Since the Westchester Knicks became the G League affiliate to the New York Knicks, the Knicks have used their affiliate to call up players. Nine players who have played for Westchester have earned a direct promotion to the Knicks. That trend continued Saturday when the tenth former Westchester Knick has earned an NBA call up.
The New York Knicks signed Simi Shittu to a two-way contract, per Ian Begley of SNY. Begley noted that the recent Knick signings (Shittu, Jared Harper and Myles Powell) gave added compensation to the Westchester Knicks who played in the G League bubble. The Knicks had an open two-way spot available after converting Harper’s deal to a 10-day contract.
After one season at Vanderbilt, Simi Shittu went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft. He spent his rookie season with the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s G League affiliate. Shittu joined Westchester for the 2020-21 season as a returning player (via trade). He started the season coming off the bench, but was inserted into the starting rotation following an injury and eventual NBA call-up to Justin Patton.
Shittu, the 6’10”, 240-pound center, possess a 7’1 wingspan, which he uses to defend and protect the paint. He moves his feet well, runs the floor and has physical presence on the inside. The second-year center has solid athleticism for a big man, which he uses to keep with guards on defense.
Shittu has shown he can anticipate passes and force turnovers then turn it into offense. On one possession, he grabbed the steal off the inbounds then showed great patience before scoring the basket. Shittu recorded a season-high three steals against the Austin Spurs and finished fourth amongst centers in steals per game (1.0).
Simi Shittu has shown to set good screens in his lone season with Westchester. He set a screenfor Tyler Hall, which drew two defenders towards Hall, who then dished a bounce pass to Shittu who finished with the two-hand slam. The 6’10” center set a screen for Jared Harper and found an opening, which led to Harper passing it to a rolling Shittu for the score.
Nearly all of his shot attempts attempts came within five feet of the basket. He converted on 58.2 percent (71/122) of those shots in that area. Even though 84.7 percent of his shot attempts were within five feet, Shittu occasionally connected on shots further from the basket. He connected on 6-of-14 attempts from 5-9 feet and 3-of-8 shots from 25-29 feet from the basket.
Simi Shittu works hard on the glass. He is really active on the glass, especially the offensive glass where he has created additional offensive possessions for Westchester. He has shown where he will he grab the offensive rebound off a missed attempts and will fight hard down low for points. The 6’10” center shows good positioning on several possessions to grab the offensive rebound and will proceed to score the ball.
Shittu averaged 14.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals on 55.6 percent shooting from the field in 13 games with Westchester. He recorded six double-doubles. The second-year center was one of five G League players to average at least 14 points, 10 rebounds and one steal per game last season.
Simi Shittu Twitter thread