Update: Will Chris Smith be making the team? Al Iannazzone thinks so.
As stated further below, the Knicks value loyalty within their organization. Chris Smith has twice been invited to the Knicks training camp. Last year, they cut him because he had a knee injury that forced him to get surgery. However, this year he’s been healthy enough to participate in camp. He hasn’t seen much playing time in preseason, but that doesn’t much matter.
J.R. Smith has returned to the Knicks twice on decent bargains, and the Knicks will want to repay hm the favor. If Chris Smith makes the team, it’s because the Knicks are rewarding him.
The regular season is almost upon us; tonight the New York Knicks will play their final preseason game. With games soon counting, it means the Knicks must cut their roster to 15 men or less. Unfortunately, it will mean saying goodbye to some of our new training camp friends.
Ian Begley reported this morning that the Knicks are expected to make roster cuts today, though it’s unclear exactly how many players they’ll cut. For instance, there still seems to be some confusion about whether the Knicks want to keep the roster at 15, the maximum number in the NBA, or 14 to keep some midseason flexibility.
Similarly, it doesn’t seem as though the Knicks know exactly who they want to keep. Front-court depth could be an issue with the injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, so they may want to keep a few of the training camp big men around. Early indications seem that Jeremy Tyler has secured a spot, even though he’s sat out of camp and preseason while recovering from foot surgery. Ike Diogu has looked like the most impressive of the other big men, but the Knicks could also target Cole Aldrich because he has a legitimate 7-foot frame versus Diogu who is more of a natural power forward.
The decision on big men could invite the back-court invites of Toure’ Murry, Chris Smith, and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Murry seems to have proven himself worth a roster spot, but there isn’t really a need for him, since the Knicks are three-deep at each guard spot. Murry has proven to be crafty ball-handler and vigorous defender, but barring injuries, he likely wouldn’t see much time. Douglas-Roberts hasn’t gotten much playing time and seems on his way out, but Smith could stick around. The Knicks clearly value loyalty, and Chris Smith’s invites have seemed based on J.R.’s willingness to stick around the Knicks, particularly on fair contracts.
In my opinion, Diogu and Murry are the most likely candidates and most deserving candidates to make the team. Both have shown some potential on offense, and Murry’s on-ball hounding on defense and Diogu’s rebounding prowess are sure to have impressed Woodson.
But the Knicks are a strange, mysterious organization, so it’s hard to predict what they’ll do.
Comment below and let us know who you think should make the final roster.
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