New York Knicks training camp starts in less than two weeks. After a very eventful summer offseason with plenty of moves, it's finally time for things to get underway. Only time will tell if New York will be able to capitalize on new talent.
The team currently has 14 guaranteed contracts, with young guns like Chasson Randle, Ron Baker and JP Tokoto all set to compete for the 15th and final roster spot. Despite not having any draft picks this past June, New York certainly made an effort to stockpile young talent on the end of its bench. Intriguing players such as Marshall Plumlee, Willy Hernangomez, Maurice Ndour and Mindaugas Kuzminskas all have guarantees in the coming campaign.
With the season steadily approaching, it's been a bit surprising to not see the Knicks add another veteran or two in hopes of lighting the fire under everyone else. There are plenty of older players looking to revamp their careers or come out of retirement. They're hungry for opportunities and could very well go on to provide the team's prospects with helpful guidance. There's value in bringing such a player in, especially with all this youth and relative inexperience at the end of the bench. Perhaps that's why Sasha Vujacic was retained, but New York could use others as well.
Having just three players (Randle, Baker and Tokoto) on partial guarantees is a low number as well. Usually, a team stacks up on training camp invitees in the hope that whoever doesn't make the big league team can be jettisoned to the D-League to help bolster an affiliate like Westchester. This creates a stream of development, which is something New York has aimed to maintain before.
This is why it would make even more sense for the Knicks to add a veteran (or simply, additional players, generally speaking) before camp begins. While Randle may have an inside track on the final spot following a strong Summer League, that's not certain.
In the interest of maintaining some roster flexibility, New York could opt to leave the final spot open following camp. That would seem especially sensible if the aforementioned trio is all the team has to send to Westchester following camp. (Tokoto's D-League rights would need to be acquired by the OKC Blue.)
The Knicks genuinely have a lot of questions about their roster. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Still, going deeper down the bench, Justin Holiday is still relatively unproven. Vujacic has proven to be undependable in the past. From there on out, New York has four first-year players on guaranteed contracts, and three more on partial guarantees.
It'll be interesting to see how things shake out. Taking all of this into consideration, there could very well be more moves ahead in the coming weeks. There's the possibility of another veteran coming to town. Additional young talent is also needed for the D-League team. Either way, the Knicks could be busy.