The New York Knicks' Summer League roster just got a whole lot harder to spell:
Ognjen Kuzmic agreed to play for the New York Knicks at the Orlando Summer League, agent said.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 13, 2016
Ognjen! It helps to remember that old spelling rhyme from elementary school: "J before N, except after G." Kuzmic has a funny place in recent NBA history as a member of one of the strongest draft classes of all time. In 2012, the Warriors selected him with the No.52 pick, having already selected Harrison Barnes at No. 7, Festus Ezeli at No. 30 and Draymond Green at No. 35. Clearly that will draft class will be supplanted be Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant and Willy Hernangomez as soon as next year, but still it's a pretty decent haul.
Despite rarely playing with the Warriors from 2013-2015, the 26-year-old Kuzmic is one of the greatest pure winners in NBA history, having won a D-League title and an NBA title in the same year (2015). Kuzmic was a Bosnian D-League Willis Reed in the playoffs, putting up 20 and 16 in Game 3 of the Western Finals:
And followed it up with 10 points and 10 blocks in the Finals clincher:
Seriously, though, the dude is 7'1" with a pterodactyl-ish wingspan and good quickness for his size. Warriors fans loved him. He might still be playing for them if he had immediately accepted the qualifying offer the team handed him ... he hesitated for a while, and the team rescinded the offer in order to save cap space. He spent last season playing in Greece.
The biggest problem with inviting Kuzmic to Summer League is the potential fit, particularly if the Knicks sign Hernangomez. Center is pretty much the position of lowest priority at the moment. Several other players from the Knicks' recent free agent minicamp would make more sense for the club.
Whatever. Kuzmic is what we have thus far. And he just might turn some heads in Orlando.