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.

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