*The roster, as of right now, is full but three players are currently on 10-day contracts: Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson
The New York Knicks three game winning streak came to end on the back of a 76-71 loss to the Hornets. The Knicks sit with a record of 8 wins and 37 losses. The tanking of the 2014-15 season is now in full effect. After sending J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland along with waiving Samuel Dalembert, it has freed up three roster spots. Who can fill these three openings?
Langston Galloway (remainder of the season)
The New York Knicks recently signed Galloway to a 10-day contract, he has, so far, played well. Galloway now holds the franchise record for most points scored by a rookie in his first home game. He surpassed Patrick Ewing who scored 17 by scoring 19 against the Rockets.
Galloway has held his own so far and with sufficient time he could and most likely will, develop into a solid rotation player in the future. He has a smooth stroke from downtown – he hit 3 of 4 attempts against Houston. Galloway has unlimited range and he has the ability to knock down pull up jump shots which is now a lost art in the NBA.
Not only can Galloway shoot, but he can also get to the basket at will and his ability to finish with contact should not go unnoticed. Like we saw against the Rockets, Galloway has the ability to rise well above the rim. Perhaps his best asset is his defense, Galloway is quick and has good slight-of-hand. He is constantly coming up with steals. For a guy standing at 6 foot Galloway is an excellent rebounder.
After being released by the Utah Jazz, Murry is now an unrestricted free agent. Last season we only saw glimpses of his potential due to a lack of consistent minutes. If New York were to sign Murry it would mean that Calderon or Prigioni would have to be dealt. New York’s season is lost so going young would make sense.
On the offensive end Murry isn’t quite there yet, his jump shot is still shaky but his ability to get inside and finish or make a pass is stellar. One thing that got overlooked or went unnoticed was Murry’s ability to thread the needle. Not only could he make simple passes but Murry seemed to be able to pass through holes that weren’t even there. One aspect that gives him an edge of others is the fact that he’s ambidextrous – he can handle the ball well in each hand and Murry can finish comfortably at the rim with either hand.
His best asset, by far, is his defense. When Murry was on the court he was not only coming up with steals but also he forced many turnovers with his on-ball defense. Murry is bigger than your average point guard, his height and length reeks havoc on the defensive end of the court. Alike to Galloway, Murry can help out on the boards.
Quincy Miller(Currently on a 10-day with Sacramento)
After being the 38th pick in the 2012 draft, Miller has yet to see enough consistent minutes to really show his potential. His former coach, Brian Shaw, believed he was the next Paul George. Although is does see far fetched, there is some resemblance. At the same point in their careers, Miller is further developed on the offensive end but George has a large edge on the defensive end.
On the offensive end Miller is a do-it-all player. He’s able to play point forward, he has the ability to shoot from distance and he also enjoys slashing to the rim. But Miller thrives on the fast break due to his length and athleticism.
Miller can make threes and mid range jump shots but he is a streak shooter and fairly inconsistent when it comes to shooting. Being in Denver certainly did allow him to thrive based on his skill set and the Nuggets game style – run-and-gun basketball allowed Miller to play point-forward and go coast-to-coast.
Miller has potential on the defensive end but that’s all it is as this point. To be a factor on defense Miller does need to put on some weight and bulk up. Putting on a few pounds would help him on the boards as well. Miller is an average on ball defender but away from the ball he’s often caught napping.
New York drafted Antetokounmpo with the 51st pick in the 2014 draft but decided not to sign the native of Greece, but to instead assign him to the Knicks development league associate; the Westchester Knicks. The 22 year-olds strength is defense. He plays defense with an uncanny passion and intensity.
Antetokounmpo stands at 6’6 and has extraordinary length, this length is what allows him to be so effective on the defensive end. Where he gets into trouble is that he sometimes overplays picking up multiple fouls in a hurry. Antetokounmpo is a versatile defender, he can defend the one thru three spots. The Greek-Freak 2.0 constantly reeks havoc on the defensive end, either knocking balls loose or getting in the passing lanes. His unmatched athletic ability allows for him to rise well above the rim to block shots.
Offensively, Antetokoumnpo is a work in progress and he has a ways to go before he becomes a consistent threat. At this point in time on the offensive end his baskets come mostly either on a fast break or cutting to the rim in a half-court set. Antetokounmpo has the ability to shoot from downtown but threes are few and between for him. Just remember that’s he is just 22 years old with a world of potential. He is a lockdown defender with extraordinary athleticism. Give him some time and Antetokounmpo could develop into a solid reserve for the Knicks in the future.
Should the Knicks look to sign any of these prospects? Or persist with the three Ls – Langston, Lou and Lance?