New York Knicks player grades: Late season signings for 2018-19

New York Knicks Henry Ellenson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Henry Ellenson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

How did the New York Knicks’ late-season acquisitions fare down the stretch?

The New York Knicks tinkered with their roster for most of 2018-19, including the Kristaps Porzingis trade and waiving Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews after the trade deadline. These moves cleared spaces on the 15-man group and opened opportunities.

There were three late-season acquisitions for the Knicks who played enough to evaluate their performances. Continuing with the 2018-19 player grades, how do the following trio sit among other players on this 17-65 team?

New York Knicks. JOHN JENKINS. C-. . SG

John Jenkins became the first of the late season signings when roster space opened after the aforementioned player moves. The Knicks ranked in the NBA’s bottom five in three-point shooting percentage, so it made sense to add a player to not stop the bleeding, but slow it down.

In 22 appearances and 14.5 minutes, Jenkins shot 38.8 percent and 35.7 percent on three-pointers for 5.2 points. Nothing otherworldly, and he missed games via coach’s decision, but the job was done about as expected, with a career 36.4 percent from behind the arc in previous seasons.

Aside from spot-up shooting, there is little else to Jenkins’ game. In the modern-day NBA, however, that can become enough to last. Someone will sign him to a roster or the G League, and while the Knicks still have a team option for his 2019-20 contract, sacrificing cap space would be a curious call.

D. . F. New York Knicks. HENRY ELLENSON

The Detroit Pistons ditched Henry Ellenson just two-plus seasons after selecting him in the first round, but under the Stan Van Gundy regime. He struggled to defend and shoot consistently then, and that somewhat continued with the Knicks.

Ellenson, like Jenkins, signed a 10-day contract upon arrival. He opened eyes in the first game of extended minutes, with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a win against Orlando, and another 13-point performance followed. It rewarded him with a contract for the rest of the season and a team option for 2019-20.

Unfortunately for the 2016 draft pick, that summarized his impact, finding minutes difficult afterward until the final four games of the season. It was after the Knicks punted DeAndre Jordan‘s playing time and focused on players like Luke Kornet and Kadeem Allen.

Ellenson shot 44.1 percent on three-pointers, helping his stock. Otherwise it was a difficult for the third-year man to sustain a role. Maybe the Knicks return him on a training camp deal.

N/A. . SG. New York Knicks. BILLY GARRETT

Billy Garrett was signed in the final days of the season, so his impact was minimal. The Knicks rewarded him after a good year for the G League’s Westchester team.

Head coach David Fizdale gave Garrett four games and 63 total minutes to make a case. With 6.5 points on 40.7 percent shooting and zero three-pointers, there was not much to analyze. Maybe he returns on a training camp deal or plays another season in Westchester.

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These players filled the New York Knicks roster to end the season and provided value in spurts. All have the potential to return in 2019-20, but either at the back of the 15-man group or in another capacity.