New York Knicks: Outlook for Kadeem Allen’s future

New York Knicks (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With only two games remaining in the New York Knicks’ season, decisions will need to be made with the current roster in accordance with future depth.

When talking about depth in the past for the New York Knicks, we can look back at a time when the Knicks’ bench was packed with veterans like Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace, which carried the team a long way in the 2012-13 regular season, but not so much in the playoffs.

Burnout is a common theme among older veterans, but for the current Knicks’ roster, these players lack that veteran mindset, but have the energy of one of the youngest teams in the NBA. Looking back at individual Knicks’ performances this season, Kadeem Allen, who was one of the Knicks’ two-way contracts, made an intriguing case to be brought back next season. All of this is contingent on a few factors during the offseason.

Without a doubt, if the Knicks do see themselves with the number one pick, Zion Williamson will be the obvious choice, but outside of the first, their selection will likely be a guard. Those picks could range anywhere from Ja Morant or RJ Barrett to possibly Jarrett Culver. For Allen, this would be an issue as the roster already has a logjam at both guard positions.

Another factor that is important to consider is whether the Knicks sign Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler or any other guard during the offseason. This fits back into the narrative that the Knicks already have too many guards, especially when most of them are signed for next season.

But this then brings me to my last factor in the Knicks’ decision: will the Knicks bring back Frank Ntilikina or will he be traded during this year’s draft? This has been rumored ever since Ntilikina’s groin injury. I am still a believer in Ntilikina and want to see him reach his potential, but it’s looking like injuries are becoming a serious concern for the growth of the French point guard. We may not even see him play again until the FIBA World Cup, which he reportedly will play in, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Post.

All of these will play into bringing Allen back, but let’s also look at his profile as a whole.

The second-year guard will be turning 27 next season, which isn’t a major issue, but the question remains whether we have seen Allen’s peak as a player. All around, Allen served as an exceptional distributor and has consistently improved his shot since his time at Arizona.

This season, Allen shot 47.3 percent overall and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. He served as a very efficient guard for the Knicks after getting brought up from the G-League, but the only issue was his lack of consistent play time and relatively small sample size (18 games).

I see Allen’s game extending farther than his offensive capabilities with his overall size and ability to defend multiple positions even at 6-foot-3. Allen has heart and the hustle for New York, but all of this still relies on the Knicks’ offseason.

With the point guard position looking like Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and possibly a free agent or Ja Morant, Allen would have very limited opportunities at the point guard position. Even as a shooting guard, he still has Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier, and possibly RJ Barrett.

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Overall, the Knicks’ would be in a good position to not sign him back, because it means that the offseason was probably a success or Ntilikina was traded and a guard was not drafted. Still, Allen will remain in the league as having the potential to be a solid rotational player, and will eventually break through the confines of that two-way contract.