Who Are The Knicks Opening A Roster Spot For?


In an effort to create an open roster spot, the New York Knicks could waive Samuel Dalembert by the end of the week, according to reports.

New York’s decision can save them $2 million of the original $3.8 million contract that was signed over the Summer. If not waived by Jan. 10, the contract becomes fully guaranteed.

For what he was worth, Dalembert was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The 5-31 Knicks do not need the effort of a veteran like Dalembert, who at this stage in his career, could be helping a contender rather than a pretender. Unfortunately, it seems the market for the 33-year-old is dry, and the Knicks could see more value in an open roster slot of a free agent or d-league player.

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That’s the question right there: what are the Knicks planning to do with an open roster spot? Is bringing up a player like Thanasis Antentokounmpo or Langston Galloway something the Knicks should really consider? Or would a free agent be worth bringing in who can help New York steal a few more wins? Which seems better?

The case to bring up a young player from the Westchester Knicks is compelling. However, the team’s development as a whole has been right on track and it actually has more wins (seven of them) than the big boy Knicks, who on offense this year, have struggled at times to even hit the broad side of a barn. Could an open roster spot be filled by another jump shooter? It may end up that way; Langston Galloway could get the phone call.

Galloway is averaging 16 points and six rebounds per contest in Westchester. He is also playing about 37 minutes per night. With the amount of minutes he’s being given, he has time to develop and learn about not only the professional level of basketball, but how he plans to play himself. If Galloway comes up on a 10-day contract and plays well, in theory, the Knicks could sign him for the rest of the season. Once this happens, Galloway goes from starting point guard to the fourth string bench warmer behind Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin and Pablo Prigioni. Even a slight hope for minutes becomes even more reduced when Iman Shumpert, another player who can accommodate the lead guard position, returns.

At this point in the season, is it worth cutting the minutes and development of Galloway in Westchester to get a taste of the pros in the biggest city in the world? Sure, it can do wonders for his confidence and make him work harder practicing with more talented players everyday; but as every player on the Knicks has seemed to do this season, he could easily lose his motivation and fall into the same habits that the rest of the team emits: low-motivation, porous defense and a simple lack of aggression.

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By no means are the Knicks in a rush to fill a roster spot that could be opening up. What they must rush is a decision on Dalembert, whose money becomes guaranteed in five days (the end of the week). Once he is cleared and the Knicks save its $2 million, that spot and money can prove useful for another body if Carmelo Anthony shuts it down for the season and Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani miss extended time. If that’s the case, the young Galloway may not fit New York’s needs. Assuming the three forwards mentioned above miss time and Dalembert is cut, New York’s front court is decimated. A move for depth may have to be made over a move for development, but only time will tell what Phil Jackson decides to do. It could be better to leave the young Knicks put where they can continue to develop for next season when New York’s roster becomes as open and welcoming as a church on Sunday. Times should be better and the culture will continue to change for the better.

One thing to note is that New York seems more excited about the idea of bringing up Galloway than Antentokounmpo. In reality, Antentokounmpo is a longer, better defender than Galloway and that is New York’s biggest issue. On the other hand, Galloway may be slightly more NBA ready than Antentokounmpo and it makes sense to let him marinate for the rest of this season. Whatever New York decides to do with its final roster spot, it should be someone who can play defense and doesn’t mess up New York’s draft position.