Some teams use training camp as a battle for the last few remaining spots on their roster. That wasn’t the case this season with the New York Knicks, as there was really only one spot open for competition.
But Chris Copeland ended that battle early on.
Even though the Knicks haven’t made the announcement yet, or released or assigned any of the 20 players in camp to their D-League affiliate, there won’t be much drama concerning who the 15th contract will go to.
Copeland finished his strong preseason with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting in the Knicks’ overtime win over Brooklyn on Wednesday. Overall, he averaged 15.5 points on 51 percent shooting.
He did all that you could ask a young player looking to make a team to do- go out and earn it.
“I’m optimistic, but you never know what they’re looking for,” Copeland told ESPN’s Ian Begley. “I’m excited and I’m blessed to have the opportunity. I’d love to be here.”
Copeland can play multiple positions. With Amar’e Stoudemire out for another two weeks, Copeland could provide points from the power forward spot.
The Knicks will need to cut five players from their roster to get down to the mandatory 15 by Monday. They have 13 players under guaranteed contracts and Rasheed Wallace is signed to a non-guaranteed contract. Wallace will make the team and Copeland should as well.
However to earn a spot in Mike Woodson’s rotation, he will need to improve on defense, rebounding and limit his turnovers. Copeland finished the preseason averaging 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 turnovers.
However given the injury situation, he’s a guy that can provide a sppark off the Knicks bench and I would be shocked if Woodson doesn’t give him an opportunity early on in the season.