The Knicks have added depth at the point guard position, reportedly agreeing to a deal with Travis Trice, who played in the Summer League for the Miami Heat after going undrafted in June.
Trice had a terrific senior year for MSU in 2014-15, leading the Spartans with 15 points and 5 assists per game. Trice was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Eastern Region of the NCAA tournament after his strong performance helped MSU emerge from the region to earn a Final Four berth.
Trice, 22, is undersized at 6 feet flat, and does not have tremendous athleticism. He draws on his strong shooting and passing ability to create scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the floor. His strong work ethic and agility helped him survive on defense at the collegiate level, but it is questionable whether he can guard NBA point guards.
Trice’s contract is only partially guaranteed and only constitutes a one-year commitment, so this is a low-risk move for the Knicks. The team now has four 2015 college graduates and NCAA standouts in Jerian Grant (Notre Dame, 19th overall pick), Wesley Saunders (Harvard, undrafted), Darion Atkins (Virginia, undrafted) and Trice, which is consistent with Phil Jackson’s emphasis on Basketball IQ. In addition to the four rookies with four years of experience each, the Knicks have a pair of mystery men in Kristaps Porzingis (#4 overall pick) and Thanasis Antetokounmpo to fill out their rookie class.
Knicks Guard Langston Galloway went from an undrafted nobody, to a player on a 10-day contract, to a member of the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Galloway, who played with the Knicks in the Summer League and the preseason before being sent to the D-League to begin the year, was called up from Westchester midway through the season, and quickly established himself as a serviceable player at the NBA level. The St. Joe’s grad played 45 games and started 41 of them, averaging 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal in 32 minutes. Galloway signed a partially-guaranteed contract with the Knicks for next season after his second 10-day contract expired, so New York has the option to hold onto the 23 year-old for around $850,000. The Knicks entered last year’s draft with no picks, but put together a rookie crop that, between Galloway, Cleanthony Early, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Travis Wear, could pay dividends going forward.
The Knicks will look to land one of the league’s top first-year players on Draft Night in June, and will soon find out where they will pick in the first round with the Draft Lottery set for tomorrow night.
The Knicks have finally taken a step to addressing their thin frontcourt. Sources indicated Friday night that the Knicks have given summer league standout Jeremy Tyler an invite to training camp, where he will be afforded a strong opportunity to earn a spot on the NBA roster. Tyler is a freakish athlete who has natural instincts for defense and rebounding. He is incredibly raw on offense, but his athleticism provides hope that he can become a servicable player on that end, as well. The Knicks hope he can emerge as a solid option at center and power forward. Best-case scenario, he becomes a player in the Tyson Chandler mold. Either way, Tyler has value, and let’s hope that the Knicks hit it big on this low-risk, high-reward investment.
Note: Most training camp invites include a non-guaranteed 1 year contract, so if the Knicks decide they want Tyler, they probably have him in their grasp.