The Knicks, needing to cut their roster down to the league-mandated 15 players, chose to cut Patrick Ewing Jr. This is the second time in three years that we’ve sent our former franchise player’s son packing. Supposedly Poppa Patrick even tried to put in a good word and convince management to keep his boy on our squad. Instead, we opted to keep Shawne Williams.
A couple of facts:
-The 15th player pretty much never plays. Maybe if it’s a blow-out or if there’s a bizarre set of circumstances like last year in Golden State where every single player got injured, but otherwise forget it.
-The 15th player needs to be someone who’s not only okay with not getting any minutes, but who can be excited just by the fact they’re on the bench and being kept around.
-The 15th man does of course play in practices, so it can often be good if they’re a good defender and thus can provide the main players more of a challenge in practices, pushing them to be better.
-Shawne Williams has been arrested twice this year. Once for selling drugs, the other time for merely driving with a suspended license (oh wait, but when they stopped him they found he had pot and a loaded gun).
-Pat Jr. is supposedly a better defender, locker-room teammate and all-around player.
-Shawne Williams’ main asset is said to be that he’s a better three-point shooter.
-The Knicks already have the following players who are good three-point shooters (or at least they have been in the past): Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, Anthony Mason Jr., Kelenna Azubuike and Andy Rautins. Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler have also actually been decent from three-point land during the pre-season, although they’re not (yet) known as serious outside shooters.
-Pat Jr. had a partially guaranteed salary so the Knicks still had to pay him $100,000, versus if they cut Shawne Williams they wouldn’t have had to pay him jack.
Add it all up, and it makes about as much sense to keep Williams over Ewing as it would to do something ridiculous, like say, re-hire Isiah Thomas? Oh wait, we tried to do that too, didn’t we.