The New York Knicks summer league team has been extremely unsuccessful thus far, posting a 0-4 record.
However, a few players on the team have shined and earned themselves a spot on the Knicks roster next season.
None of these players will be starters for the Knicks next year, but a few showed they have the skill to come off the bench and make valuable contributions in a limited role.
Besides the players on the summer league team, the Knicks currently have 11 players on their roster: Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas.
With a minimum of 12 players and a maximum of 15 players allowed on each team for the regular season, you can expect to see at least two or three of these players on the final roster when training camp ends.
Here are a few players on the Knicks summer league team that have earned a spot on the Knicks roster.
Artsiom “Art” Parakhouski
Art Parakhouski had a very successful college career at the College of Southern Idaho and then Radford University.
During his junior season, Parakhouski averaged 16.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He went on to win the Big South Player of the Year and was named to the First Team All Big South. As a senior he improved in all areas, averaging 21.4 points, 13.4 rebounds, which led the nation, and 2.1 blocks per game. He again won player of the year and was named to the First Team All-Conference.
Even though he went undrafted during the 2010 NBA draft, Art Parakhouski bounced back and was the biggest surprise for the Knicks this summer.
He was very solid for the team on the defensive end. He led the team in rebounds with 6.5 rebounds per game. He also made his presence known while guarding the paint by blocking two shots per game.
What was most surprising was Parakhouski’s offensive ability. He showed some very nice low-post moves and was able to finish at the rim. He averaged 7.8 points per game and shot 57.7 percent from the field.
You can never have enough big men on the roster, so Parakhouski definitely has a shot of making the squad.
Former Cincinnati Bearcat and most recently a member of Victoria Libertas in the Italian league, James White signed a one-year deal with the Knicks this offseason.
According to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com, a member of the agency that represents White, Daniel Curtin, said the deal was for a little less than the veteran’s minimum contract.
Curtin also had this to add about White’s future in New York:
"He's excited about it. He's going to have a chance to play. He's come a long way since his earlier NBA stint. I think it's a great opportunity for him, especially with the personnel he'll be playing with. He has some elite intangibles."
White only played in the Knicks' first three summer league in Las Vegas. During these games, he really tried to get his teammates involved but, in doing so, passed up on some decent scoring opportunities. He did, though, show flashes of the athleticism that he is known for and threw down a few highlight-reel dunks.
The highlights of White’s summer were his seven assists in game one, seven rebounds in game two and 11 points in game three. Hopefully he can put all those skills together for a full game once he reaches the NBA.
Chris Copeland is the only other player on the Knicks Summer League roster who has a contract with the Knicks, but according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, his is non-guaranteed.
After a four-year career at the University of Colorado, Copeland has bounced around between teams in the United States, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and, most recently, Belgium.
Copeland has been by far the best player for the Knicks during the summer league. His best attribute has been his scoring ability. He leads the team with 14.3 points per game and has shot 45.7 percent from the floor.
Besides his scoring, Copeland has been a great defender and rebounder during the first four games of the summer league. In 24 minutes per game, he has averaged 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.
The one area Copeland has struggled has been his three-point shooting. Even though he shot three-pointers in each game, he didn’t hit one until his fourth game. If he can improve his shot selection, Copeland will make the Knicks' regular season roster for sure.
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