The Knicks are have waived center Didier Ilunga-Mbenga and power forward Orlando Sanchez, the team announced (Twitter link). Peter Botte of the New York Daily News and Newsday’s Al Iannazzone reported the team would make the moves minutes before the announcement (Twitter link). The news is no surprise, even though Sanchez has a partially guaranteed deal. Sanchez’s partial guarantee is only $15K, and that amount will stick on New York’s cap figure for the rest of the season unless another team claims him off waivers. Mbenga’s deal is non-guaranteed.
Mbenga was making his first foray back into the NBA since the 2010/11 season, save for a brief preseason stint with the Mavs in 2012. The 33-year-old reunited with Knicks team president Phil Jackson, who coached him on back-to-back Lakers championship teams in 2009 and 2010. The seven-year NBA veteran scored two points in less than five minutes of action in his lone preseason appearance this month. Sanchez saw just a single minute in his only preseason game. The 26-year-old went undrafted out of St. John’s this summer before competing for the Dominican Republican in FIBA World Cup action. Sanchez will sign to play for the Knicks D-League affiliate, agent B.J. Bass tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
The Knicks still have 18 players on their roster, though they probably won’t have much trouble deciding whom to cut to winnow down to 15 players in time for Monday’s opening-night roster deadline. They have 14 guaranteed contracts plus a partial guarantee for Samuel Dalembert, who’s expected to play a significant role. Langston Galloway and Travis Wear are long shots to make the club in spite of their nominal partial guarantees, as is new signee Jordan Vandenberg.