The New York Knicks are diving full bore into the D-League this week. Following their partnership with the Erie BayHawks earlier on Wednesday, team executives invited a host of professional prospects to take part in the first of two planned free agent workouts as the team builds its database of potential training camp invitees.
The Knicks had what was expected to be around 18 players in on Thursday, though Ridiculous Upside's trusty network of league sources was only able to learn 10 of the names as of late Thursday night.
The most recognizable name expected in attendance was 34-year-old NBA veteran Bonzi Wells. Wells was a lottery pick in the 1998 NBA Draft , eventually amassing 591 NBA games with five teams, before recent stops playing professional basketball in China and Puerto Rico.
Others confirmed to be invited to the workout were guards Jerel McNeal, Will Conroy and Javaris Crittenton along with big men Cedric Simmons, Jeff Foote, Vernon Goodridge, Trent Plaisted, Ivan Johnson, Arinze Onuaku and Joe Alexander. McNeal, Crittenton, Goodridge, Johnson and Onuaku all played in the D-League last season.
If the names compiled so far aren't intriguing enough, it's actually the first of two planned free agent camps the Knicks have in store this month.
"We have two free agent mini-camps that we are holding which will give us an idea of how to prepare," new BayHawks general manager Allan Houston told D-League.com's Matthew Brennan. "The draft workouts are also helpful, this draft has some good players who might not get drafted. We've already started to catalog guys that we feel could be good for the team, and we'll take it as it goes as the summer moves forward."
"I'm looking forward to learning more about the D-League, and about developing the young prospects we know are going to be in the NBA at some point," Houston went on to say. "It's about getting a landscape of scouting players who can potentially be in this league, and learning more about operating the team."
The Knicks second workout, according to a source, is schedule for the end of the month.