There are a quite a few NBA players who may not be the biggest, fastest, or most skilled, but carve out a unique and valuable role on a team thanks to their energy level.
Kadeem Allen honestly turned a lot of heads around this past season. A former 2017 second-round pick by the Boston Celtics, Allen began his season in the G League with the Westchester Knicks, before quickly establishing himself as one of the team’s/league’s best playmakers. It was his balance between being strong, shifty, and unselfish that made Allen not only productive in Westchester but also at the next level, as he was called up by the NY Knicks in January.
2018-’19 Stats (With NY Knicks): 19 G, 9.9 PPG (46.1 FG% / 47.2 3PT% / 77.8 FT%), 4.0 APG, 2.7 RPG, 16.2 PER
As someone who covered W-Knicks games on a nightly basis, I wasn’t surprised to see Allen succeed with the big club. I watched the 6-foot-3 guard defend multiple positions on the floor without once taking his foot off the pedal. That kind of hustle and versatility can play at any level.
Whether it was going off for 25 and 6 against the Cavaliers or averaging 15 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds during a stretch in February and March, Allen usually found a way to make a difference in his brief stint with the Knicks. It’s actually something that shouldn’t be taken for granted — this team witnessed Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr and Emmanuel Mudiay miss extended time due to injuries (remember those few games when Mario Hezonja had to run the point?). Unfortunately, Allen himself missed time toward the end of the season due to injury.
Still, Allen left his mark as a playmaker. His 28.6 assist ratio led the team, and he posted a solid 2.92 assist/turnover ratio. But he also excelled with the jumper, shooting 47.2 from beyond the arc. Allen’s 57.4 true shooting percentage led all Knick guards.
Even though Allen only played 19 NBA games this past season, I believe he’s done enough to generate some kind of interest as a free agent in July. He will have his options as the Knicks could either offer him a more traditional contract to keep him on the main roster or another two-way contract, in order to maintain a direct line to the W-Knicks and the G League.
And who’s to say another team wouldn’t look at Allen, if they’re in need of better depth and play-making at the point guard position? There’s honestly quite a few teams, who could give this man a call and spend a couple of million of dollars to obtain his services.