New York Knicks: Showcasing a summer of transition and development

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Its been an offseason of change for the New York Knicks. Exciting draft picks and hard-working vets were on display this month in Las Vegas.

The New York Knicks Vegas Summer League hopes were dashed quickly with three straight losses to start the tournament. That was not what anyone expected. It wasn’t all bad as those loses could prove to be something of great value for the coaching staff who are trying to build up and improve these young players.

Individually the “Summer Knicks” actually have some solid young talent. They brought in some very good undrafted players. Hopefully, those young players will find their way to the Knicks G-league team in Westchester. Talent acquisition obviously has not been the Knicks strongest trait over the last decade. Just look at their record.

Recently, however, the front office has done well by identifying players they want in the draft and acquiring them in either the first or second rounds. General Manager Scott Perry has shown that his due diligence has paid off. He brought in quality undrafted talent to push for back end roster spots and added talent to the G-league affiliate.

What we learned from the Summer League

Now touching back on the New York Knicks time in Vegas, the second-year players came out showing a much-improved shooting stroke from beyond the three-point line. This was especially exciting to see from Kevin Knox, who seemed to show a large increase in confidence shooting from deep.

Alonzo Trier still has work to do but his ability to score has never been in question. His ability to pass and operate in a team-based scheme outside of the isolation and pick roll has constantly been in question. Throughout the summer Trier has shown that he has done very little to improve that part of his game.

Kevin Knox showed some improvements during the summer. Ideally, Knox will add another 10-15 pounds of muscle before the season starts, to aid in his ability to attack the basket. Overall though Knox has a chance to have a very successful sophomore campaign if he can stay healthy.

Mitchell Robinson came in and did exactly what was expected of him to do. The sophomore big man showed that he can block shots and live above the rim, which are excellent traits for the defensive-minded center. It would be great if Perry or Knicks President Steve Mills can place a few more calls to Patrick Ewing. Even better, they can send Mitchell to Georgetown so he can work with the Hall of Famer on expanding his offensive game.

The more old school Knicks connections that head coach David Fizdale keeps inviting into the fold as he did last season, the brighter the future can be for this young New York Knicks team. The Knicks must keep exploring every avenue to assist them in accomplishing their goals.