The New York Knicks have not signed LeBron James. But they have signed a LeBron of sorts.
After leading EuroBasket in steals, “LeBron of Ukraine“ Svi Mykhailiuk signs with the Knicks ☄️pic.twitter.com/7VjcLY09BR— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) September 18, 2022
Ukraine’s greatest athlete since Tatiana Gutsu, sweet-shooting wing Sviatoslav “Svi” Mykhailiuk, has signed a one-year deal with the Knicks for the minimum, including what Fred Katz reports is a $50,000 partial guarantee. The Raining Ukrainian joins a New York roster with eight players who are wings or shooters, so it’s unclear if this move is about depth or preparing for a trade that sends out more bodies than it brings back.
In addition to showcasing the Association’s single-most beautiful moniker (svee-AT-ah-slav mee-KY-luck), Mykhailiuk is a threat from behind the arc. For his career he’s averaged eight attempts from deep per 36 minutes. His accuracy isn’t where you’d imagine a shooter resides: after four years split between four teams, Mykhailiuk has only been better than league-average on 3s with Detroit (38% over three seasons), versus 31%, 32% and 34% for Toronto, the L.A. Lakers and Oklahoma City.
The sweet stroke of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk pic.twitter.com/RKr88aqvuY— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) September 18, 2022
This is a late, low-stakes move by the Knicks. If they move Evan Fournier anytime soon, Mykhailiuk at least offers the possibility of perimeter insurance. If not, don’t get too worked up. This pro’ly ends up in the memory hold of meaningless late-offseason signings, like when New York inked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and some hack got carried away and dug way too deeply into what MKG might mean. This time just gonna let the universe unfold and see what happens.