Knicks 2017 Summer League Roster Breakdown

With the Knicks summer league right around the corner, I thought I’d look at some of the lesser known prospects and give my opinion on them.

Jamel Artis SF, 6-7, 23
Artis is an empty scorer. Other than scoring and a moderate amount of rebounding (6.7 reb/40), he adds literally nothing else. With 0.7 stl/40 and 0.5 blk/40 he will get roasted on defense. On offense he can hit from downtown (37.8%) and gets to the free throw line (5.2 fta/40), so he’s not really a Novak-style bomber, but seems to able to score in a multitude of ways. But I have a hard time seeing him as a net positive on an NBA team.

Canyon Barry SG, 6-6, 24
Yes he from that Barry family. Unfortunately the distance between him and Jon, Brent, and Rick is a chasm. Much like Artis, Barry can kinda hit from downtown (33.6%) and get to the line (6.9 fta/40), but he doesn’t do much else other than rebound at a mediocre rate. Additionally his AST/TO ratio (1.2 ast/40 to 1.7 to/40) is underwater, which doesn’t bode well for his vision.

Damyean Dotson SG, 6-6, 23
I spoke about Dotson’s basketball ability previously, and he rates to be a decent prospect. On the other hand it’s also entirely possible that Dotson is an awful person, so there’s that.

Nigel Hayes F, 6-8, 22
A combo forward, that really doesn’t project well. Hayes appears to be a power forward in a tweener’s body. A non-existent three point shot (31.4%), sub-par 2p% (48.8%), laughable free throw percentage (58.7% last year, 66.6% career) with weak blocks and steals. Passing is the only thing he does reasonably well (2.9 ast/40), but I’ll still pass on Hayes.

Dominique Jones, G, 6-4, 28
Jones played for the Mavs for 3 seasons a few years back before playing overseas, and the big knock against him is that Jones can’t shoot, especially from three (9.5%, that’s right less than 10%). In Iran Dominique only managed to knock down 30.9% of his long range shots, so it doesn’t appear that he’s resolved that issue to an NBA level. Too bad, as it seems he’s a good distributor, and averaged nearly 2 steals (1.8 stl/40) in his last NBA stop.

Luke Kornet PF, 7-1, 21
I’m listing him as a PF, because he can’t play center. Well the Knicks will put him at center, but he has no business being there. Why?

The 7-footer struggles with grit and physicality in traffic, averaging only 6.0 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, the third worst among centers in the DraftExpress Top 100.

Yikes! Kornet’s game seems interesting as a shot blocking/three point shooter at F. But his rebounding (7.9 reb/40) was atrocious at college, and his three point shooting was poor as well (32.7%). So as a prospect, Kornet kinda blows.

Louis Labeyrie PF, 6-10, 25
One of the Porteur de culottes, we’ve talked about Labeyrie before here and here. The Gonessean has 6 years experience in France, and is a strong offensive rebounder and inside scorer. Recently he’s branched out to three point land, with mixed results. Last I recall he played with a chip on his shoulder, that along with his rebounding might be a good fit alongside Porzingis.

Maurice Ndour F, 6-9, 25
Knicks saw 331 minutes of Ndour last year, and his stats were end-of-benchish. He needs to be more productive to get more than garbage time minutes.

Frank Ntilikina PG, 6-5, 18
Another of the Porteur de culottes, there are only 3 things you need to think about with this kid. First is that he’s only 18 years old. He’s got 3-4 years before you can make any lasting decision about him.

Second, it’s dumb to think that the Knicks drafted him as a triangle PG and now that Jackson and his three sided offense is gone, the Knicks are left with a mistake on their hands. This isn’t Steve Kerr or Derek Fisher, and he’s not the NBA version of a fullback, worthless outside of a unique offensive scheme. This is a legit NBA prospect, and if the Mavs traded up to get him, we’d be gnashing our teeth over not having him.


Marshall Plumlee C, 7-0, 24

Similar to Labeyrie, minus the French connection, Plumlee is a strong rebounder. And much like Ndour, he didn’t garner enough NBA time (170 minutes) for a real analysis. Besides he’s only 21 years old, so he has room to grow.

Chasson Randle PG, 6-2, 24

The guy has a .586 ts% in the NBA. Don’t screw this up New York.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes G, 6-4, 23
I don’t understand this selection either. He’s not a great athlete, not a projected point guard, and not a good three point shooter. Heck he didn’t even hit free throws at an acceptable rate (53.0%) his senior year.

In summary, I’m unimpressed with the Knicks free agent selections. I can only see Jones with an outside shot at making the team, with a 1% chance of Kornet being a three point PF specialist.

On the other hand the Knicks top 6 of Ntikilina, Randle, Dotson, Ndour, Labeyrie, and Plumlee should make a pretty formidable summer league team. I wonder how they’ll handle Frank/Chasson. Will both start alongside each other? Who will see the lion’s share of the minutes? Who will play with the starters? In crunch time?

We’ll have to wait until the games to answer these questions.

