Summer League action for the New York Knicks begins Saturday, July 11 at 4:30 pm Eastern time, as the Knicks will match up against the San Antonio Spurs. The Knicks will play at least five Summer League games in Las Vegas, and can play up to eight if they are able to reach the Summer League Finals.
Let’s take a look at the 14 members of the Knicks Summer League roster.
Weight: 215 lbs.
The brother of the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo was selected with the 51st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Knicks.
His professional career started in 2012 as a member of Filathlitikos in the Greek second division. In 2013, he was the 9th overall selection in the NBA Developmental League Draft by the Delaware 87ers. He was named to the D-League All-Defensive Third Team that year.
Last year, as a member of the Westchester Knicks, he averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals during 47 contests. He was named to the D-League All-Defensive Second Team.
Weight: 186 lbs.
Jimmy Baron was a point guard for Rhode Island from 2005-09. In his four years in college, he averaged 14 points per game, including 17.4 points his senior season. In 838 total 3-point attempts his collegiate career, he connected on 43.1% of them. Baron is still the all-time leader in 3-pointers made in Atlantic 10 history.
Since going undrafted in 2009, Baron has bounced around overseas. In 2013, he was a member of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnador in Russia, who won the Eurocup that year. Last season he spent time with Baloncesto Fuenlabrada in Spain, before moving on to play for Banvit in Turkey.
Weight: 207 lbs.
T.J. Bray played collegiately for Princeton from 2010-14, compiling averages of 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. His senior season is when he truly shined, as he averaged 18.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game, while also shooting 53.7% from the field and 41.3% from 3-point territory. He was named to the All-Ivy League First Team that season.
After playing last year for the Toronto Raptors Summer League team, Bray spent last season with Lighthouse TR in Italy. Bray is a marksman from deep, and capable of running a team at point guard, and will be looking to make a name for himself.
Weight: 219 lbs.
Cleanthony Early was the 34th overall selection by the Knicks in the 2014 NBA Draft. Early dealt with some troublesome injuries his rookie season which led to him appearing in just 39 games (7 starts). Early put up averages of 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists per game, while just shooting 35.5% from the field and 26.2% from 3-point range.
Early spent two years at Wichita State prior to getting drafted by the Knicks, which included being named a Second Team Consensus All-American in 2014. That season he averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, while shooting 48.4% from the field and 37.3% from 3-point territory. Wichita State had an undefeated regular season, earning a number one seed in the Midwest Bracket, before receiving their first loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16.
Weight: 241 lbs.
Ovidijus Galdikas is a Lithunian who has been playing professionally since 2009. Since 2013, Galdikas has been a member of Asseco Gdynia in the Polish Basketball League. Last season, he averaged 11.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks, while shooting an unheard of 73.9% from the field in 28.6 minutes per game.
The Knicks have been reported to be watching Galdikas in the past, as in August 2013 they described him as a “diamond in the rough” and as the third best Lithuanian center behind current NBA players Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas.
Weight: 202 lbs.
Langston Galloway went undrafted after spending four years at St. Joseph’s, but he turned out to be one of the lone bright spots in a dismal past season for the Knicks. After a short stay in the NBA Developmental League, he was called up to the Knicks main roster due to injuries plaguing the team.
In 45 games (41 starts) as a member of the Knicks last season, Galloway averaged 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals, which making 35.2% of his 3-point attempts. His work did not go unnoticed, as he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Galloway is capable of playing both guard positions, although for now he is probably better suited at the shooting guard. Galloway has most likely earned a spot in next season’s rotation, and will look to improve on his ball-handling and passing abilities.
Weight: 205 lbs.
Jerian Grant was received in a trade by the Knicks, in which they shipped out Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the 19th overall selection in this year’s NBA Draft.
Grant was a very productive player at Notre Dame, where he was named a First Team Consensus All-American in 2015, with averages of 16.5 points, 6.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game.
After spending four years at Notre Dame, some Knicks fans are envisioning Grant to be the Knicks starting point guard next season, as his game may be more NBA-ready than players who leave school early. Knicks fans will get their first opportunity to see Grant as a member of the team on Saturday.
Weight: 252 lbs.
