Tony Wroten will forever be an odd little footnote in the gargantuan Derrick Rose trade. He wasn't dealt to Chicago on that day, like fellow point guards Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon; he was just straight-up released. The plot thickened when Wroten was immediately picked up by the Memphis Grizzlies. Wroten was on a non-guaranteed deal and was recovering from knee surgery, but why then would another team snatch him up so quickly?
As it turns out, his release may not have had anything to do with basketball or medical reasons. Per Frank Isola and Stefan Bondy:
Although some tried to suggest Wroten suffered a setback in his rehab from ACL surgery, a source told the Daily News the 23-year-old was actually released for an undisclosed disciplinary reason.
Disciplinary reasons? Wow. It seems like only yesterday Wroten was working out with Allan Houston. He seemed to relish the opportunity New York had given him, and he was well-liked in the clubhouse. It would be terribly sad if he threw all that away by doing something stupid.
The Wroten affair, along with the Grant trade, put an ignominious end to the young guard development we were hoping to see in the back half of the 2015-16 season. The front office passed up on the chance to give minutes to a young D-Leaguer to hold onto the injured Wroten. Phil Jackson did a tremendous job in finding some decent players on the margins of the lost 2014-15 season (Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas), but just didn't quite have the same luck with Wroten.
Alas, maybe the Knicks can actually be good next season ... that way we won't have to worry about digging up random youngsters to play in March and April.