Knicks Morning News (2017.06.29)

  • [SNY Knicks] GEICO SportsNite: Ian Begley on Jackson’s dismissal
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:04:01 AM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Jackson, Knicks part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:08:12 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks remain intent on trading Anthony despite Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:55:24 PM)

    Jackson attempted to trade Anthony during the season and had reiterated that desire last week. He had also irked Anthony with comments he made during the season about Anthony’s style of play.

  • [SNY Knicks] JRSportBrief: The Knicks are a dumpster fire
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:50:29 PM)

    In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on, JR takes a deeper look at Phil Jackson parting from the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] ‘Somber’ Hornacek addresses Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 2:00:48 PM)

    Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek was “somber and shaken-looking” when asked about Phil Jackson’s departure this morning at the club’s first summer-league practice in Orlando.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks reportedly targeting Masai Ujiri as Phil Jackson’s replacement
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:00:34 PM)

    One of Ujiri’s first moves when he was with the Nuggets in 2011 was to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Spike Lee, others react to Knicks parting ways with Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:20:36 PM)

    Knicks fans Spike Lee, Michael Rapaport, and others reacted on Wednesday after news broke that the Knicks and team president Phil Jackson were parting ways.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, Phil Jackson agree to part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:55:55 AM)

    Knicks owner James Dolan has fired team president Phil Jackson, and is targeting Toronto’s Masai Ujiri as his replacement.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, PG Jeff Teague have mutual interest
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:40:45 AM)

    The Knicks and free agent point guard Jeff Teague have mutual interest, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.

  • [ESPN] Sources: Knicks’ focus on free agency, for now
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:45:42 PM)

    Sources: Knicks’ focus on free agency, for now

  • [ESPN] Phil Jackson’s biggest failure was letting the game pass him by
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:01:31 PM)

    Phil Jackson’s biggest failure was letting the game pass him by

  • [ESPN] Vote: Five burning questions after Phil Jackson era ends in New York
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:16:14 AM)

    Vote: Five burning questions after Phil Jackson era ends in New York

  • [ESPN] Reaction roundup: Knicks superfan Spike Lee celebrates Phil Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:18:06 AM)

    Reaction roundup: Knicks superfan Spike Lee celebrates Phil Jackson’s departure

  • [NYPost] Phil Jackson aftermath: Five key questions facing the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:46:36 PM)

    Here are five pressing questions the Knicks must answer now that Phil Jackson’s gone: Figuring the triangle is a thing of the past, what is Jeff Hornacek’s offensive plan? People close to Hornacek believe he’ll return to the exciting, rapid-paced motion offense of his Phoenix days that worked so well his first year there. Blending…

  • [NYPost] Phil Jackson joins these men as worst executives in NYC sports
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:26:57 PM)

    Was Phil Jackson the worst executive in New York Sports history?Here are some of the other candidates: M. Donald Grant Mets Chairman of the Board, 1962-78 Grant is credited for hiring Gil Hodges as manager in 1968, and the Miracle Mets won the World Series the next season. His watch included another NL pennant in…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony not off trade block despite Phil Jackson’s exit
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:28:16 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Even with Phil Jackson out of his way, things aren’t yet peachy-keen for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. He can breathe easier but not easy. The Vertical reported the Knicks still are looking to deal Anthony (though they’re unwilling to buy him out). The club, which doesn’t have anyone to replace Jackson…

  • [NYPost] Social media explodes with joy after Phil Jackson’s firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:56:10 PM)

    If social media is any indication, celebrity and everyday Knicks fans are thrilled owner James Dolan fired Phil Jackson. Be warned, some of the happy fans’ language was graphic:

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ ideal Jax replacement is a pipe dream worth pursuing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:11:36 PM)

    Maybe, just maybe, if the Knicks can pull this off, they will be the ones committing highway robbery and doing the fleecing. Toronto’s Masai Ujiri is emerging as the hoped-for candidate for the Knicks to replace Phil Jackson. After three years of Knicks wandering in the wilderness under a great coach but dreadful executive, Ujiri…

  • [NYPost] Did Kristaps Porzingis just make Knicks peace offering?
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:58:15 PM)

    Now that Phil Jackson is out the door, Kristaps Porzingis is back on board with the Knicks. At least, that’s what a quick glance at the young Latvian star’s social media accounts indicate. At 9:31 a.m. Wednesday, the Knicks issued a press release to announce they were parting ways with their president of basketball operations….

  • [NYPost] Chris Paul’s hatred of Doc Rivers led to Clippers exit
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:44:15 AM)

    Chris Paul wasn’t happy with family coming before team. Paul’s decision to sign with the Rockets — forcing the Clippers to trade him after he opted into the final year of his contract — stemmed from his frustration with coach and team president Doc Rivers favoring son Austin, according to ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and former…

  • [NYPost] Sad Jeff Hornacek couldn’t find words for Phil firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:34:41 AM)

    ORLANDO — A somber and shaken-looking Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek thanked Phil Jackson for hiring him 13 months ago and called it “a tough day for us.’’ Speaking at the end of the Knicks’ first summer-league practice in Orlando, Hornacek would not take questions from the media, only willing to make a quick statement about…

  • [NYPost] How Phil Jackson spent three years sabotaging the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:49:07 AM)

    Phil Jackson joined the Knicks as team president in March 2014 to much fanfare and paeans to the team’s glory days. He was fired Wednesday having lost the trust of the fan base, the loyalty of the team’s best players … and a lot of games. For every ring he won and Zen Master stroke…

  • [NYTimes] The Triangle Offense, a Simple Yet Perplexing System, Dies
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:48:26 AM)

    The existential basketball strategy reportedly collapsed under the weight of its own pretension in the front office of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

  • [NYTimes] Phil Jackson Is Out as Knicks President
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:39:30 AM)

    Jackson, who won 11 N.B.A. titles as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, never translated that success to the front office with the Knicks.

