This past season, Chris Smith, brother of Knicks' swingman J.R., was widely criticized for occupying a spot on the team's roster past Christmas Day. Whether or not he deserved it, simply because of basketball abilities, is certainly up for debate, as most fans and analysts believe his spot was provided out of courtesy to his brother.
His spot on the team became a cause for concern as the Knicks needed ready, healthy, and able bodies down the stretch. Before long, Smith was waived and his roster spot was given to Jeremy Tyler, the promising big man and BayHawk stud who had initially impressed the Knicks in NBA Summer League last July.
But Tyler wasn't the only up and comer whose future Smith happened to impact along the way. While on assignment with the BayHawks from the Knicks, the Louisville product was logging key minutes, but was failing to produce. This assumedly took away opportunities from some of the team's other guards, such as Darren White.
Smith was waived by the Knicks on December 31st, 2013. Entering the new year, the BayHawks headed to the 2014 NBA D-League Showcase without him.
With more minutes to throw White's way once and for all, Erie was able to watch as the young gun soared once and for all. In his first Showcase game, White scored what proved to be a season-high 23 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and also dished out 3 assists. Things looked promising for White in a newly upgraded role, but the next day, everything changed.
That was January 6th. On January 7th, Smith re-joined the team for the latter game of the Showcase, this time as a full-time BayHawk. From there on out, the team continued to experiment with the brother of the Knicks' swingman, making White the odd man out once again.
Whereas White remained on the team, he wasn't receiving the opportunity he needed to strut his stuff and prove his worth in the NBA D-League.
A source close to the situation tells RidiculousUpside.com that White's representatives approached Knicks/BayHawks' brass about letting the guard out of his contract, so that he could take advantage of a more ample opportunity elsewhere. Initially told their request would be met, White and co. were subsequently rebuffed, the source says. After further review, the team considered the youngster too much of a prospect to let him go.
If that were true, then why wasn't White playing? That's the question his management wanted an answer to, but never received. And it all stemmed from Smith's presence in Erie, the source alleges. Smith was soon after released by Erie in March following an altercation with his coach and complaints over playing time. White remained.
The high-flying athletic guard had solid numbers in limited minutes, having averaged 6.6 points (on 52% from the field) and 2.9 rebounds in just 15 minutes through 44 contests.
And while the BayHawks/Knicks may not have believed White was the best fit, other NBA teams are intrigued. A source tells RidiculousUpside.com that he will be working out with the Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks (among others) in the near future.