With Mitchell Robinson out for the year with a broken foot, the Knicks front court depth is very clearly thin. Gone are the days when the Knicks have a glut of bigger forwards. They may actually be well served playing a little smaller to speed up the action. Trying to open the floor just a smidgen for Elfrid Payton and pushing Julius Randle up to the five spot with added shooting could help sustain them if Nerlens Noel or Taj Gibson just don’t have good matchups.
Of course sometimes there are Joel Embiid’s and Nikola Jokic’s and you don’t necessarily want Jules soaking up the punishment from those mondo-bigs. Enter Norvel Pelle who could spell Noel and Gibson when you need a legit big who knows his way around the league and fits into the style seamlessly.
Pelle is an athletic play finisher who won’t be quite as spry and nimble as Noel but still has a knack for getting his hands on the ball blocking shots and deflecting passes, and cleaning up with rebounding. He absolutely knows his role and should fit right in with the team and coaches.
Shams’ describing the signing as happening “over the weekend” likely means Pelle won’t see any action tonight against the Mavs. New York still has one more open roster slot and Pelle would probably need to sign a second 10-day contract before the Knicks consider signing him for the rest of the season, just to keep their options open as long as possible.
Welcome to the club, Norvel! You are the Knicks’ steez.