Following each NBA Draft, an NBA organization signs young rookies to their team for Summer League. A team can carry 20 players throughout the offseason and preseason, but must trim their roster to 17, which includes the two two-way players, before opening night.
NBA teams are allowed to waive four players and designate them as affiliate players, which means they would join the team’s G League affiliate. The organization can monitor their growth and development with their affiliate, while keeping a close eye on them and seeing if that player could fit on their NBA team.
There are benefits to being with an organization from Summer League through the start of the G League season. It gives the player time to get acclimated to the team’s system and learn the ins and outs of the NBA. The young players have an opportunity to spend time around the team’s veterans and pick up invaluable advice that they can carry into their professional career.
If an NBA team decides to call up a player from their G League affiliate, it makes it easier for that player to make a transition to the team due to both teams running the same system.
The four undrafted players the New York Knicks signed for the 2019-20 campaign were Amir Hinton, V.J. King, Lamar Peters and Kenny Wooten. All four players were waived prior to the season and joined Westchester as affiliate players. Each player stated how it was beneficial to be with the Knicks from Summer League to the start of the G League season and what it was like being around the veterans on the team.
Kenny Wooten stated how he has been able to gel with his teammates since Summer League and has made strides in his development.
“I feel like ever since Summer League, I’ve been to really gel with all my teammates and I feel like we’ve all really been able to play well together,” Wooten said. “I feel like I’ve been developing really well with this team.”
Lamar Peters detailed how the extended time with the team helped him and which Knicks he picked things up from.
“Just showing you the ropes because they try to do similar things on both teams,” Peters said. “It’s just a learning experience from training camp that led over to the (G League) training camp. It’s been really good from my experience. Being around some of the guys that’s up there in the NBA. Getting the feel for the game and learning what they know to make the game easier, which helps. I picked up a lot of things from those guys like Elfrid (Payton) and Marcus Morris. Just showing me the ropes. Telling me to be patient and things like that.
Amir Hinton felt it was beneficial being around the team and the veterans and learned a lot from the organization.
“Very beneficial,” Hinton said. “I learned a lot. I was around the guys and around the vets. The team and the organization taught me a lot. Things that I probably didn’t know about the game. The ins and outs of the NBA, so I think it was very beneficial to me.”
V.J. King stated that being in the organization from Summer League to the start of the G League season was beneficial for him due to getting the experience.
“It helps a lot,” King said. “Gives me a little bit of an advantage for new guys since I’ve been here since Summer League and going into training camp with the G League team. Just getting that experience with those guys and bringing it to the G League team.”
Lamar Peters and Kenny Wooten made a significant impact in Westchester in their rookie season, while the latter earned an NBA call-up in January and the former should be a candidate for an NBA roster spot next season.
Hinton had several solid games and showed quick hands where he turned defense into offense. Despite missing a portion of the season due to injuries, King made the most of his time on the court and felt he made progressions in his development.