The New York Knicks cut guard Allonzo Trier on Friday afternoon in an effort to free up a roster spot for Theo Pinson, but why?
There was a point in his rookie season where Allonzo Trier appeared to be the biggest steal from the 2018 NBA Draft Class, and he wasn’t even drafted. Fast forward a year and a half, and he is now a free agent after being cut by the New York Knicks, for Theo Pinson.
In his rookie season, Trier went for 10 points or more 30 times while getting playing time in 64 games. This means that he scored double digits in nearly half the games he appeared in while averaging 22.8 minutes per game.
This is quite impressive if you think about it, and it’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Knicks got Trier as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona. So with all this being said, why did the Knicks decide to cut him, and what was the reasoning behind picking Theo Pinson over Trier?
The biggest knock against Trier is the fact that he is a one-dimensional player, he might be an above-average offensive player, but he struggles in a large way on the defensive end. In two seasons Trier averaged 0.4 steals per game and 0.2 blocks, not great to say the least.
If you’re going to be a successful player in the NBA, you HAVE to at least be competent on both sides of the ball, and Trier is not which is ultimately why the Knicks decided to cut him.
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However, Theo Pinson isn’t much better which is why this decision is so puzzling to me. Pinson has appeared in 51 total games over his career, 37 less than Trier, and in those 51 games, he averaged 11.3 minutes, 3.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.1 blocks per game.
Comparatively, that’s 5.8 points lower, 0.8 rebounds lower, 0.5 assists more, 0.1 steals more, and 0.1 blocks lower per game. That being said, it doesn’t look like either player is going to make a HUGE impact, and to be fair to Pinson he has gotten 8.6 minutes less than Trier a game, but still.
Pinson’s career-high in points is 19, Trier’s is 31, Pinson’s career-high in rebounds is eight, Trier’s is 10, which he has done twice, and both of their career-highs in assists are eight. All of this and their career-highs in blocks and steals are very similar as well.
With all this in mind, I just am not sure why the Knicks would decide to cut Trier en route for Pinson who has yet to show he is capable of being impressive on either side of the ball, while Trier has shown on multiple occasions that he can be a piece in the Knicks offense.