Thursday, June 20, 2013
Insight into Knicks' free-agent minicamp
By Jared Zwerling
The Knicks took a break from hosting pre-draft workouts on Wednesday to put on a free-agent minicamp, which goes through Thursday. It's organized to evaluate younger players who have recently finished a season in the D-League or overseas and are looking for a minimum-level contract in the NBA.
While the pre-draft workouts focus on more individual testing, drills and 1-on-1 and 3-on-3 play, the minicamp, because of the larger group of players, feature more competitive drills and 5-on-5 scrimmaging.
According to several league sources, below are eight players who participated on Wednesday. Most were point guards or big men, two key needs for the Knicks looking ahead to the draft and free agency.
Brooklyn native Malcolm Grant played in Australia this season.
1. Keith "Tiny" Gallon (6-10, 276; Oklahoma; second-round pick in 2010): While Gallon is a big body and has loads of potential, weight issues have held him back. In 2012, the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League signed him, but then waived him. A year before, however, he was doing well in the D-League, averaging 14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
2. Malcolm Grant (6-1, 188; University of Miami; undrafted in 2012): The Brooklyn native is known for his handle and 3-point shooting, as well as his New York-style toughness and confidence. After playing in Cyprus, he suited up this past season in Australia, averaging 9.6 points and 2.3 assists per game.
3. Ricky Harris (6-2, 176; Massachusetts; undrafted in 2010): Harris has filled up his passport in the last couple of years, playing in Germany, Philippines, Ukraine, Lithuania and Italy this past season, averaging 13.3 points and 2.4 assists. The combo guard is a solid 3-point shooter and dynamic with the ball. But what has most impressed scouts lately is his ability to facilitate better, while still scoring the rock.
4. Terrence Jennings (6-10, 230; Louisville; undrafted in 2011): The Knicks know Jennings when he played for their D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, but it was only for a limited time this past season. He mostly competed with the Iowa Energy, averaging 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He's not finely tuned offensively in any one area, but he's athletic around the court and strong defending the post.
5. Ahmad Nivins (6-9, 242; Saint Joseph's; second-round pick in 2009): Nivins has a connection to the Knicks when they acquired his draft rights in 2011 in a packaged deal for Tyson Chandler. The Jersey City native has played in Belgium, Spain and France this past season, averaging 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He's recognized for being an agile forward, defensive-minded and skilled in the post.
6. Dustin Salisbery (6-5, 205; Temple; undrafted in 2007): After playing across the globe in Mexico, Romania, Greece, Germany and most recently Dominican Republic in 2011-12, Salisbery drifted away from the game. He spent much of 2012 working at the Abraxas Academy in Morgantown, W.Va., counseling troubled youths. Now the all-around college star is making a comeback.
7. Tony Taylor (6-1, 191; George Washington; undrafted in 2012): The Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., native was one of the best point guards in the D-League this past season, averaging 7.0 points and 3.2 assists. He showed great patience in pick-and-rolls, a fluid pull-up jump shot with range, a nice floater in the lane and an acute ability to read passing lanes.
8. Brandon Webster (6-10, 248; Fresno State; undrafted in 2011): After playing in El Salvador and the ABA, Webster most recently suited up for the Rochester Razorsharks in the Premier Basketball League, averaging 6.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He's noted for his high basketball IQ, which helps him finish key plays.