In perhaps the Hinkiest move of all time, the Philadelphia 76ers released shooting guard Tony Wroten -- their longest-tenured player -- on Christmas Eve. I was all set to make a crack about how pathetic it was for Philly to have only two players left over from 2013-14 until I realized that was still one more than the Knicks.
Assuming he passes through waivers, Wroten will be a free agent. The Knicks have an open roster spot, and perhaps the worst guard rotation in the league. Would he make sense for New York?
The 22-year-old Wroten averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 assists for the Sixers in 2014-15 before suffering an ACL injury. He's beyond useless as a shooter -- 23.1 3P% for his career -- but the kid knows how to get to the cup:
Not often I say Knicks should sign a FA. But Wroten can get to the basket far better than anyone they have, and they have open roster spot.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 24, 2015
Knicks drove to the basket an NBA-low 17 times/game last year. Wroten, by himself, drove 10.3 times a game before his season-ending injury— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 24, 2015
Wroten struggled in eight game since returning from the ACL injury. The folks over at Liberty Ballers certainly didn't seem all that broken up about losing him:
Wroten returned after a lengthy rehab from ACL surgery in early December and had been rusty to begin the season. He has accumulated more turnovers than he has made shots, rebounds, or assists to date. He also looks the same: unbelievably left-handed and careless with the basketball and still able to drive past smaller defenders despite the ACL injury.
Wroten was not under contract beyond this season, though he is only 22-years-old and is still perceived as a high upside talent. However, in his third year as a Sixer, he hadn't shown any meaningful improvement.
While I would never begrudge a man for struggling in the midst of the Philadelphia Carnival of Despair, it's difficult to see how Wroten would fit in the Triangle. Sure, he can drive, but he wasn't particularly adept at finishing, even last season, before the ACL tear:
Just look at that. So many attempts in the restricted area, true, but not much success there ... or anywhere, for that matter.
I still hold out hope that the Knicks can dig up a random scrub guard to step in and occasionally say, "Screw it, I'm getting to the rim," like my beloved Alexey Shved. Tony Wroten may have the skills to do so, but given his recent performance, he probably needs time in the D-League to round his game into shape ... hopefully even reach another level. Until then, there's no reason to sign him.