Isaiah Roby’s performance in the New York Knicks’ preseason loss to the Celtics on Tuesday caused some fans to believe he could actually be the team’s backup power forward. New York has 12 players on guaranteed contracts and still has room to elevate three more players to hit the maximum of 15 roster spots.
Roby signed a two-year, non-guaranteed deal on the final day of the 2022-23 regular season, and HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported over the summer that the Knicks were considering using him as Julius Randle’s backup in light of the Obi Toppin trade.
In the most time he’s spent on the court this preseason, Roby recorded 11 points on impressive 3-of-4 shooting from three to go with three rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes against the Celtics. Less than 24 hours later, the Knicks waived him and Jaylen Martin, who’s on a two-way contract.
New York Knicks waive forward Isaiah Roby and guard Jaylen Martin
Jaylen Martin was a DNP in New York’s first and third preseason games and played in only three minutes on Saturday against Minnesota. The 19-year-old went undrafted in June and signed a two-way with the Knicks in July.
The young guard did well at Summer League, and it’s a bit surprising that he was waived. Martin can still sign with Westchester on a G League deal.
Martin being waived could mean that New York wants to sign Jacob Toppin to a two-way. Tom Thibodeau has praised the rookie for being a versatile defender, but Toppin needs time to develop.
Now that Martin and Isaiah Roby are on the outs, it’ll be intriguing to see how the Knicks fill out the rest of the roster. Along with Toppin, Ryan Arcidiacono, Charlie Brown Jr., and Duane Washington Jr. are on training camp contracts. DaQuan Jeffries is on a non-guaranteed deal.
Leon Rose and New York are known for making calculated moves and waiving Roby and Martin could be a sign that something bigger is on the horizon.