The New York Knicks have reportedly agreed to a contract with free agent guard Kadeem Allen. Allen will compete for a roster spot at training camp.
The New York Knicks entered the week of July 25 as a team that had 15 main roster spots and two two-way contract slots filled. In a span of roughly 24 hours, however, the Knicks have made a pair of moves that could call the future of the roster into question.
A day after signing power forward Noah Vonleh to a partially guaranteed one-year contract, New York has made an effort to improve the quality of the backcourt.
The Knicks’ roster is flush with promising talent, including guards Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina. As New York attempts to help the players on the roster realize their potential, however, the front office is bringing in defensive-minded hopefuls to push the incumbents.
According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, the Knicks have added former Arizona Wildcats point guard Kadeem Allen on what’s expected to be a training camp deal.
Shortly thereafter, the news was confirmed by the official Knicks PR Twitter account.
Allen will now have a chance to earn a full-time main roster spot at training camp.
Allen, 25, was selected by the Boston Celtics at No. 53 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. He split his rookie season between the Association and the G League, playing for both the Celtics and the Maine Red Claws.
Allen proved to be one of the best all-around players in the G League, producing averages of 17.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.2 three-point field goals made per game.
Allen did so on a slash line of .446/.300/.732, and was named to the G League All-Defensive Team for his smothering on-ball defense and dominant play in the passing lanes.
Allen’s success is consistent with what he did in college, when he was regarded as one of the best defenders at the point guard position. That was due in some part to his tremendous physical gifts, as he stands at 6’3″ and 200 pounds with a 6’9″ wingspan.
The hope in New York appears to be that Allen’s tenacious defense and persistent playmaking ability will push the likes of Burke, Mudiay, and Ntilikina to improve.
It’s unclear what the future will hold for Kadeem Allen and the New York Knicks, but he should help David Fizdale establish a defensive-minded culture as early as training camp.