The New York Knicks’ preseason games are getting closer and closer. You know guys like Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, and Raymond Felton will perform, but the Knicks also have many sleepers on their roster that could greatly benefit the team. Here are some of them.
Seeing the newly acquired Bargnani’s name on here will probably confuse a lot of people. But let me explain. Bargnani is widely considered a first round bust. He was completely ripped apart by the fans and media in Toronto for his constant injuries and inability to live up to his first round pick potential. He now gets a fresh start, free from all the bad times in Toronto. He is also for the first time is on a very talented team, so players like Melo can take the scoring load off of him. He also will play less minutes and will not have to live up to the first-round pick potential he had. Bargnani is definitely a sleeper going in to the preseason.
Murry had a great summer league with the Knicks. Obviously the summer league is nothing compared to the actual NBA of course, but it is a start. The young guard still has time to develop, and he is a player most people have never heard of. Murry can easily improve throughout camp and be a surprise in the preseason.
The signing of Udrih is seriously underrated in my books. He is a great passer, and can get guys open. He also has a nice three ball and can drive if necessary. He adds even more depth to the Knicks already outstanding back court. Udrih is 100 percent a sleeper going into the preseason.
Leslie went undrafted this past season, but he was quickly picked up by the Knicks in the days following the draft. He was projected as possibly a late first round pick or early to mid-second rounder, but slid all the way to not being picked at all. The main concern with him is that he is too small for the PF slot, and he is too big and slow for the SF slot. But Leslie can rebound and has nice developing defensive skills. Leslie can easily play up to that late first round potential, so the Knicks got a total steal with him.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway Jr. was the Knicks selection with their first round draft pick. He is a sleeper in my mind because of how much he improved over his years at Michigan. Hardaway showed substantial growth in his skill at Michigan. He can score very well and his long range 2 and his 3 point shots improved throughout his years in college. He can continue that growth to make a big impact in J.R. Smith’s absence, since he will get more minutes as the backup shooting guard.
STAT was once the hero of New York, when he first signed but injuries have since slowed him down mightily. He has barely been playing over the past few seasons and is flying under every teams radars right now. He will not play in the preseason but he will take that time to rest his bad knees and get himself healthy for the season. When he was healthy last season, he was great off the bench.
These are some players who you might not have watched much in preseason, but these guys I think deserve to have some attention as they try to prove their worth to the Knicks.