After losing starting center Mitchell Robinson to a fractured right hand, the Knicks in all likelihood are going to be looking for some reinforcements at that position. While fans are coming up with trade proposals and potential free agent signings, what if I told you the solution comes from the G-League bubble on the roster of the Westchester Knicks?
While the Westchester Knicks have dropped three straight games, it can’t be ignored that there is some serious young talent on this team that could very well hold their own on an NBA roster. While all the hype is surrounding rookie Myles Powell out of Seton Hall, it’s important to pay attention to big man Skal Labissiere.
After four NBA seasons with the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers, the Knicks signed the Haitian product to a G-League deal on December 9th, 2020. Over his brief NBA tenure, Skal has averaged 7.2 points per game over 17.5 minutes per game. Despite those sub-par numbers it’s important to note that Labissiere for his career shoots over 35% from behind the arc. In fact, he even hit a game-winning 3 against the Knicks in May of 2018. All of that aside, Skal provides the Knicks with shooting at the center position, something the team has not had for a couple of years. If the Knicks did acquire a big who can shoot the ball, it’ll allow them to spread the floor have a more diverse offense.
In the young G-League season, Labisierre has appeared in four contests and in over 12 minutes per game has averaged 6.8 points along with 3.3 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks. The stats aren’t eye-popping, but his experience and vast skill set definitely make him worthy of consideration for a roster spot.
I think it’s worthy of saying that the Knicks don’t have the most talent when it comes to roster makeup. However, the team has won games this season because head coach Tom Thibodeau knows how to get the most out of his players and puts them in the best position to help the team win. Maybe ‘Thibs’ can have that lasting impact on Skal as well. While I understand the affection for Taj Gibson, I wouldn’t consider him to be the most intimidating backup center on the floor, especially due to his age. I’m very curious to see what would happen if Labesierre was given a chance to play, and now is the perfect time to see what he can do with the need for a third man to fill the middle of the paint.