If you thought the Knicks were finished tinkering with their roster ahead of training camp, you were dead wrong.
As a matter of fact, the ‘Bockers have signed four more players, the team announced Monday: littlish guys Amir Hinton and Lamar Peters, and bigger men Kenny Wooten and VJ King. All four dudes played for the Knicks in Summer League this year.
New York Knicks Sign Four Players pic.twitter.com/sTHYc4d7yJ— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) September 16, 2019
Additionally, Hasheem Thabeet — the second overall draft pick from a decade ago — is scheduled to workout with the Knicks in Westchester this week, representing the second time Thabeet has played ball with the Knicks in less than two months.
The Thabeet tidbit could be viewed as troubling, but it also might not be a big deal. Either way, we’ll get into that in a little more depth later on. First, let’s look at the players who actually signed contracts with the Knicks.
Note: the Knicks did not reveal any details of the terms of these contracts, but most people who know things seem to assume the agreements are Exhibit 10 deals, which basically means these players are likely to play for the Westchester Knicks in the G-League this year. (aka these guys have the potential to be the next Allonzo Trier).
New York now has the maximum of 20 players under contract for training camp. But teams, including the Knicks, have waived players on Exhibit 10 deals during training camp in past years to sign other players to camp deals. The players on Exhibit 10 deals usually go to Westchester https://t.co/31McGuB2Ai— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 16, 2019
Amir Hinton, 22 years old
During his junior college season last year, Hinton, a 6’5’, 190-pound guard, performed spectacularly for Shaw University, a Division II school in Raleigh, North Carolina. How spectacularly? How about averages of 29 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 38 minutes per game.
He went undrafted, however, but was subsequently scooped up by the Knicks and during Summer League posted 4.3 points (5 of 13 from the floor total) and 1.8 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. He saw time in four of the team’s five Summer League Games.
Here, have some highlights:
Lamar Peters, 21 years young
If you noticed that Hinton was described as 22 years old while Peters is described as 21 years young, congratulations - you’re actually reading this!
Peters, 6’0”, 185 pounds, played three seasons for the Mississippi State Bulldogs before entering the NBA draft. Last year, his junior college season, he scored 11.9 points per game and added 5 assists and 1.7 steals.
During Summer League, he was...not great, with averages of 1.2 points (2-17 from the floor overall, good for 12 percent), 1 rebound, and 1.8 assists per game. He played in all five Summer League contests, and was on the floor for nine minutes per game.
Despite those meager stats, Peters has convinced the Knicks that he’s worth a further look. Good luck, Lamar. Let’s take a gander at some of his college highlights:
Kenny Wooten, 21 years of age
Wooten stood out during Summer League because of his propensity to block shots. The 6’9”, 200-pound high flyer averaged 2.5 swats in 13.3 mintes per game in Las Vegas.
Wooten was named to the Pac-12 Defensive team twice in college, and last year he averaged 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Here, see him annihilate 10 of UC Irvine’s shot attempts in an Oregon blowout of the Anteaters during the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament to help send the Ducks to the Sweet 16.
Wooten really jumps right off the screen — luckily not in the same way as the girl from The Ring — especially in this sweet dunk he performed during some kind of practice or workout that was uploaded to Youtube in 2015.
VJ King, roughly 8,030 days since birth (he’s 22)
In three years as a Louisville Cardinal, 6’6”, 190-pound King averaged 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game, which, to steal a similar phrase from just one paragraph ago, doesn’t quite jump off the page.
His college highlights do show potential as a solid playmaking mid-sized forward, but you really shouldn’t even try to look up what he did during Summer League this year. All right, all right, here are the stats, but you have to promise to watch the highlights right after: 3 games, 4.7 minutes per contest, 0 points (0-3 from the field), 0.3 rebounds.
Now watch the highlights and convince yourself he could turn into a solid professional basketball player. You promised:
Enough already. What the heck is going on with Hasheem Thabeet?
Happy to answer the question, although the attitude is not appreciated. Thabeet previously did some working out with the Knicks at the end of August, although the story didn’t receive much attention because he was playing with the ‘Bockers the same week as Carmelo Anthony, and Melo generated most of the media attention.
Thabeet has not been good in the NBA. The Knicks are playing their cards close to their vest, with SNY’s Ian Begley reporting that “the Knicks’ specific level of interest in signing Thabeet to a training camp deal is unknown,” but the big man hasn’t played in the league since 2013-14, and despite a dearth of actual centers on the roster, the Knicks shouldn’t actually consider signing him.
Begley cited Thabeet’s agent as the source saying the extremely tall man is scheduled to participate in workouts with the Knicks, so take that for what you will. Thabeet’s agent, Jerry Dianis, is trying to drum up some noise around his guy, and the Knicks are making it easy for him.
According to Begley, the Milwaukee Bucks have some interest in Thabeet. They should sign him ASAP before the Knicks do something stupid.