Towards the end of last season, the Knicks began paying attention to the D-League, bringing several players in for workouts and signing guys like Demetris Nichols, Courtney Sims and Cheikh Samb to short contracts. That interest has carried over to the Summer League, where New York has invited a fair number of D-League guys to participate. Yep, that's really the only interesting thing about their Summer League roster. The draftees and those D-League guys. David Noel, solid player. Same for Joe Crawford. Blake Ahearn certainly can play. Yep, nothing else going on here. I guess we'll just OH MAN THEY FOUND NIKOLOZ TSKITISHVILI. SKITA IS ON THE KNICKS' SUMMER LEAGUE TEAM. REPEAT: NIKOLOZ TSKITISHVILI IS ON THE NEW YORK KNICKS' SUMMER LEAGUE TEAM.
Ahem. Sorry about that. Full roster breakdown after the jump.
Jordan Hill (6'10"F/C) - Depending on how you felt about Hasheem Thabeet, Hill was probably the best big man prospect in this year's draft. It's not hard to imagine that the Knicks believe he can play an Amar'e Stoudemire-type role for them, and they're looking to move current starting PF David Lee. Hill's been working on his mid-range shot and his footwork, but he's athletic enough to play in Mike D'Antoni's offense, and he's a pretty good rebounder. Then again some people are saying he could be another Chris Wilcox, but I personally think a lot of what Wilcox is now is because of lack of development early in his career, so we'll see if D'Antoni can help Hill develop into something more.
Toney Douglas (6'1" G) - Douglas is a very good defender, something that D'Antoni has never really had from the point guard position. He's also a good ballhandler and a good three-point shooter who does a good job coming off screens, and perhaps most importantly for D'Antoni he's a very efficient scorer. He's not a great passer, though, and doesn't always make great decisions with the ball.
Wink Adams (6'1" G) - Ladies and gentlemen, your host for Password Plus, Wink Adams! Adams is a pretty efficient scorer, though he didn't rack up a ton of assists as a point guard in college. He's an okay rebounder, but his free-throw shooting also could use some work, and it really took a nosedive his last year at UNLV, going from 85 percent as a junior to 68 percent as a senior. His three-point shooting did the same, dropping to 27 percent after being at least 6 points better throughout his college career.
Rashaad Singleton (7'0" C) - Singleton is an athletic center who's still more about potential than being able to contributing. His rebounding jumped up in his senior year of college, but it still wasn't great and came against weaker competition (he transferred from the University of Georgia to Florida Southern). I haven't seen much written about his offense, but he seems to do okay, though his biggest asset is his shot-blocking. (Rashaad Singleton does not sound like a 7-footer -- Scott)
Joe Crawford (6'4" G) - Crawford spent the least season playing mostly with the LA D-Fenders, though I'm not sure what the likelihood of him getting called up was, since the Lakers kept drafting and trading for guards. Luckily for him the Knicks came calling last season, and Crawford is a talented scorer and a decent rebounder for his position. He hasn't been very consistent, but he can get pretty hot from behind the arc, and he's active on defense.
Blake Ahearn (6'2" G) - Ahearn has been one of the best three-point shooters in the D-League for several seasons now, and while he's gotten a couple of NBA looks he hasn't stuck yet. He should, though. He's more of a shooting guard though he's played some point, and while his defense isn't great he's certainly an NBA-caliber scorer, particularly from behind the arc.
Alex Acker (6'5" G) - Acker hasn't really stuck with any one NBA team either, having been traded and spending a few brief stints in the D-League. His shot selection is sometimes questionable, but he has a nice jumpshot and is also a good passer. He's an excellent rebounder for a guard, and he plays with a lot of energy, though not at a consistent level.
Patrick Ewing Jr. (6'8" F) The Knicks actually traded for Ewing last season before cutting him to make room on their roster for...someone, and Ewing has fought through knee injuries the last few years. He showed his talent when he played in the D-League, though, both scoring and rebounding fairly well. He doesn't have much of an outside game, but Ewing does a good job of getting to the line and converting, and he has some shot-blocking ability as well.
Ron Howard (6'5" G/F) - Howard played small forward for Fort Wayne last season, but he doesn't really have the size for it in the NBA. Howard's a really good defensive player, and his experience guarding bigger guys should serve him well. He also picked up his scoring, particularly towards the end of the season, though he shoots almost no threes. Also, his rebounding is inconsistent.
David Noel (6'6" F) - Noel's been a good D-League player, and he's a solid defender and a very efficient scorer. He also comes through with an occasional double-digit assist game. and his three-point shooting numbers are very good The bottom line is that Noel's a really solid all-around player who should be able to fill just about any role a team needs.
Mouhamed Saer Sene (7'0" C) - The Knicks got a look at Sene last season, and while his offensive game is still pretty underdeveloped, he's an excellent shot-blocker as well as a decent rebounder and an athletic post defender. He doesn't get to the free-throw line very much, which is probably for the best since his average there is pretty bad. The Knicks appear to be looking for a strong, shot-blocking center, though, between calling Sene and Samb up last year and inviting Sene and Singleton to Summer League, and it appears that they like Sene the most. He could be an interesting guy to pair with Jordan Hill up front.
Morris Almond (6'5" G) - Almond spent a fair amount of time in the D-League after not being able to crack the Jazz rotation on a consistent basis, but he's a talented player. Almond is an efficient scorer and a good three-point shooter, though he occasionally turns the ball over too much. He cut his turnovers down a fair amount this past season, though, so he's obviously working on that.
Warren Carter (6'9" F) - Carter spent the last few years playing in Turkey, Spain and Latvia, where he showed himself to be a pretty good scorer and rebounder, certainly better than he showed at the University of Illinois where he was a backup for three years. His free-throw shooting needs work, and he doesn't give much in the way of passing or shot-blocking, but he's worth a look, I suppose.
Yaroslav Korolev (6'9" F) - Korolev is a former Clippers lottery pick who never got much playing time before going back to Russia. He's fairly athletic, but also inconsistent and mistake-prone. Despite not always making great decisions he doesn't turn the ball over a whole lot, but his NBA shooting percentages were pretty abysmal. That's based on some small sample sizes, though, and it's Summer League after all, so I guess there's no harm in seeing what he can do now.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (7'0" F) - Do I really need to tell you who this guy is? He's still considered somewhat of a project, if you can believe that (I'll bet you can). His three-point shooting has improved the last few years in Europe, as has his rebounding, but he's still only been averaging about four per game. It's hard to see him making it in the NBA at this point, after all that's happened and the fact that he hasn't shown much interest in seriously working on his game (or if he has, there are no tangible results from it), but like Carter and Korolev, there's no real harm to bringing him in.