The New York Knicks are wrapping up their offseason by slowly trimming the roster down in an effort to get down to 15 by the start of the year.
At this time of the year, signings and cuts might just be happening to get the G-League rights to players.
One of the recent signings, Svi Mykhailiuk, was done with the intention of bringing him onto the regular season roster, but in the case of Quinton Ross and M.J. Walker, these players appear to be destined to G-League play.
On September 23, the Knicks announced they have waived both Ross and Walker, a move that was expected. Both of these players played for the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G-League affiliate, last season as well as appearing on the Summer League roster.
Two More Roster Cuts
Walker and Rose, despite being cut, are likely going to be in Westchester for the next season as SNY’s Ian Begley confirms the pair were signed to deals that mean the Knicks have their G-League rights.
“Knicks announce they’ve waived MJ Walker and Quinton Rose,” he tweeted. “They now have 18 players under contract heading into camp. Walker has an Exhibit 10 contract, per source. That contract incentivizes waived players to join the G League affiliate of their NBA club.”
This will likely mean the two won’t see playing time in New York, or even spend much time with the team in the coming season. The option will be there for them, but it’d likely only come in the case of injuries or on a game-by-game basis.
Miles McBride, as an example, split time between New York and Westchester last season, and he put on a show each time he got to play in the G-League. Despite the strong numbers, it didn’t mean he got to see the court much in New York.
For most fans, moves like this don’t matter a whole lot, but having depth, even in the G-League, can be very important over the course of an 82 game season.
Can Svi Make the Team?
The Knicks have a deep team at the moment, so some of these signings face rough odds in playing any sort of valuable minutes for New York.
Mykhailiuk is a good shooter, and it’s clear the Knicks and any team around the league can use more of that, but will that be enough for him to get minutes? Begley reports he has $50,000 guaranteed in his deal, so his spot on the roster might be safe, but that won’t guarantee him playing time.
The sharpshooting forward has bounced around the league a bit since he joined the NBA, but he still appeared in 56 games last season for the Toronto Raptors. He only averaged 4.6 points per game in that time, down from season before when he split time between the Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kansas assistant Norm Roberts, Mykhailiuk’s former college coach, predicts big things for the shooter, but that won’t be enough to get him playing time.
“Shoot, he’s going to be good for them,” Roberts told Forbes. “He can shoot the [heck] out of the ball, he’s more athletic than you think.”
Knicks fans will find out soon enough whether that’s the case.