Top Storylines From Knicks Summer League


The New York Knicks kick off Las Vegas Summer League action this afternoon against the New Orleans Pelicans.

They then play the Wizards on Sunday and the Bobcats on Monday, followed by a tournament that will crown a champion.

Here are my top storylines for the Knicks:

  •  The development of Shumpert

Much like Orlando did with Victor Oladipo, I’m hoping to see Iman Shumpert play all of his minutes at point guard during his time in Vegas.  Shumpert is an established NBA player, these games for him are about working on weaknesses.  We already know Shump is an effective catch and shoot three point shooter, he shouldn’t attempt one catch and shoot three in these games.  This is a time for the soon to be third-year pro to work on creating for himself and others off the bounce.  That’s the next step in Shump’s offensive development.

  • What do the Knicks have in Hardaway and Leslie?

With how Glen Grunwald has attacked free agency, for any hope of  the Knicks going back to heavy Carmelo Anthony at the four lineups, one of either Tim Hardaway Jr. or C.J. Leslie have to be ready to play.  Be easy on judging them based on what you see in Vegas, where they will probably play with the ball in their hands as initiators more than they will at any time during meaningful action.

  • Can the Knicks find a big worth a roster spot?

The Knicks shouldn’t need another big on the roster — most of their 4/5 minutes will be taken by Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony.  Unfortunately, only one of those players can be a defensive anchor at the five, so a big man that can play 10-12 minutes a night is a necessity.  Can Jeremy Tyler , Jerome Jordan or A.J. Matthews be that guy? We’ll see.

  • Chris Smith

Is Chris Smith actually going to be a thing on the Knicks roster? If he is, hopefully it’s because he has a good showing and not because he’s J.R. Smith’s brother is.  This is a very concerning distraction that can turn into an issue if he earns a roster spot without merit.

Editor’s Note: J.R. Smith will also be in Vegas rooting on his brother and catching some of the young prospects play, so, with that said, we’ll keep our eyes on him. Las Vegas nightlife + J.R. Smith = fun.




  • geoAZ

    Dear Bryan, respectfully disagree on most counts. Shumpert’s athletic skills are exceptionally high and would best be utilized on driving to the rim, mid-range jumpers and the occasional 3, just to keep D’s honest, he shouldn’t be on this summer league team and leave the PG spot to Ray, Prigs and hopefully Murry. Murry could be the most interesting summer development, he’s 6’5″ and has ballhandling skills and can score when necessary, he could be PG #3 !! The Knicks can use 2 “bigs”, a solid rebounding PF, Tyler fits nicely and Mitchell has looked good in the Orlando league, but might be too small + a solid back-up C, Barron would be perfect, but for some unexplained reason, Woodrow appears down on him. Jordan might work and Sims has passed, but don’t know why, someone else making an offer ?? Leslie and Hardaway might be nice additions, but shouldn’t get much run at all in regular season and actually think Leslie might be the better of the two !! Smith shouldn’t be anywhere near this team, very nice kid, not an NBA talent. The prognosticators views of this Knicks team are woefully exaggerated…this team is VERY GOOD !!