Just because it’s opening night doesn’t mean the New York Knickerbockers’ roster is finished.
Rabb, 22, is a 6’10”, 220 lb. traditional big. He played two years at Cal, after which Orlando selected him 35th in the 2017 draft, then traded him to Memphis for a second rounder in last summer’s draft. Rabb spent the past two seasons shuttling between the Grizzlies and the Memphis Hustle, their G-League affiliate. If you’re curious what Rabb was doing before his two years at Cal, he had a 3.15 GPA in high school, which beats all the P&T writers except Drew “Oppenheimer” Steele.
If you’re curious about Rabb as an NBA player, here’s what Grizzly Bear Blues had to say after Memphis wavied him:
“In a lot of ways, Ivan Rabb is a victim of circumstance.
If Marc Gasol and Mike Conley were indeed capable of leading the Grizzlies to the playoffs - as so many thought they were - and Chandler Parsons was 80% of what he was signed to be through the length of his stay in Memphis, he may still be here. Rabb fit what Memphis once was. He has an old school game, one where he can play with his back to the basket and rebound and defend the rim not as well as a Gasol but in a similar fashion. Where he had his greatest issue was in the fact he was not truly elite at any of these skills. He showed flashes of potentially rebounding well, or scoring at the rim efficiently, but he did neither of these things well enough to negate his limitations...especially defensively in terms of rotation and switching.
He was given opportunities. The extension of his team option to October 19th allowed for Ivan to get a full training camp in with Memphis, and also get plenty of work in with the Grizzlies staff as they were trying to find what he was capable of within their schemes. But it would appear that pretty quickly, Jenkins and his crew realized that worst case scenario they could get basic rim protection from Bruno Caboclo while utilizing his offensive game more effectively given his athleticism and range.
Rabb will surely get looks at least in the G-League, and it is unlikely he will never play in the NBA again. But Ivan must grow his game, offensively in particular, to make teams see his gift at that end worth the loss of positional versatility.”
Before we all drown beneath the rising tide of “The Knicks signed ANOTHER power forward?!” jokes, let’s chill.
Nice signing - very skilled big - I get a kick out of @nyknicks fans who say "not another 4." Bottom line - he will spend most of his time with @wcknicks & will balance out that roster, which helps the development of Knicks players who will play at that level - High character. https://t.co/7VzhQbgGmH— Clarence Gaines (@ClarenceGaines2) October 23, 2019
This is a two-way contract, and nothing more. Mitchell Robinson could be out with an ankle injury and Taj Gibson has a sore right calf; the Knicks may need a big body at some point this week, just in case. David Fizdale knows Rabb from their time together in Memphis, even if Rabb played literally just 70 seconds during Fiz’s tenure. While he’s a paint-centric big, Rabb did attempt 15 threes last year after none as a rookie, mirroring the dip-your-toes-in-the-water he showed at Cal, attempting two three-pointers as a freshman, then 20 as a sophomore.
There you go. The Ivan Rabb era has begun. You were there from the beginning. No one can ever take that way from you.