This was a bit unexpected:
The Knicks are re-signing forward Cleanthony Early, sources tell The Vertical. Early expected to start season in D-League, rehab hamstring.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 13, 2016
I figured, especially considering his injury, Cleanthony Early would be taking the year off after no team invited him to training camp. But he’s back with the Knicks, and as Shams says, will likely head to Westchester.
Look, this isn’t gonna move the needle one way or another. Cle’s career averages are 4.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in just over 14 minutes per game. He’s not very good at basketball. But he seems like a cool guy, he’s been with New York for his entire career, and he has at least some familiarity with the system (even though he was limited to 17 games last season due mostly to having been shot in the knee in the midst of being robbed late last year).
Between Early and Damien Inglis, it seems like the Knicks want to fill out their D-League roster with guys they know already. That’s a logical, if slightly unexciting, mindset. Regardless, welcome back Cle!
EDIT: There’s this, too, which makes sense:
Cleanthony Early's deal is non-guaranteed, per sources. He'll start the season in Westchester: https://t.co/PKsr3VA3pP— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 13, 2016
There’s some confusion about what this means, exactly. I assume the Knicks do not plan on assigning him to the D-League from the NBA roster, but instead want to send him directly to the W-Knicks. We’ll update with a concrete answer if we get it.