GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Can you imagine the Knicks with a frontcourt that includes Kristaps Porzingis and Wendell Carter Jr.? The 6-10 Duke freshman certainly can.
Carter made it clear after working out for the Knicks on Friday that he would embrace the chance to play alongside Porzingis.
“Kristaps, he’s a phenomenal player,” Carter said. “It would be an honor to play alongside him. Learning from him, he’s been in the league a while now.”
The Knicks’ biggest need is for a wing player who can score. Carter does not exactly fit that bill. Yet with a 7-3 wingspan and a high level of athleticism, he is an intriguing prospect. He is a smart player who excels at defense, and many believe he can contribute right away. He also played last year alongside a high-profile big man, Marvin Bagley III, so he knows what it’s like to not always be the focal point of the offense.
Carter believes he has a game that fits well with Porzingis’.
“He just stretches the floor. He runs the floor very well. I think I run the floor very well, so we can interchange in that aspect,” Carter said. “I don’t always have to have the ball in my hands to affect the game. I’ll let him do his thing and I’m just there to clean up rebounds. Of course, I have my own game where I can also score, so we can easily complement each other’s game.”
With Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn possibly opting out of their contracts, the Knicks could need another center. They also will be without Porzingis for at least the first half of next season as he recovers from knee surgery.
Carter averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks this past season to help lead the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight.
He is projected to be a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft on June 21, and some have him going as high as fifth, so it’s not a given that he will be there by the time the Knicks get around to picking at No. 9. The other five teams that Carter is working out for — Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, Dallas and Orlando — all pick before the Knicks.
Notes & quotes: In addition to working out Carter on Friday, the Knicks sent representatives to the Priority Pro Sports Day in Chicago to scout Michael Porter Jr., another big forward from Missouri.