Langston Galloway began his NBA journey with the New York Knicks at the 2014 Las Vegas NBA Summer League. Galloway was then invited to the Knicks training camp where he played during the preseason. The St. Joseph’s product stayed within the New York Knicks franchise as a member of Westchester Knicks. During their inaugural season Galloway, so far, was the team’s leading scorer. His NBA dream became a reality when, on January 7, he was called-up from the NBA D-League.
Currently serving his second 10-day contract, Galloway has played surprising well earning a starting role in the past three games. In those three outings the Knicks are 3-0. In his short career, the Baton Rouge local has averaged 12.3 points, 4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 44% from the field, 38% from downtown and 76% from the free throw line. Galloway, in his seven game career, has showed that he does indeed have the ‘clutch gene’. He drained the sealing three pointer against Philadelphia and last night Galloway hit two big 3s down the stretch. Coach Fisher noted that Galloway isn’t afraid of the big moment.
With the Knicks 2014-15 campaign most likely down the drain, New York can afford to throw young guys out there under the bright lights to see if they have what it takes to play in New York City and at the Mecca of basketball. Galloway has an unmatched confidence and passion for a mature-aged rookie. The 23-year-old has made an impact on the Knicks already, most notably in the previous three contests. One thing that is quite surprising is Galloway’s decision making – he knows when to shot and when to pass, Galloway knows when to commit on defense and when to lay-off and play conservatively.
Galloway, on the offensive end, is a scorer. He can shoot the long-ball, he has a nice touch on his mid-range jump shot and can get to the bucket. His best asset is that he’s a two-way player. Galloway has active hands and he can stay in front of his opponent. On of the main reasons as to why Phil Jackson likes Galloway is that he stands at 6’2, but he mixes it up down low with the tall trees on both the defensive and offensive glass. Take his two put-back dunks as an example.
Galloway’s second 10-day deal will expire on January 27, what should the Knicks do with him?
The most likely scenario, and best way to go for Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher would be to sign Galloway to a deal for remaining 38 games in the season. The Knicks front office, right now, is thinking about the future and not focusing on winning now. Playing the inexperienced young players, and giving them heavy minutes, will benefit New York in the future. As a mature-aged rookie Galloway looks far from a typical rookie who struggles to find a niche on any given team.
It seems that New York has “found a diamond in the rough” for the third consecutive year (Chris Copeland, Toure’ Murry). The Knicks over the past two seasons have let that talent walk and you’d think Phil Jackson will learn from the past mistakes of others. It would make more sense, currently, to lock up Galloway for the remaining fixture. In his three starts Galloway has played an average of 32 minutes. In those 32 minutes he has shown that he can hold his own on both ends of the court. Galloway seems to be making few mistakes contrary to a usual rookie.
If Galloway was to stay in the big league it could further help his development and growth. He could go from an un-drafted rookie to a solid rotation player or even a starter. The next contract could possibly even decide Langston’s fete this summer. If Galloway was to continue this high level basketball he could become a viable backup on a reduced salary moving forward. Galloway could and probably will get some offers during free agency this year – the Knicks have let go of enough young talent to do it again.
Phil Jackson and company should offer Galloway a deal for the remaining 38 games. Derek Fisher should also continue distributing starter minutes Galloway’s way. He has, so far, proven that he does have what it takes to be a solid player in this league. If Galloway consistently gets to see action, and quite a bit of it, he could develop into a viable back-up or even a starter at the off-guard position. Galloway doesn’t just serve as a quick fix, he could be a long-term benefit for the Knicks.
What should New York do? Another 10-day contact? The remainder of the season? Send him back to the D-League?