Since the New York Knicks currently field a roster that forces viewers to toss up air quotes around the words "NBA-quality" during casual conversation, there's no real harm in scouting the D-League for potential rotation pieces down the road. Let us head back to sunny Westchester for a peek at a prospect who could theoretically have a role with the big club one day.
While most of our attention has been focused squarely on Thanasis Antetokounmpo, there is another player doing some serious work up in the 'burbs. I'm talking about former St. Joseph's guard Langston Galloway.
You may remember the kid from Summer League and preseason. The Knicks waived Galloway at the end of October, before the start of the regular season, and he has been starting at the point for Westchester ever since. His numbers, courtesy of DraftExpress:
First comes the bad news: Galloway is not really a point guard, and at 6'2" he's a bit short for a shooting guard. But there is a great deal to like about him and his game. He is sturdily built, and carries a 6'8" wingspan -- longer than the much taller Tim Hardaway Jr., for example -- and he's found all sorts of interesting ways to leverage that reach.
If you watched him play in Summer League, you caught glimpses of Galloway's ability to finish at the rim. He has certainly carried that into the D-League, shooting 69.6 percent in the restricted area. Nearly 30 percent of his points have come in the paint, where he has excelled:
True, the D-League does not contain the world's elite rim protectors, but every club has legitimate NBA size (if not talent). This highlight film shows a few examples of Galloway's ability to finish among the trees:
Galloway does far more than just score. He averages 5.9 rebounds per game -- an astonishing number for a guard. Defensively he leads the entire league in both steals and defensive win shares. He's a rugged guard who usually finds himself in the middle of the action on D.
If you can get past his height, Langston Galloway could make a lot of sense for the Knicks. He's obviously taller than Shane Larkin, who, like Galloway, profiles as more of a combo guard on New York's roster. He combines the sneak ability of Larkin or Pablo Prigioni with a knack for finishing which neither Larkin nor Prigioni possesses. It would be nice to see a Knicks guard make a steal and actually finish the play for once. On the opposite end of the court, he can do stuff like this:
Given his lack of play-making skills, Galloway's ability to make it in the NBA will likely depend on his ability to get to the rim off dribble penetration (something New York desperately needs) and his ability to guard bigger players. Ridiculous Upside's Keith Schlosser describes Galloway's first step as "strong," and he has shown a knack for getting to the rack once he's turned the corner. Defensively, his length and strength give him an advantage over the taller Hardaway.
Langston Galloway may or may not be an NBA player, but the Knicks have a whole mess of roster spots opening up in the near future. Hopefully Phil Jackson starts clearing some of the dead wood from the roster before the trade deadline (getting a draft pick or two), and Galloway can be given an audition for the 2015-16 squad.