Worst Knicks of the 2010s: Cleanthony Early, Small Forward
Perhaps it’s a little unfair to include Cleanthony Early in this lineup. After all, there was never really any expectations for the second round pick from Phil Jackson’s first draft.
But I struggled to find small forwards from the past decade who played as poorly as Early did for the Knicks between 2014 and 2016. His 7.2 PER is third worst among any forward to suit up for New York since 2010, and that is without qualifiers. In other words, the only two players with lower PERs are Solomon Jones (who played 2 games) and Ignas Brazdeikis (who has played 9 games). Early played in 56 games.
The Middletown, New York native represents the second Wichita State Shocker to be included in this lineup, which is a bit odd, but perhaps telling of the talent pool the Knicks have worked with to fill out their roster over the past decade.
An honorable mention goes to Kevin Knox. I couldn’t put a player in this lineup who was a rookie during his one season playing in the 2010s, but if I were to consider his hype as a lottery pick (and coming out of summer league) compared to his performance in the season, it was a letdown for many Knicks fans. Here’s hoping we look back at that season as a year of development for the young forward.