  • [NYTimes] Sports of The Times: Zen Phil Is Gone, but All Is Not Lost for Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:29:45 PM)

    The Knicks’ landscape is not as hopeless as it may seem, but the future requires years of rebuilding without interference.

  • [NYTimes] Timeline: How Phil Jackson Failed With the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:32:35 PM)

    He was part of the Knicks’ only championship era, and won a mind-boggling 11 titles as a coach of the Bulls and Lakers. But even Phil Jackson couldn’t resurrect the Knicks. He was dismissed as team president on Wednesday. It was a rocky three-year ride.

  • [NYTimes] Chris Paul Is Traded to the Houston Rockets
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:15:21 PM)

    According to multiple reports, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard will join James Harden in Houston.

  • [NYTimes] Q&A: Red Auerbach Told Bill Russell, ‘I’m the Coach and You’ll Fit’
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:13:41 PM)

    Russell, the Boston Celtics star, recalls in a Q. and A. how he and his peers transformed basketball and perceptions of blacks in professional sports.

  • [NYDN] Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek reacts to Phil Jackson’s firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:43:52 PM)

    If the Knicks have a basketball plan for life after Phil Jackson, they kept it from the media on Wednesday.

  • [NYDN] Knicks targeting Raptors GM Masai Ujiri to replace fired Phil
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:35:11 PM)

    If you can’t beat Masai Ujiri, try to hire him to fix a flaming mess.

  • [NYDN] As Carmelo outlasts Phil Jackson, James Dolan is Knicks’ savior
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:31:23 PM)

    Jackson’s next book is going to be a doozy, assuming of course that his divorce settlement with James Dolan doesn’t include a gag order.

  • [NYDN] Knicks fans overwhelmed with joy over firing of Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:25:59 PM)

    Long-suffering Knicks fans reacted to the departure of team president Phil Jackson as if the franchise had just won a championship.

  • [NYDN] 10 worst moves Phil Jackson made as Knicks president
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:02:02 PM)

    Phil Jackson made plenty of bad decisions with the Knicks, but here are his worst 10.

  • [NYDN] Knicks fire team president Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:00:47 PM)

    The triangle is dead.

  • [NYDN] What Phil Jackson’s firing means for key Knicks personnel
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:54:01 PM)

    With ex-Knicks president Phil Jackson now gone, what does this mean for the rest of the organization?

  • [NYDN] 5 things Phil Jackson lost during his time in New York
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:12:11 PM)

    When you look back at the Zen Master’s time in New York, one thing becomes abundantly clear: He lost a lot more than he won.

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson’s 10 worst days on Twitter
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:02:38 AM)

    Phil Jackson’s failed tenure as Knicks president unsurprisingly coincided with his failed attempt at sustaining a social media presence.

  • [NYDN] Former Knicks president Phil Jackson on the Daily News back page
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:28:20 AM)

    As Knicks president Phil Jackson leaves the team after a three-year run, take a look back at his reign on the back pages of the Daily News.

  • [NYDN] Who is Masai Ujiri, Knicks’ reported top target to replace Phil?
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:26:05 AM)

    Masai Ujiri is the Knicks’ top target to replace fired president Phil Jackson in New York, according to The Vertical.

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson near the top of NY’s long list of worst sports execs
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:10:09 AM)

    So all along, James Dolan wasn’t saying “Ask Phil.” He was saying “Axe Phil.”

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson gone after proving he had no idea what he was doing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:31:29 AM)

    He got one last thing wrong, Phil Jackson did, the night before the NBA draft when he was looking for a soft place to land.

  • [NY Newsday] Why Phil Jackson’s exit doesn’t necessarily mean Carmelo Anthony is staying with Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:52:00 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson’s departure means the Knicks won’t be playing the triangle offense anymore, but it doesn’t necessarily signal that Carmelo Anthony will remain.

  • [NY Newsday] Phil Jackson, Knicks part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:37:10 PM)

    The Knicks parted ways with team president Phil Jackson on Wednesday, the team announced.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks fan John McEnroe on the departure of Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:35:09 PM)

    John McEnroe’s most visible job these days is being a tennis analyst on television, but in his spare time he is an avid Knicks fan, and as such he naturally has some thoughts on the team parting ways with Phil Jackson — most of them positive.

  • [NY Newsday] With Phil Jackson gone, Knicks need to try something different
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:00:00 PM)

    The Knicks need to give peace a chance. Nothing else has worked in this century, up to and including the maddening, not-so-Zen detour that was Phil Jackson’s three-year ka-ching of a term.