New York Knicks: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines
With only nine players currently on the Knicks roster and no cap space left to go out and sign prominent free agents, the Knicks will be looking heavily into their Summer League team to fill out the remaining spots on their roster.
Before the recent sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby, the Knicks had three players from their team last season on the Summer League roster: Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson and Jerome Jordan. All three players were traded to the Houston Rockets, leaving the Knicks with a complete roster full of fresh faces.
Knicks Summer League Roster
Jeff Brooks (6'8", 23 years old, last played at Fileni BPA in Italy)
Chris Copeland (6'8", 28, Okapi Aalstar, Belgium)
Mustapha Farrakhan (6'4", 23, Bakersfield Jam)
Kyle Goldcamp (6'10", 26, Erie BayHawks)
Ahmad Nivins (6'9", 25, Mons-Hainaut, Belgium)
Artsiom Parakhouski (6'11", 25, Budivelnyk, Ukraine)
Jeremiah Rivers (6'5", 24, Mega Vizura, Serbia)
Walker Russell, Jr. (6'0", 29, Detroit Pistons)
Chris Smith (6'2", 25, Louisville)
Mychel Thompson (6'6", 24, Erie BayHawks, Cleveland Cavaliers)
Terrance Withers (5'11", 29, Arkansas Tech)
Wesley Witherspoon (6'9", 22, Memphis)
Here are some key storylines surrounding the Knicks' Summer League team.
Will Mychel Thompson Make It Back to the League?
Mychel Thompson is one of only two players on the Knicks roster with NBA experience.
He only played in five games with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. In those games, however, he did play for an average of 19 minutes and even started in three of them.
The rookie out of Pepperdine didn’t get much of a chance to shine with the Cavs last season, but did show glimpses that he could be a solid role player who can shoot from long range. Thompson shot over 36 percent from the three with the Cavs.
He should be one of the leading scorers on the Knicks Summer League team and will be fighting for one of the final spots on the roster, since Steve Novak is currently the only forward the Knicks have coming off the bench.
Will 'Art' Parakhouski Finally Join the Knicks?
Back in 2010, the Knicks considered drafting Art Parakhouski with their second-round pick, but ultimately decided against it.
Now they are giving him a second look, as he is by far the biggest man on the Knicks' Summer League roster.
Parakhouski played his college ball at Radford University and dominated his smaller competition. During the 2009-10 season he led the nation in rebounds at 13.4 per game and was named the Big South Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
After not getting drafted, he went on to play with professional teams in Latvia and Ukraine and will now be looking to show off his improved skills and make the Knicks roster.
Can Jeremiah Rivers Make It to the NBA Like His Father and Brother?
It must be tough for Jeremiah Rivers to be a part of the Rivers family.
His father, Doc Rivers, had a very long and successful NBA career and is now a championship-winning coach. His brother, Austin Rivers, was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school and went on to get drafted by the New Orleans Hornets tenth overall in this year’s draft.
Jeremiah, on the other hand, only averaged 3.4 points per game during his four years playing college basketball, two at Georgetown and two at Indiana University, and went on to play professional basketball in Serbia after going undrafted.
His only hope of making the roster would be to play exceptional defense this summer, which is the only respectable part of his game.
Will Chris Smith Join His Brother on the Knicks Next Season?
Now that J.R. Smith officially has re-signed with the Knicks, it will be his brother’s turn to try and make the roster as well.
Chris Smith helped Louisville reach the Final Four last season after transferring there from Manhattan before his junior season.
Like his brother, Smith is an excellent three-point shooter who shot just over 40 percent from three during his two seasons with the Cardinals.
If Chris makes the Knicks roster, then he and J.R. will become the only two brothers in the NBA who play on the same team.
Does Walker Russell Jr. Have What It Takes to Return to the NBA?
Walker Russell Jr. has the most NBA experience out of anybody on the Knicks' Summer League Roster.
Last season Russell Jr. played in 28 games with the Detroit Pistons and even scored in double figures twice. During his last game of the season, he scored his season-high 15 points on 5/8 shooting.
Russell Jr. also proved he can be a ball distributor during his brief time with the Pistons. During seven games this season, he dished out at least four assists while coming off the bench.
He is very short for an NBA point guard at only 6’0”, but will be competing this summer to get back to the NBA and take on the Knicks' third-string point guard role behind Jeremy Lin and Jason Kidd.