As has become tradition, the Knicks performed surgery on their roster during the offseason, shedding the likes of Damyean Dotson and Bobby Portis in favor of Austin Rivers and Nerlens Noel while hoping the new set of role players will outperform their predecessors.
Last offseason, we said farewell to OAKAAK’s like Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh, Mario Hezonja and DeAndre Jordan. Oh how sad it was to say goodbye. But we didn’t cry because it was over, we smiled because it happened.
This year, the Knicks have a new front office, which decided that the previous front office didn’t quite nail last season’s roster. Thus, it’s once again time to bid a fond adieu to the Knicks who have moved on this offseason.
Thank you for being a part of our family.— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2020
Good luck on the next journey pic.twitter.com/en0OtL0dud
Selected 44th overall in the second round of the 2017 draft, Dotson was the longest tenured Knick until the team decided to let him walk this offseason. Now Frank Ntilikina holds the title for longest tenured Knick. Is that dangerous?
Dotson, 26-years-old, averaged 8 points and 3 rebounds while shooting 42% from the field and 36% from three over the course of three seasons with the Knicks. Over the last two seasons, Dotson shot 44% on corner threes, which is “better than roughly three quarters of the league’s wings,” according to Jonathan Macri in this SI.com piece from over the summer.
Dotson always felt like he was an inch away from earning consistent minutes, but he never quite forced the hand of any of his coaches.
This offseason, the Knicks chose to move on from Dot, foregoing their chance to make a qualifying offer and allowing him to enter unrestricted free agency. The Cleveland Cavaliers pounced, picking Dotson up for two years and a reported $4 million.
Let’s wish Dotson all the luck in the world. His new team won a championship less than five years ago. Of course, that was before LeBron James abruptly abandoned his home town for the second time so he could go chase rings and fame in Los Angeles.
The Knicks signed Portis to a two-year deal last offseason, except the second year was a team option, and the franchise decided to waive the big man after just one year. Theoretically, the 25-year-old should be a solid role player. He’s 6’10 and shot 40% from deep two years ago for the Washington Wizards. With the Knicks, Portis posted 10 points (45% from the field, 36% from three), plus 5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21 minutes per game.
Because Portis was behind Taj Gibson and Mitchell Robinson on the depth chart, he often used his time on the floor to try and convince the coach he should be receiving more minutes. Portis wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t joyous to watch him try to be an offensive hub in the post.
Waived by the Knicks, Portis has joined up with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Milwaukee Bucks, where he’ll presumably have a defined role in which to work. At the very least, Portis is guaranteed to make the playoffs this year, assuming there’s no catastrophic injury to Giannis or something.
Good luck, Bobby!
Harkless was only a Knick for a short time, but because of the slogan he’ll forever be enshrined in franchise history. Having come over in February as part of the trade that sent Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers, Harkless briefly looked like maybe he could possibly be part of New York’s future. You know, as a role player. Alas.
Harkless played just 12 games with the Knicks, scoring in double figures three times. He latched on with the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat this offseason. Will he get minutes? Or just a front row seat to the postseason? Either way, he’s probably better off having fled the Big Apple.
A career 38% three-point shooter, Ellington was signed last offseason to inject some shooting into New York’s roster. Instead, he barely got on the court and failed to ever carve out much of a role. Stats-wise, Ellington had his worst season since 2013-14, so he’s probably thrilled to start over elsewhere.
Where is elsewhere, you ask? Why, Detroit of course! The Pistons pretended they were the Knicks by signing a bunch of big men, but they also nabbed Ellington, reportedly for one year and $2.6 million. He’ll get the chance to play with bonafide NBA legends like Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose.
Wooten never made it to the Big Boy ‘Bockers, which is a shame. He played for New York’s G-League squad last year and provided a pack of dunking and blocking highlights, leading to yearning from onlookers that we might get the chance to catch a glimpse of Wooten in the NBA.
That might still happen, just not with the Knicks. New York chose not to retain Wooten, who instead made his way to Houston, where he’ll join James Harden and Russell Westbrook, for now. One or both of those guys could be moved at any second. The latter could even wind up on the Knicks if the price tag comes down enough for Leon Rose’s taste.
Goodbye Kenny, we hardly knew ye.
Never any hard feelings because I appreciate every opportunity the Knicks have given me. Until next time.. Thank you New York City!— Kenny Wooten (@kennywootenjr) November 19, 2020