Aside from two-way players, the New York Knicks project to have 17 players on the roster for training camp. Who will fight for a spot on the 2018-19 squad?
As of 2017-18, NBA teams can have 17 players on their roster. For those who choose to do this, two contracts must be formatted as a two-way, or players that can stay on an NBA roster for a maximum of 45 days in a season. The New York Knicks had Isaiah Hicks and Luke Kornet as two-way players.
For the Knicks in 2018-19, however, they have 19 players on their roster, with Hicks and Allonzo Trier as the two-way players. That leaves two on the chopping block before the regular season starts. Who are potential candidates for this?
Note that New York can send a rookie, like Mitchell Robinson, to the G League and trim a roster spot. Obviously, that’s not guaranteed until it’s officially announced.
Perhaps the most likely on the chopping block, the Knicks signed Kadeem Allen to an unguaranteed deal in July. With a full roster of guaranteed contracts, it likely makes the Arizona product training camp-only body, or to give the organization a look before an extended G-League stint.
If not for a $4.5 million player option, Ron Baker might not be in New York anymore, after an injury-riddled sophomore season.
Given the money, Baker’s roster spot likely remains intact. If other players impress and he falls back in the rotation competition, would the Knicks willingly eat his deal for the full 2018-19 season? What about a potential trade?
As a minor surprise, the Knicks gave Luke Kornet a fully guaranteed one-year, $1.6 million deal. He performed fine as a two-way player, with 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds on 35.4 percent shooting from behind the arc.
An extra backup in the frontcourt makes sense while Kristaps Porzingis misses time, but if head coach David Fizdale wants to play small ball, and Noah Vonleh’s presence as a center and power forward (despite his partially guaranteed deal), it may make Kornet expendable.
Joakim Noah’s situation remains in flux, even after a Jeff Hornacek-led exile in 2017-18 and Fizdale as the new head coach. The team owes the former defensive stalwart nearly $40 million over the next two seasons.
The Knicks need a buyout to remove Noah from the roster. Despite all the money he will make, would the organization eat a roster spot and waive someone else?
So Noah logically leaves the roster, but it’s a more complicated process than Allen and his contract. Will the New York Knicks find a way to make this happen before training camp?