After spending his first two seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, Ivan Rabb joined the New York Knicks as a two-way player. Throughout the 2019-20 campaign, Ridiculous Upside will follow the three-year forward’s journey through his first season with the Knicks.
The 2019-20 season inched closer and closer and the Memphis Grizzles had a decision to make on the contract of Ivan Rabb. On Oct. 20, his partially guaranteed deal with Memphis was set to become fully guaranteed. Before that date could come, the Grizzles waived the former second-round pick.
After spending his first two seasons in Memphis, Rabb feels the biggest thing he learned was about opportunity.
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is I would say just take full advantage of every opportunity,” Rabb told Ridiculous Upside. “That’s something I felt like I’ve done, especially in the big league. Every time I get out there, play hard and play the right way and produce. I feel like I’ve done that. I’m just trying to improve and get back and just do what I do.”
While it didn't go as planned for Rabb, he feels like he did everything he was suppose to do in Memphis. He was professional and said he wouldn't change anything.
Two days after being waived by Memphis, the New York Knicks signed him to a two-way contract. Under terms of the deal, he could spend up to 45 days in the NBA and would spend most of the season with the Westchester Knicks.
“I was excited (about the two-way contract),” Rabb stated. “Obviously I was kind of hurt leaving Memphis, but I was ready for a new opportunity. Once that happened, it’s just onto the next. I’m just looking for the best situation for myself and it just so happened to be New York, which is one of the greatest franchises. I’m excited to be here and I’m just ready to get to work.”
Two-way deals may not be a contract players seek since it’s not guaranteed, but the Knicks’ organization has shown commitment to keeping players on the deal to develop them with the hopes the player could be a contributor in New York. Even with the uncertainty of the contract, Rabb just focuses on what he can control, which are getting extra reps in and taking advantage every time he steps on the court.
The third-year forward may have landed in a good situation. The Knicks have shown commitment to developing players and assist them by pushing them to their goal of making the NBA or earning a second chance in the Association. That caught the eye of the 22-year-old forward, who will have an opportunity to further develop his game under New York Knicks coach David Fizdale and Westchester coach Derrick Alston.
“I chose a team that was really interested in me and Fiz (David Fizdale) saw the potential in me when he drafted me and he wanted me back,” Rabb said. “So he could be on me and just push me the right way and I think Coach DA (Derrick Alston) is going to do a good job with that and also (coach David Fizdale) when I’m with him is going to do a great job with that. It’s all about how I approach it and if I want to get the most out of it.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I got here because I knew that’s their goal,” he continued. “(The Knicks) push guys and get them back into the league or just different situations, so that’s definitely why I came here.”
Westchester is in the early part of the 2019-20 season and the Knicks’ two-way player has played in one of their two games. As a team and as a player, there are a few things that he lists that he would deem as a successful season.
“As a team, we want to make the playoffs, and like I said, win a lot of games and take it from there,” Rabb said. I think as a team we want to get as many guys jobs as we can because that’s what this is all about. It’s all about development and setting up people up for their future. As long we are all together and we all work hard together and we push each other we’ll all get (to) where we want to go, that’s what it’s all about.”
Stay tuned for Entry two...