Why the Knicks Should Consider Drafting Leandro Bolmaro

Kris Pursiainen

My 2020 NBA Draft Profiles:

Guards: Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Maxey, Kira Lewis Jr., Tre Jones, Leandro Bolmaro

Wings: Deni Avdija, Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro, Aaron Nesmith, Josh Green, Saddiq Bey

Bigs: Onyeka Okongwu, Obi Toppin, James Wiseman, Aleksej Pokuševski, Precious Achiuwa, Jalen Smith

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Leandro Bolmaro is a 19 - almost 20 - year old 6'7" guard who averaged 8 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 17 minutes per game for FC Barcelona in Spain. Bolmaro is from Argentina, and entered his name into consideration for the 2020 NBA Draft back in April. Bolmaro's feel for the game and playmaking are his strengths, but neither are being used optimally just yet - whether or not he can bring along a jumpshot or not will likely determine the level of player he can develop into.

Bolmaro is a smooth ball handler who - despite lacking the athleticism needed - easily gets to his spots on the floor through the use of various moves and speeds. He's one of the few players in this draft class that I believe can make any imaginable pass (LaMelo Ball and Killian Hayes being the others); his talent in seeing and reading passing lanes is vastly impressive. 

His ability to create his own shot is questionable, especially when he's being guarded by skilled defensive guards - but the further development of his ball handling ability, and jump shot, should work to help this. His off-hand tends to look weak, and he could stand to improve it so that he could become a better finisher - he currently struggles against lengthy defenders who can force him in one direction and easily contest his shots at the rim.

After only making 29.3% of his 3.1 attempted three-pointers per game, it's clear long-range shooting isn't a strength for Bolmaro. Despite the shaky conversion rate, he displayed solid touch on all of his shots - attempts at the rim included - which indicates that he might have some potential as a shooter.

Some aspects of his form are abnormal, which may have contributed to him only making 66% of his free throws over three seasons, and not having a reliable jump shot takes away from his gravity as a P&R initiator.  

Off the ball, Bolmaro demonstrates the effects of having great instincts in that he knows how to intelligently position himself to score some easy baskets. These same instincts show themselves in Bolmaro's team defense as well, leading him to be an attentive player on that end of the floor. His persistency, and the ease with which he makes the "right" read, bode well for his potential as a defender overall. 

I can see Bolmaro becoming a useful NBA player, regardless of whatever the role he carves out for himself in the league may be. I expect his smooth and adept playmaking ability will result in him being, at the least, a secondary initiator who has scoring potential, but also multiple issues to iron out in that department before he can become truly effective.

The Knicks have hired a head coach in Tom Thibodeau who traditionally utilizes rotations of about ten total players. Seeing as how the team is expected to have a "heavy veteran presence" next year, drafting someone such as Bolmaro - a potential draft and stash candidate - with one of the team's later picks in the draft could make a lot of sense. While he develops overseas, he doesn't take up the roster spot that the Knicks can potentially use on a veteran at his position this upcoming season.

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