New York Knicks player grades: Kadeem Allen for 2018-19

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

Kadeem Allen had a brief but intriguing ride with the New York Knicks in 2018-19 and enough to evaluate.

The New York Knicks reconfigured their roster a handful of times in the 2018-19 NBA season. Whether from the Kristaps Porzingis trade or the players who were waived after the trade deadline, the roster that opened the year hardly resembled the one to close the campaign.

One of the under-the-radar moves, Kadeem Allen, actually joined the Knicks as a training camp invitee. He spent the 2017-18 season with the Boston Celtics, but joined New York for a better opportunity. 

However, the Arizona did not make the opening night roster and, instead, went to the G League’s Westchester Knicks for the fall, awaiting an opportunity.

Eventually, it arrived when Allonzo Trier outplayed his two-way contract and warranted an NBA deal. That opened a spot for the Knicks to add a part-time player, and Allen became that guy in January.

A greater chance to impress arrived shortly after, too, as the Knicks lost Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina to long-term injuries within days of each other. This opened backcourt minutes, and with Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee also gone, there was ample space for Allen to step in.

The first six games started slow, including a 2-for-7 game in 35 minutes, although a turnaround started with the Feb. 9 game against Toronto, when Allen had 14 points, four rebounds and six assists on 5-for-11 shooting off the bench.

The following game, Allen broke out 25 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, garnering what became a season-high. It happened on an efficient 10-for-16 shooting, and six assists were added.

Two more double-digit performances followed, but the All-Star break and the limited NBA time on Allen’s two-way deal forced him back to Westchester. He returned in March, averaging 9.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists and 41.2 percent shooting on three-pointers and showed little sign of slowing down from a showcase run in February.

To close the season, returning from a concussion, Allen had 13 points, five rebounds and eight assists. It was one, last standout game to enter the offseason with momentum and the chance to return to the Knicks.

All of this happened in just 19 games, but Allen did enough to warrant another opportunity. It should not require an expensive deal, as well, potentially joining a star-studded backcourt if all goes according to plan for New York.

Allen also has just 37 NBA games to his name, which may restrict how much money he receives. The 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 46.1 percent shooting and 47.2 percent on three-pointers was productive, but a small sample size.

B. . G. Knicks. KADEEM ALLEN

Maybe Allen takes a similar deal to Luke Kornet: one year, $1.6 million. It’s a back-end, guaranteed spot on the roster. If not that, partially guaranteed money like Noah Vonleh.

Next. 2019 NBA Mock Draft as lottery nears. dark

Allen had a good, brief run with the New York Knicks in 2018-19. He did enough to continue his NBA career, whether in the Big Apple or somewhere else. Whether the success lingers into a full season remains to be seen.