Knicks Add Skal Labissiere, Will Sign James Young

DECEMBER 9: The signing of Labissiere is now official, the Knicks have tweeted.


DECEMBER 7: Big man Skal Labissiere is signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Knicks, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. According to Stein, James Young is also headed to New York’s camp, apparently on a similar deal.

Labissiere and Young will receive $50K bonuses if they’re on the roster of the Knicks’ G League affiliate, Westchester, for at least 60 days.

Naturally, both former first-round picks hope they can make an even bigger impression in camp. Labissiere became an unrestricted free agent when the Hawks declined to extend a qualifying offer last month.

Labissiere, 24, played 33 games for the Trail Blazers last season, averaging 5.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 17.2 MPG. He suffered a knee injury in December and never suited up for Atlanta after it acquired him in a trade deadline deal.

Young, 25, was the 17th pick of the 2014 draft by Boston. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2017/18 season, when he made six appearances for Philadelphia. He played in Israel last season.

The Knicks already have the maximum of 20 players in camp, so they’ll have to open up roster spots to sign the duo.

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29 thoughts on “Knicks Add Skal Labissiere, Will Sign James Young

  1. Sillivan

    Knicks have maximum of 20 players in camp but continue on high upside signing to shape the roster

    • buttholesurfer69

      Lifelong Knicks fan here: Knicks need as much potential young talent as possible. Not a terrible move.

    • jkoms57

      The knicks need to tank for a top 3 pick.. or have the #1 pick gifted to them thru the fake lottery

  2. Jeff Zanghi

    Labissiere is a pretty solid player to have only been able to get an exhibit-10 deal. I mean granted he’s coming off an injury and he’s never fully established himself — but still he seems like a guy who could be a legit rotation player, at 6’10” he rebounds well and even has a solid 35% 3-pt career mark. Usually Exhibit-10 guys are undrafted free agent types… or like Young a ‘failed draft pick’ for lack of a better phrase. Idk just seems to me that Labissiere is deserving of an actual NBA contract not just a G-League deal. Who knows maybe he’ll impress in camp and wind up on the roster… He’s definitely got an intriguing enough skillset that given the right opportunity he could develop into a solid role player.

    • Lookatcurryman

      well skal has a pretty lit jumpshot tho and he could get double doubles if given da opportunity but kings and blazers gave up on him particulary due to injuries and not enough minutes. he could give u a 20 points, 10+ rebounds, and 5 blocks if u start em. i dont think he will make it and even if he did, i dont think the knicks will give him any playing time cuz they pickup noel and still have randle and drafted toppin. one team that will certainly benefit him could be bucks for backup big man.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Two young and former 1st rd picks. Worth looking at. Rebuild rebuild rebuild all for it.

  4. Ant1485

    Projects if no other team picked them up then why should we? Barring injury will they ever be called up

    • hiflew

      So by that reasoning, the Knicks should never sign anyone because no one else signed them first. Sound logic.

  5. Someone in the comments here a few days ago said they should sign Skal. Take your credit, whoever you are.

    • hiflew

      That was me. I said it jokingly though. My original comment when they signed Nerlens Noel was that there were 4 UK players (WCS, MKG, Skal, Wenyen Gabriel) that made sense and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Knicks signed them all. I was right on two of them. This makes 6 former Wildcats on the Knicks roster, although one or two of them are unlikely to make the team.

      Technically, there are still a couple more UK players available. Can the Knicks possibly squeeze in Brandon Knight, Isaiah Briscoe, or Tyler Ulis?

      • hiflew

        Wow I didn’t even read the part about James Young. I don’t even have him on my chart of active players. That makes 7 Wildcats on the Knicks.

        Honestly it would be cool to have 1 NBA made up of nothing but Kentucky players and 1 of Duke players and 1 of UNC players and 1 of Kansas players and maybe one of Michigan State players. And then distribute the rest to the other 25 teams. Total fantasy, but the Knicks are halfway there right now.

        • hiflew

          Yes he did. And Wenyen Gabriel went to New Orleans, but MKG and Skal signed with the Knicks. That’s why I said I was right on two of the 4. I probably could have made it clearer though.

            • hiflew

              One other I didn’t mention. Jodie Meeks (if he hasn’t retired) is the one that I don’t have any info on them playing overseas. He could be signed as a 3&D specialist by someone. I have a fairly extensive database built, but I can still be surprised by the likes of a James Young sighting.

              There are several that are playing overseas that have NBA experience as well.

              Archie Goodwin (France)
              Aaron Harrison (Euroleague)
              Alex Poythress (Russia)
              Andrew Harrison (China)
              Terrence Jones (Phillipines)
              DeAndre Liggins (Great Britain)
              Dakari Johnson (China)
              Isaac Humphries (Australia)
              Josh Harrellson (Japan)
              Kyle Wiltjer (Turkey) (KY transfer)

              So there is still a lot out there, but most of the overseas guys are likely done in the NBA.

