The post-draft undrafted free-agent nighttime is the right time to add potential summer- and D-League pieces (I will never call it the G-League. Never.). The Knicks made a few of these moves after midnight. Move #1:
Undrafted seven-footer rookie Luke Kornet out of Vanderbilt has agreed to a two-way deal with the New York Knicks, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 23, 2017
The seven-foot Kornet played four years at Vandy, averaging 13 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocks per as a senior. He’s a legit big man at 235 pounds. One reason to be intrigued, per Draft Express: “Kornet is one of only 22 NCAA bigs (6'10 or taller) in the past 17 years to average at least 2.0 made threes and 2.0 blocked shots per 40 minutes.”
One reason not to be intrigued, also from DX: “...he's quite immobile on the defensive end, struggling to guard pick and roll even in drop situations and leaving much to be desired on the defensive glass. The 7-footer struggles with grit and physicality in traffic, averaging only 6.0 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, the third worst among centers in the DraftExpress Top 100...Kornet has also been somewhat erratic as a [three-point] shooter throughout the course of his career - 23% as a freshman, 40.7% as a sophomore, 28% as a junior and 32.7% as a senior. If Kornet isn't making shots, he doesn't bring much to the table, especially with the way the game is trending.”
Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes has agreed to a training camp deal with the Knicks that contains a partial guarantee, per league sources. https://t.co/CqWDlNzzAa— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 23, 2017
Hayes averaged 14 points and 6.6 rebounds as a senior. Nothing that jumps out at you, right? Well here’s what does jump out at you: the man is 6’7” with a 7’3” wingspan. If he makes the team and is ever on the floor the same time as Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina, the three of them can stand three abreast and pretty much cover the entire width of the court.
Hayes was Wisconsin’s third wheel three years ago, behind future NBA professionals “The Other Frank” Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, a role he excelled in. Two years ago he took over as lead dog and put up 16 a game, but his shooting numbers plummeted, falling from 51% on two-pointers and 40% on threes to 40% and 29%, respectively. He entered the draft a year ago but didn’t impress in the combine and returned for his senior season. Hayes’ two-point shooting bounced back up near 50%, but from downtown he’s struggled both years since losing the floor-spacing his pro-bound teammates provided. Maybe he ends up a bench 4 who can post people his size or smaller and defend decently against players his size. But he doesn’t project as someone who’ll stay in front of smaller guys or out-physical bigger ones.
He’s quite the loquacious one, Hayes is. Sometimes the verbosity is delightful — who wouldn’t love a dude who says things like “Nothing is new under the sun,” and who can substantiate coming to College Gameday with a poster protesting NCAA athletes being unpaid with “Simple economics...[f]ree market. Capitalism. The way the country is run. The rest of the world operates on the same scale. There is a supply and a demand. The people make the money get paid for it. That seems to hold true for the rest of the country besides college athletics, which generates billions of dollars. I don’t know why there is a disconnect.”
Of course, Hayes is also mildly infamous for his views on NYC: “I don’t really like New York. It’s too big, it’s dirty, there’s trash everywhere, too many people. It’s cold right now.” In his defense, Carmelo Anthony did point out “"New York is the greatest city on the planet, I think...[b]ut you're not a New Yorker if you don't wake up some days and be like, 'Man, f--- this place.'“ And Hayes did make his comments while simultaneously choking teammate Matt Ferris. Sounds like a New Yorker to me.
That’s all the Knick moves for now. Make sure it stays that way, Phil!!