UPDATE: As per NBADL PR (via our buddy Adam), the expansion draft will take place on Tuesday, with results to follow on Wednesday, instead. We believe our two sources that confirmed Monday as the date weren't taking into account the holiday weekend.
Such a selection process allows the Westchester brass to get their feet wet in hopes of setting down a foundation for the newly announced Knickerbocker affiliate. This may be means for a good start, but make no mistake; their work won't simply be done when the day is over.
Following last year's expansion draft for the incoming Delaware 87ers, just three players (out of the 16 selected prospects) suited up for the 76ers' affiliate over the course of the 2013-14 season. Alas, the expansion draft isn't in place so that the Westchester Knicks can field a roster simply from that alone. Instead, it helps even the playing field across the minor league a bit more. There's plenty of strategy involved, as acquiring players' rights is sometimes more about building for the future, in addition to stealing an uncovered gem or two from another team in the process.
In the weeks and month ahead, the Knicks will have further opportunities to improve and/or develop its roster via open tryout sessions, the D-League Draft, and/or even snagging a small handful of affiliate players from the NBA team's training camp cuts.
In any event, the expansion draft will prove to be the team's initial chance to lay down the building blocks. With that in mind, here are some other things to remember following Monday's selection process:
The Westchester Knicks are without a head coach: According to RidiculousUpside.com's various sources, all but two D-League teams (whether they be officially announced or not) have found their head coaches for next season. The Knicks, however, are not one of them. They've interviewed and spoken to a multitude of qualified candidates (some with D-League experience, and others without it), but have not yet come to an official decision. They are, however, said to prefer candidates who have triangle offense experience. Obviously, such mentors may be difficult to come by in the D-League. Nevertheless, it may prove a bit tricky to select players who are primed to contribute on day one, if a coach is not yet in place.
New York Knicks' brass are in fact familiar with D-League players: Though the Westchester Knicks are a brand new minor league franchise, it's important to remember that the NBA team has been a part of the minor league for quite some time. As part of their most recent affiliation with the Erie BayHawks, the Knicks were able to solely make basketball decisions as it related to the D-League. As such, the likes of team Assistant General Manager (and acting Westchester G.M.) Allan Houston and Director of Scouting Kristian Petesic have been keeping their eyes on minor league players for a few years now, and seemingly have their favorites, much like any other executive would. In any event, such familiarity is sure to aid the squad during the expansion draft.
Westchester is drafting players' rights, not necessarily the players themselves: On Monday, the Knicks will be able to make selections from a pool full of players the other teams in the D-League choose not to protect. It's important to remember that by drafting such players, the Knicks will merely acquire each prospect's respective D-League rights, but not necessarily the player himself. This will open the team's horizons up to players who have graced the minor league stage in some of the more recent years, rather than just last season alone. The Knicks can draft players they hope will eventually return from overseas obligations (whether that be later this year or in future seasons), or perhaps even NBA players who may ultimately return to the D-League at a later date and time.
Things are never quite the way they seem. Expect the unexpected: When examining the talent level across the D-League and assessing/predicting which players each given team may choose to protect, it's nearly impossible to get a full grasp of what's going on in each respective front office. Some players may appear as obvious locks to be protected in a draft like this, but teams have their own reasons for making certain moves or going about things a certain way. Heading into Monday's draft, RidiculousUpside.com has heard some rumblings, and has gotten confirmation surrounding some very intriguing players going surprisingly unprotected during the draft. The Knicks will certainly have some talented players to pick from, as one man's trash often happens to be another man's treasure.