Call-Up Breakdown: BayHawks' Jeremy Tyler to the Knicks
It's easy to understand why the Knicks were intrigued enough by Jeremy Tyler to keep him on the affiliate Erie BayHawks after cutting him from their roster in October: For an NBA D-League player, he offers the rare combination of production and potential. At this point in his career, the 22-year-old can get by on rebounding and size (a stout 6-10, 260) alone. Even with a still-developing offensive game, he's averaged 17.2 points and 8.9 rebounds over 23 NBA D-League games -- including six this season -- and his scoring and rebounding have increased with each progressive stint.
Tyler is still working on taking his game outside the paint, but the early returns this season showed improvement around the basket. He's found much of his offense from the 5-to-9-foot range in his six games this year, making 11 of 19 from that area compared to 3 for 13 in 12 games last year. His shooting beyond that remains at a similar level to where it was during his rookie season with the Warriors, who gave him 23 starts in 2011-12 after taking him with the 39th overall draft pick.
See Tyler's shot charts from last season (left) and this season (right).
It's rebounding that proved to be Tyler's ticket back to the league. After offseason foot surgery, he was just rounding into form when the Knicks came calling, having grabbed at least five offensive boards in three straight games. He's risen to seventh in the league in rebound percentage (the percent of total rebounds a player obtains while on the court) for players averaging at least 20 minutes over at least five games, and should be able to step in as an active, mobile option off the Knicks' bench. Beyond that, a trip to the Tyson Chandler school of big man education -- where he can learn to dive to the rim on pick-and-rolls and protect the rim on the other end (he's averaged just 0.6 blocks over his NBA D-League career -- would be a helpful next step of what has a good chance to become a long NBA career.