Although the Knicks roster is almost entirely set, the team does have the ability to add one more player heading into training camp. With that in mind, there are a few players that have been informally working out with the Knicks this week, and at least two of those names should look strikingly familiar.
Okay, enough stalling. The players-in-question are Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, Hasheem Thabeet and Malcolm Delaney. Wait, what? No, your eyes are not deceiving you; this week, Melo, Thomas and Thabeet have participated in some informal, five-on-five scrimmages with the actual guys who are on the Knicks, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
You may remember Thabeet as the 7’3” guy drafted second overall in the 2009 draft. He’s 32 now, and hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013-14 season.
Carmelo Anthony wasn’t the only former Knick participating in informal 5-on-5 scrimmages with the team on Thursday. Veteran free agent Lance Thomas also played in the games, per a source: https://t.co/PSdLuGyMbt— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 29, 2019
Delaney, meanwhile, 30-years-old, is also scheduled to work out with the Knicks players this week, according to an outlet called Sportando. A 6’3” point guard, Delaney played two seasons for the Atlanta Hawks before bringing his talents to China last year.
We’re going to dig in to all the details of these players, including whether Thabeet or Delaney actually have any chance of suiting up in the Orange and Blue next season, but let’s first address the former Knicks All-Star in the room.
Before you go buying a fresh custom Knicks jersey with #StayMe7o emblazoned on the back, you should be aware that the Knicks are not going to sign Melo. In fact, per reports, it seems more likely the Brooklyn Nets might take a chance on him. We should generally wish Melo well, but we also shouldn’t want him back on the Knicks. There’s only one direction to go in this life, and that’s forward.
Nets don’t currently have an open roster spot. But they can add a player to the roster for 20 games during Wilson Chandler’s suspension. Some Nets players, including, reportedly, Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving, are supportive of the idea of BK adding Anthony: https://t.co/ldhxc43E5u— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 30, 2019
As for Thomas, in some Knicks fan circles he’s beloved because he was a ... good glue guy and solid veteran for terrible Knicks teams? He also is unlikely to be signed, as the Knicks roster is mostly full, and it doesn’t seem smart to spend your final training camp invite on a 31-year-old forward who has career averages of 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds a game. Hire him as an assistant coach or something, maybe.
Alright, let’s look at Thabeet and Delaney and discuss whether it actually means anything that these guys are participating in scrimmages with the Knicks. Thabeet would probably make the most sense of the two to bring in, because if there’s one area the Knicks are lacking its gigantic centers that can allow Mitchell Robinson to rest without completely opening up the paint for opponents.
Of course, the Knicks do employ the likes of Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Julius Randle, all of whom will probably get some time at center this year, so the actual likelihood of Thabeet being signed seems like it is slim to none. While we’re here, we might as well note that Thabeet has not been good in the NBA. He’s been bad.
Meanwhile, Thabeet is actually expected to work out for the Milwaukee Bucks soon, Begley reported, so all this hubub about these scrimmages could wind up being very fleeting.
Still, here’s a picture of Thabeet with a group of Knicks players. He’s the tallest guy in the photo. They went to dinner at Syvlia’s restaurant in Harlem, which describes itself as “The Queen of Soul Food.” Its menu looks delicious.
As for Delaney, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to bring him in, because the Knicks actually have three talented guys battling it out for minutes at point guard in Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina. Delaney declared for the 2011 NBA draft but went unselected, and then played for a number of teams overseas. In 2016, he earned an All-EuroLeague First Team selection, which led to the Hawks taking a flyer on the point guard.
Over two years with the Hawks he posted almost 6 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds while shooting just under 31 percent from deep.
While NBA rules technically allow teams to sign 20 players to begin training camp, they have to whittle the roster down to 15 by the start of the regular season, and none of these fellas who played in scrimmages with the Knicks this week should get a camp invite.
Then again, this is the Knicks. Maybe you should order that custom Melo jersey.