2017 Knicks Roundtable: The Opening Day Roster

If you’re the GM, the roster is Melo, Noah, Rose, Porzingis, Lee, O’Quinn, Hernangomez, Jennings, Lance, and which 6 players?

Kurylo: I’m going with Ndour, Randle, Baker, Kuzminskas, *sigh* Justin Holiday, and *sigh* Plumlee. Yes I would leave veterans Amundson and Sasha at the door. But then again I don’t see the Knicks seriously competing for the playoffs this year. So my thinking they should get as many young guys in the hopes 1 or 2 develop that they can use in the future. BTW I don’t put Cleanthony Early on the list of young hopefuls. He hasn’t shown to be able to score efficiently in the NBA or the D-League.

Honestly I like both Randle and Baker, and can see both sticking around the NBA at least as bench contributors. And yes I realize that Randle, Baker, and Holiday give the Knicks essentially 5 SGs, when the team really needs PGs. Randle is sized like a PG, but really is a SG. From his draft profile:

Charged with being the first offensive option for the Cardinal, Randle often had the ball in his hands in the frontcourt. He was an efficient scorer as he posted a 55% effective field goal percentage, but he struggled to create for his teammates at a high rate. He had only 2.4 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season and posted an unimpressive -2.24 pure point ratio, one of the lowest rates among point guard prospects in our database. Randle struggled to find open teammates on drives which caused him to turn the ball over in traffic. When he did try to distribute, he wasn’t able to find the proper pace and placement on his passes to allow his teammates the ability to catch and create. He will need to improve his passing skills significantly to complement his scoring skills and become a serious draft prospect.

Nonetheless I didn’t build this roster, so don’t blame me when the Knicks are suffering from lack of depth at the one. They’ll still need a PG a year from now, but maybe they’ll have some depth at SG.

Plugh: The remaining six I’d like to see are Randle, Baker, Kuzminskas, Holiday, Plumlee and I’m a little torn between Ndour and Sasha. That’s a shocker since I hope Sasha never, ever plays. In truth, I never want him on the team, but I’m so concerned with guard depth I’d almost rather have him on the bench being a Euro-buddy and performing mop up duty than carrying another forward who won’t get many minutes in the end.

I like Ndour’s game a lot. It’s noteworthy that Real Madrid started to go away from Hernangomez during the middle of last year’s ACB season, after they signed Ndour. The coach liked to stretch the floor and, at least in theory, Ndour is better at that than Willy. He’s active and athletic and he has dreadlocks.

I confess to enjoying Sasha’s pestering of opposing players. I like when he acts indignant that the other guy elbowed him in the face, after a solid five minutes of grabbing, humping, and underarm tickling. I suppose in the end Ndour is a better choice, but I’m mainly ambivalent. Flip a coin.

Kurylo: Since Mr. Plugh and I have the same roster (if he chooses Ndour), I give 0% chance this actually occurs. In fact I fully expect Sasha and Amundson to be on the roster, and I give 50% chance that someone else makes the top 15 that I wouldn’t consider like Inglis. Because Knicks.

Plugh: weeps dramatically

Bryan Gibberman: I’m going to include Sasha even though I wouldn’t keep him to be realistic. To be fair, the guard that drives us all nuts is easier to take when he’s making three-pointers. That leaves me five to play with. I’ll fill out the bottom of the roster with Baker, Randle, Ndour, Kuzminskas and Justin Holiday. I have to give Phil some credit here — he’s found some legitimately interesting young pieces that have positive traits and attributes you’d look for in NBA players. Losing one of them to keep Lou Amundson would be a crime and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that they’re smart about who they keep.

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