to do next when he got the ball.

    He was very young emotionally for his age. To his credit, he shut his mouth and applied himself in his second year. He’s as raw as they come but with unlimited potential. All Warriors fans were crushed to see him go. And right before he was injured, Azubuike looked terrific. He is a real sleeper. If he gets back his spring he can be a solid 2/3 in the league. Good luck Knicks fans. Take it easy on Anthony Randolph and give him time. He is still so young. He is a better Amare in development with the right coaching connection. I hope D’Antoni is a patient man.

  • Marcus

    Great article. Randolph is definately poised to have a breakout season. Hes got the crazy athelticism and talent, he actually reminds me of J Smoove but I dont think AR has the assist game like Smoove.

    Randolph should play a key role in the Knicks postseason push

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    @ Marcus

    Thanks, fam.

  • izzythebeast

    Give the writer a break how else would he get people to read his articles if he gives them lame names, it is a common practice for writers to stretch the truth so that people will actually read the article and then start all the comments and complaining, I love the knicks but yea AR hasnt done nothing yet to compare him even to a broken miles would be unfair until he has a solid year or two under his belt and thats a full year or atleast more then 60+ games other then that keep writing if its what you like if noone likes your article or style of writing then dont read beside no one is twisting their arms for opinions.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Andrew Macaluso

    Nice to see that ESPN agrees with me about Anthony Randolph this season as well.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/news/story?id=5580996