This year’s Westchester Knicks squad will move to a temporary new home at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
As the New York Knicks are off to a 5-2 start, the G League Westchester Knicks will begin their season this Friday, November 5th, against the Capital City Go-Go.
The Westchester team announced their training camp roster last Monday, and it is as follows:
— Westchester Knicks (@wcknicks) October 25, 2021
The team will have to become acclimated with an entire new home arena, as the Westchester County Center is still being used as a COVID-19 vaccination site. The 2021–22 season’s home games will be played at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
As the team gets used to their new home turf, here’s who to keep an eye out for as the Westchester Knicks kick off regular season play on Friday:
JERICHO SIMS, C (TEXAS)
Sims, selected by the Knicks with the 58th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, is the rookie with the most run of the three the team drafted. He first showcased himself to the world during the Knicks’ Summer League, averaging 8.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and a block per game across five games played. He shot a phenomenal 81% from the field, and was immediately seen as an athletic marvel capable of doing this on a nightly basis:
The Jericho Sims propaganda starts today pic.twitter.com/Z1GotkFQvs
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) August 8, 2021
Sims, signed to a two-way contract, was equally as impressive during the team’s preseason games when they were without Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson. The rookie averaged 5.0 points and 7.3 rebounds across three games, this time on a less impressive 46% from the field.
Sims even got some regular season playing time behind Robinson as Noel was still injured and Taj Gibson was out for the birth of his first child. He played in three games, putting together a modest total of three points and six rebounds. Though Sims is still with the Knicks for the time being while Noel is out, he figures to revert to the Westchester team once Noel returns from injury.
LUKA ŠAMANIĆ, F (UNION OLIMPIJA)
Šamanić, the 19th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, joins the Knicks on a two-way contract after he and the Spurs parted ways this summer. Šamanić never quite found his groove there, only appearing in 36 NBA games over his two professional seasons. The Croatian did impress in his G League time last year, though, averaging 21.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
Šamanić struggles as a three-point shooter, only having averaged 29.4% in his two seasons with the Spurs. He figures to spend most of his season with the Westchester team this year, as the Knicks have already filtered into a solid rotation of 10 players. He could get called up in case of injury or on a flier later in the season to see if he is capable of succeeding at the NBA level.
Luka Samanic Thread
Very easy to see why he was a 1st round pick 2 years ago. At 6'11, he has a really smooth shooting stroke. Look how comfortable he looks rotating into space and drilling the movement 3. pic.twitter.com/oikDatmeCm
— Ariel (@APachecoNBA) October 18, 2021
TYLER HALL, G (MONTANA STATE)
Hall, a four-year undrafted player from Montana State, has been with the Westchester Knicks since he was selected fourth overall in the 2019 NBA G League Draft. He started in 13 games this past season and played nearly 30 minutes per game. In those, he averaged 10.1 points on nearly seven three-point attempts per game and 41.5% shooting beyond the arc.
Hall also played on the Knicks’ Summer League team this year, receiving playing time in three of the six games. In those contests, he averaged nearly eight minutes and just two points on 33% shooting from three-point range.
Hall has the shooting stroke that the Knicks are looking for, as they currently lead the league in three-pointers made per game. The Knicks did briefly hold him on the training squad with an Exhibit 10 contract, so he is someone the team could look to extend an NBA contract down the line.
MYLES POWELL, G (SETON HALL)
Powell will return to the Westchester Knicks for his second professional season after averaging 17.8 points over 13 games played last season. Like Hall, he brings a shooting knack that the Knicks desire, hitting 45% of his 6.4 three-pointers attempted last season. Powell was also signed to an Exhibit 10 contract briefly before the start of the season, allowing the team to retain his rights and invest in his future.
Some Myles Powell for your evening viewing
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) November 25, 2020
MJ WALKER, G (FLORIDA STATE)
Walker, a four-year undrafted college player entering his rookie season, averaged 12.2 points and shot 42.3% on three-pointers in his senior season at Florida State. He got his first professional action playing on the Knicks’ Summer League team, getting an average of 16 minutes played across three of the team’s six games. He scored 4.7 points while pulling down 2.7 boards per contest. He stands to get plenty of time on the G League circuit this season, as he was one of the final cuts from the Knicks’ roster.
AAMIR SIMMS, F (CLEMSON)
Simms, like Walker, joins the Westchester Knicks after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. The four-year player averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in his senior season at Clemson. He also played on the Summer League team, scoring 3.8 points and securing 2.8 rebounds across four games played.
Simms is the only G League player not on a two-way contract to have received any playing time during the team’s preseason games. He played in two of the team’s four games, averaging two points and 2.5 boards in just under seven minutes per contest. Like Walker, he was also one of the last players cut before the season began.
JUSTIN TURNER, G (BOWLING GREEN STATE)
Turner, a 23-year-old rookie undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, was selected by the Westchester Knicks with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 G League Draft. Turner averaged 19.3 points, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals in his senior season with Bowling Green State. He appeared in seven Summer League games with the San Antonio Spurs, scoring just 4.4 points per contest on 33% shooting from the field.
— Westchester Knicks (@wcknicks) October 23, 2021
Along with Turner, the Westchester Knicks selected Asante Gist from Iona and Lydell Elmore from High Point in the 2021 G League Draft. The three of them should expect decent playing time for Westchester, with Turner leading the way.
THE REST OF THE PACK
While those are the highlights of the Westchester team this year, there are other names that may generate buzz, too. Brandon Goodwin, a three-year NBA veteran, joins the team after averaging five points per game with the Atlanta Hawks last season. VJ King and Quinton Rose both return to the team after previous stints in the past two seasons.
Also, it will be worth monitoring the status of the Knicks’ other two draft picks from this year, Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride. While the two are signed to NBA contracts and with the Knicks for now, they’ve barely seen playing time as head coach Tom Thibodeau has settled into his rotations without them. They have seen a combined eight minutes of playing time over the team’s first seven games.
In an effort to keep them fresh and not stall their development, the team could very well send the two rookies down to the Westchester squad for a limited time. There, they could benefit from playing with other NBA-caliber players like Sims and Šamanić to weather the storm until Thibs may decide to add them into the rotation.
Even with having to adapt to their new home at the Webster Bank Arena, this Westchester Knicks team brings plenty of firepower and figures to win plenty of games—all the while providing precious developmental value to the New York team. And when you can get some highlights like this from Sims on a nightly basis, that’s just an added bonus.
JERICHO FLOATED pic.twitter.com/seBD6eOR7e
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) August 16, 2021