Adding another cog in the machine, Scott Perry and company inked the Indiana product to a deal on Tuesday afternoon.
The Knicks have signed 6-foot-10 forward Noah Vonleh to a deal, per ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Vonleh was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He played one season in Charlotte before being traded to Portland in 2015 as part of the Nicolas Batum sign-and-trade. Vonleh was dealt again earlier this year, finishing out the 2017–18 season with the Chicago Bulls. He has career averages of 4.1 points and 4.7 rebounds across four seasons (via Basketball-Reference).
Vonleh was an enticing prospect coming out of Indiana, averaging 11.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in an impressive freshman campaign. Coming into the draft, Vonleh was touted for his athleticism and promise as a floor spacer at the power forward or center position. That potential has never quite been tapped into, but he did start 56 games for the 2015–16 Blazers team that defeated the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs before succumbing to the Warriors in the following series. A small note: Vonleh attempted 2.9 threes last year during his 21 games in Chicago. The 30 percent clip he connected on isn’t anything to get excited about, but perhaps he could become a bit of a floor spacer after all if he puts the requisite amount of work in.
Despite his struggles, he is somehow still just 22 years old. But this may be his last chance at sticking in the Association. The Knicks could have an opening for minutes at the 4 or the 5 depending on how they decide to address this roster.
The addition of Vonleh puts the Knicks back over the maximum allowed number of NBA contracts a team can have on its roster once the season begins. Sixteen players are now under NBA deals, and that number must dwindle down to 15 when opening day rolls around. Another move is coming. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, and it may not be next week, but it’s coming.
Whether the Knicks make a deal involving Courtney Lee or decide to move on from a veteran (perhaps a wildly embattled one?), the trend of going young in New York rolls right along.
Vonleh’s deal with New York is one-year, partially guaranteed, reported by Begley/ESPN.