With the regular season starting next week, the Knicks cleaned house yesterday with the waiving of five players: Ike Diogu, C.J. Leslie, Josh Powell, Jeremy Tyler, and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
The surprise among the cut players are Diogu and Tyler. The former played well in his limited minutes (7.2 points, 4 rebounds in 16. 2minutes) and provided a solid inside presence with his 6’8, 255 pound frame. The 6’10 Tyler, who was signed to a 2-year deal in August after a strong showing in the summer league, was unable to play this pre-season after suffering a right foot stress fracture in early September that’s sidelined him until late November.
With the Knicks’ constant rebounding issues, the team announced that they will “keep an eye” on Tyler once he’s healthy should he not sign elsewhere.
The waivers mean that Chris Smith, brother of JR Smith, has made the team despite registering playing time in just three games and averaging 1 point (14% shooting) and 1 rebound.
I hope the Knicks have a plan because this looks bad on paper. Yes, we kept the 7-footer Cole Aldrich (who frankly was inconsistent this pre-season but has upside…), but the Diogu and Tyler cuts are baffling based on their play. I don’t have much hope Tyler will be available to resign during the season — serviceable and young big men are lacking and any team with sense will pick him up. Unless NY has an under the table deal in place, he’s possibly gone for good. And while Diogu wasn’t in the best shape, he gave a great effort in the post and was the only player outside of Melo that’s shown he could finish around the rim consistently.
As for JR’s brother, we know nepotism is the only reason he’s on the roster. I’ll hold my outrage if he’s cut and sent to the D-League. If he remains on the bench, it shows the organization has no vested interest in putting together a winning team. Roster spots, especially with our needs, are important and should be treated as such.
We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. For now, there’s reason for concern.