Alex Kirk spent 2010-14 playing collegiately for New Mexico, after which he went undrafted. He spent most of last season in the NBA Developmental League, but also appeared in five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, tallying four points, one rebound, and one assist.
Kirk played 41 games with the Canton Charge last season, with averages of 12.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Kirk had success in college, as he was named Second Team All-MWC (Mountain West Conference) in 2013, and was twice named to the MWC All-Defensive Team.
Weight: 220 lbs.
Louis Labeyrie was the 57th overall selection by the Indiana Pacers in the 2014 NBA Draft, and was later traded to the Knicks on the same night.
Labeyrie has been playing professionally in France since 2008, and has played for Paris-Levallois since 2012. Labeyrie was a member of the Paris-Levallois team that won the French Cup in 2013.
In 52 total games last season, Labeyrie averaged 5.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game in 16.4 minutes per game. He is now looking to showcase his game at the NBA level, and since the Knicks have his draft rights, he will appear on their Summer League team.
Weight: 195 lbs.
Ricky Ledo was the 43rd overall selection by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2013 NBA Draft, where his draft rights would later be traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Ledo committed to play his college ball at Providence, but he was deemed academically ineligible, and never appeared in a game for them.
Ledo has spent much of his professional career in the NBA Developmental League, playing 65 games in two years with the Texas Legends. He did appear in 16 games during the course of two seasons with the Mavericks, totaling only 44 minutes and 20 points.
The Knicks signed Ledo to his first 10-day contract on March 19, 2015, where he was later signed to another 10-day contract, and then signed for the remainder of the season. Ledo appeared in 12 games as a member of the Knicks, averaging 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game.
A good Summer League appearance will do a lot to ensure that Ledo is again on the regular season roster come next season.
Weight: 200 lbs.
Maurice Ndour is a Senegalese forward who spent the last two years playing collegiately for Ohio. Last season with Ohio, Ndour averaged 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. He also showed some stellar outside touch, shooting 43.5% from 3-point range on 2.1 attempts per game.
Ndour also played for Senegal’s national team at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Not only is Ndour a jack-of-all-trades player who can score, rebound, block shots, and shoot from deep, but he also speaks five different languages.
Ndour definitely will have a professional career playing basketball, and time will tell if that’s eventually in the NBA.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Kristaps Porzingis was the 4th overall selection in last month’s draft by the Knicks. The Latvian big man was booed by most of the Knicks faithful at the draft, but the Summer League will be the first opportunity for many of those people to actually see him play.
Knicks fans were worried when news of a hip injury came out, but he is said to be ready to go for the opening game of summer league action. He had been playing for Baloncesto Sevilla in Spain since 2012. In 50 total games last season including Eurocup, Porzingis averaged 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, and one block in 21.4 minutes per game. He shot 35.9% from 3-point territory attempting 2.3 threes per game.
Porzingis is the one that Knicks fans are most interested in seeing during Summer League, after using such a high lottery pick to draft him. Not much basketball has been seen of him from fans besides on YouTube, so Saturday will be the first glimpse of game action from Porzingis that most fans will see. Porzingis has a ton of upside especially for an over 7-footer, and while slender, he is still only 19 years old so some time in the weight room can help to change that.
The saying goes that you’ll never have a second chance to make a good first impression. Knicks fans are hoping to see quality play from Porzingis from the get-go.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Ben Strong played collegiately at Guilford College from 2004-08, after which he went undrafted. Strong was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year in 2007, and is Guilford’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,241 career points.
After spending a couple years playing overseas, Strong has become a Developmental League veteran, where he has spent the past four seasons. Last year was his first with the Knicks D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. In 50 games (27 starts), he averaged 11.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and one block, while shooting 49.4% from the field in 29.8 minutes per game.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Travis Wear surprised many when he made the Knicks roster to start the season last year, over Travis Outlaw, a long-time NBA veteran. Wear appeared in 51 games with the Knicks (1 start), averaging 3.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game.
Wear went undrafted after attending UCLA, where he transferred after one year with North Carolina. Wear averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.7% from the field in his time at UCLA.
Wear has a lot of work to do if he wants to become an NBA mainstay, whether it is with the Knicks or another team. He is playing for another contract, and the Summer League will help showcase his abilities to all NBA teams.