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New York Knicks

NBA Rookie Rewind presented by Juicy Fruit: How does Allonzo Trier compare to Jamal Crawford?

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Juicy Fruit Rookie Comparison (NBA.com Illustration)

What would you say about a player that's scored 50 points in a game for three different teams, lasted nearly two decades in the NBA and developed a reputation as one of the NBA's most respected microwave scorers?

That's the type of player any franchise would want, right?

A third of the way through the season, Allonzo Trier has not only been a pleasant surprise for the New York Knicks, but also compares favourably to the player described above.

Following three years at the University of Arizona, Trier failed to hear his name called in the 2018 NBA Draft and seemed destined to spend most of his rookie season in the G League after signing a two-way contract with the Knicks. The 22-year-old, however, has yet to play a game in the NBA's minor league.

Like most two-way players, Trier was on the bench with his NBA club to start the season. Unlike most two-way players, Trier wasted no time proving he belongs in the NBA, scoring 15 points in his debut.

Trier has since appeared in 26 more games with the Knicks - starting in three - posting averages of 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest. His strong play recently earned him a two-year, $7 million contract with the Knicks, making him the first player to sign a guaranteed NBA contract within the first two months of a season.

Even though he went undrafted, Trier has long had the reputation of being a natural scorer who can "put points on the board in bunches."

It's a reputation that fits the bill of his fellow Seattle, Wash. native Jamal Crawford.

Crawford has carved out of a long career for himself as a microwave scorer off the bench, and Trier is already drawing comparisons to him (as well as Lou Williams) for how easily he fills up the scoring column.

So how does Trier compare to Crawford at the same age? Better than you might expect.

Crawford had the benefit of being in the NBA at both ages 20 and 21, but it wasn't until his age 22 season that he started showing signs of being the elite scorer we know today. Crawford averaged 10.7 points per game that season, shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from the 3-point line.

Not only is Trier slightly ahead of him in scoring with 11.3 points per game, he's getting those numbers far more efficiently.

Crawford went on to win his first Sixth Man of the Year award in 2009-10 when he was with the Atlanta Hawks. He won two more over the next six seasons, both coming as a member of the LA Clippers.

With three Sixth Man of the Year awards to his name, Crawford is in a class of his own.

Crawford is still making things happen as a 38-year-old, too, dishing out a career-best 14 assists in his most recent outing with the Phoenix Suns.

Trier obviously has a long way to go to have the career Crawford has had, but he's trending in the right direction, especially when you consider how his NBA career began.

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