Scott Perry will take another chance at a former lottery pick in power forward Noah Vonleh.
On Tuesday, the New York Knicks reached an agreement with power forward Noah Vonleh. The details of the deal are unclear, but I’d bet the rent money it’s a one-year deal.
As a starter last season Vonleh averaged 6.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 24.3 minutes (per Basketball-Reference). At first glance Vonleh is a high energy 22-year-old who hasn’t quite found his niche in the NBA, fitting Scott Perry’s M.O. almost perfectly. (The Vonleh move tallies the Knicks’ former lottery picks to nine on the current roster.)
Vonleh appears to be a fairly athletic big man who lead a bit too much into his athleticism early in his career, and his shooting has suffered for it. The last time his Defensive Rating (DRtg) was less than 104 was his rookie year when he averaged only 10.3 minutes per game (per NBA Stats). DRtg tends to favor big men, so, if he takes the floor with Kanter, the Knicks’ frontcourt could end up as a disaster defensively.
Let's take a look at some of his best moments: pic.twitter.com/2I4TDj1ZSk
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 7, 2018
However, there’s still something to be said about his energy that’s kindred in what the Knicks lost in Troy Williams. Vonleh is one of the few, the proud, the guys who posterized Rudy Gobert.
That might mean little outside of the moment, but his instincts to throw the ball down when he has an inch of breathing room is a good sign that his NBA career could be saved.
The shooting is something to be worried about, but if Fizdale wants a run-and-gun style offense, Vonleh could see most of his opportunities at the rim, capitalizing off of his natural agility and infatuation with dunking. Hopefully, he can learn a thing or two on defense as well.
All in all, signing Vonleh appears to be a lateral move after the team decided to move on from Troy Williams. He’ll most likely be sharing time at the 4 with Lance Thomas and Kevin Knox, but if Fizdale’s comments about not pigeonholing players is true, he may even see time at center in small-ball lineups.
With this move putting the Knicks at 16 roster players, this move raises more questions than answers since someone else on the roster will need to be purged from the team. It’s unclear who it’ll be, but Vonleh better be worth throwing him out.