              • Lookatcurryman

                jodie meeks is old but can still knock down threes and plus he won a ring. terrence jone swas pretty good until he got duped by the pelicans cuz of a lack of cap space and roster room i think. archie goodwin was good if gottem a chance he kinda did with the suns until he got dumped or something yea so if a team gave him a more consistent backup role or even starting job, he could seriously develop into a danny green or taurean prince kind of 3 and D wing.
                Other players who could still be moderate players or simply decent backups who r also oversees or simply still free agents:
                O.J. Mayo(China)
                Sonny Weems(China; wus CBA finals MVP)
                Lance Stephenson(China)
                Cheick Diallo
                Dion Waiters
                Dewayne Dedmon
                Thabo Sefelosha
                Luc Mbah a Moute(was an essential portion of the chris paul era clippers and was a prt time starter back then before chris paul departed, known for excellent defense and athleticism, if u dont know well im prety sure everyone forgot about him)
                Tyson Chandler
                John Henson
                Ersan Illyasova
                Tyreke Evans(still suspended i think)
                Jordan Bell
                Dragan Bender(Euroleague)
                Corey Brewer
                Deng Adel(NBL)
                Deonte Burton
                Demarre Carroll
                Wilson Chandler(China)
                Allen Crabbe
                troy Daniels
                Yogi ferell
                tim frazier
                taj gibson
                kyle korver
                sheldon mac
                Ian Mahinmi
                frank mason
                jordan mcrae
                CJ miles
                Nene
                Emannuel muiday
                kyle o’ quinn
                chandler parsons
                norvel pelle
                gary payton ll
                andre roberson
                isaiah thomas
                anthony tolliver
                jared sullinger
                ante zizic(Euroleague)
                raymond felton
                ty lawson
                brandon Bass
                Diamond Stone
                omri casspi
                iman shumpert
                nick young
                marcus thorton
                idk if y’all remmeber more players who r still free agents but are decent role players but if yes give us some more lists

                Shabazz Napier

                  • Lookatcurryman

                    yea. he been out for the past two years i think due to a gruesome injury. maybe a team that needs more defense and versatility could pickup him up. i say the nets could get him cuz they want more defense

      • Lookatcurryman

        well brandon knight is a legit point guard whos better than frank nnitiklina and denis smith cuz hes like a floor general used to look like an all star before his gruesome injury but still he plays like goran dragic leading the offense y’all know wut i mean

    • x%sure

      I think Skal’s more of a Haitian guy than a UK guy, part of the problem. Should have spent more time at UK, a better pipeline! There’s a Haitian population in NY that could be motivating, might be what he needs. I think he’s better than a tease. Good signing by NY.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Calipari had a bad run as Nets coach. He’s made for college, more a recruiter. Fact is he knows talent. His coaches (now Knick) know these UK guys. Don’t mean their going to stick. Just means they are trying to find something. You look where you’ve been. Any young guy who was drafted in the 1st rd. Is worth giving a long look. Randle is a goner, he was here before the Kentucky connection. Knox the same. Yes they are here to help Knox. But we’ll see. MKG is a solid D wing. Who if he learns to shoot the 3. Can stick around NBA a long time. Noel is a solid backup big and young enough to still learn from a D coach. Quickly is a young guy who needs to learn the PG position. If he does he will be a starter. He has a future. Randle is gone cause Toppin is here. Knox if he doesn’t wake up is gone too. So who from UK is sticking. Knox (could be traded) Quickly (yrs away), Noel, MKG both bench players. There isn’t a Kentucky player who is the future here. Knox maybe, I hope so Quickly too. Noel n MKG both on 1 yr contracts. So that UK thing really makes no sense if you really look at it. When you rebuild you look for gems where you can find them, that’s all.

    • hiflew

      I hope Calipari stays at UK until he retires, but you can’t really write him off as an NBA coach based simply on that Nets run, which actually wasn’t that bad considering the roster he had there. In the 2 full seasons he was there, he made the playoffs once. And that was with a team led by Sam Cassell. Cassell was a good player, but hardly a #1 guy. And after Cassell was traded for Stephon Marbury the next year he was fired early on. Red Auerbach would have struggled with that group.

      Calipari’s biggest issue in the NBA was handling the media, but he was young. He has gotten a lot better with the media in the past 20+ years.

      Calipari is such a great recruiter that sometimes he is underrated as an actual coach. He is not the best Xs and Os guy, but he is much better than average. He basically takes a brand new team every year and gets the best out of them by the end of the season. Yes, they are big time recruits, but other teams have big time recruits too and sometimes they just don’t gel. Calipari gets them to gel much more than the average coach.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Really a 72 – 112 career record. A 3-17 start his last yr. He was a college coach. And it only works cause he mostly buys talent. Either thru his connections or the School rep. He’s a good coach. But not made for NBA. He made more enemies than friends. And you don’t build a contender overnight. The one good yr he had was cause he had talent. That played for something a contract or rep. Then he lost that and alienated Men. Dealing with Men is not college. They had injuries and he lost the team. Then got desperate. He was a disaster. It’s why no one has ever reached out to him since.
        Keith VanHorn, J Williams, K Kittkes, Casell, Kendall Gill, Sherman Douglas, R Seikaly, Lucious Harris. He had more than enough talent. It’s why he had a playoff yr. Much easier to do it in college. When your at big school. That will use its resources to bring in talent. Kentucky boosters over the yrs are one of worst. You don’t really believe it’s all on up and up. It’s why Pitino was gone. Caliparis mentor who taught him how to do it

        link to espn.com

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