Kenny Wooten

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Rose, Wooten, Anderson

There are few players who are off the table in trade talks for the Knicks, as I recently wrote for SLAM Magazine. RJ Barrett, who injured his ankle earlier tonight, and Mitchell Robinson are both unlikely to be dealt. Everyone else on the roster seems available for the right price, including Marcus Morris, who returned from a five-game absence in the loss tonight.

As we wait to see which players from New York get traded before the deadline, let’s take a look around the Atlantic Division:

  • Should the Sixers trade for Derrick Rose? ESPN’s Tracy McGrady (video link) believes the point guard could be the right target for Philadelphia at this year’s trade deadline.
  • Kenny Wooten‘s two-way contract with the Knicks runs through two seasons, ESPN Bobby Mark tweets. Wooten’s deal is just one of seven like it in the NBA.
  • Javonte Green is getting a chance to live out his dream with the Celtics, as he tells NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg.“When I first got the offer from [Danny Ainge], it was a dream come true,” said Green. “I still don’t think it’s really hit me. But every day, a random day, I can just be going to the grocery store, and I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m really in the NBA.’”
  • Justin Anderson will re-join the Raptors‘ G League affiliate, per the team’s Twitter feed. Anderson was with the Raptors 905 before signing a 10-day deal with Brooklyn.

Knicks Waive Ivan Rabb, Add Kenny Wooten

JANUARY 14, 3:03pm: The Knicks have officially signed Wooten to a two-way contract, the team announced today (Twitter link).

JANUARY 13, 5:07pm: Rabb has officially been waived, according the team’s PR department (Twitter link).

JANUARY 13, 4:09pm: The Knicks will waive forward Ivan Rabb and add forward Kenny Wooten on a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Wooten has been playing for the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester.

The move didn’t come as a surprise. Wednesday is the final day that two-way contracts can be offered this season, and several teams had been watching Wooten, who is among the G League leaders in blocks per game. Rabb and guard Kadeem Allen were on two-way deals with the Knicks and one of them had to go to make room for Wooten.

Rabb was signed to his two-way contract in late October. Rabb, 22, was the 35th overall pick in the 2017 draft and spent his first two professional seasons in Memphis, but didn’t develop into a reliable, consistent rotation player. In 2018/19, he averaged 5.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 49 games (14.7 MPG).  He was released by the Grizzlies during training camp.

Rabb was averaging a double-double with Westchester in 18 games — 13.1 PPG and 11.0 RPG. Wooten, 21, has appeared in 24 games with Westchester. He’s averaging 7.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.3 BPG in 24.0 MPG.

An undrafted rookie out of Oregon, Wooten was waived from the Knicks’ training camp roster after signing an Exhibit 10 contract during the summer. On his new two-way deal, he’ll be eligible to spend up to 24 days in the NBA before the end of the G League regular season.

Knicks Notes: Knox, Wooten, Drummond

The Knicks are wasting an opportunity to develop their young players as they string together losses with veteran journeymen, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. After whiffing on the big names in the free agent market last summer, New York signed seven players, with only Julius Randle having a fully guaranteed salary beyond this season. Those additions make up the core of a team that is 10-29 with five straight losses.

Affected most by not being on the court is Kevin Knox, a lottery pick from 2018, Popper adds. When Marcus Morris was hurt earlier this week, interim coach Mike Miller inserted Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup and continued to give limited minutes to Knox, who has regressed in his second NBA season.

“My Pops always just tells to go out there and just play every single possession as hard as I can, because you never know how long you’re going to be on the floor,” Knox said. “So just go out there and give it your all. So that’s the approach. The six minutes I had (January 5 against the Clippers), I thought I played really well; went out there and played hard. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back in the game. But like I said, you never know when your number is going to get called. So you always got to stay prepared, stay ready.”

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The Knicks have an important decision to make this week on G League standout Kenny Wooten, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Wednesday is the final day that two-way contracts can be offered this season, and several teams are watching Wooten, who is among the G League leaders in blocks per game. New York doesn’t have a roster opening, so either Kadeem Allen or Ivan Rabb would have to be waived to create a two-way slot for Wooten.
  • Tommy Beer of Forbes examines why it would be a mistake for the Knicks to give up future assets in a trade for Andre Drummond. Not only would they be committing to re-signing Drummond to a massive contract once he opts out this summer, they already have a promising young center in Mitchell Robinson.
  • The Knicks would still be on shaky ground even if they had achieved their dream scenario of signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and drafting Zion Williamson, observes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Williamson’s knee issue, Irving’s shoulder problem and Durant’s uncertain future after a ruptured Achilles tendon would all be giving nightmares to Knicks fans if they were on the roster.

Kenny Wooten Drawing Interest From Teams

G League standout Kenny Wooten is drawing interest from teams for a 10-day contract, SNY’s Ian Begley reports.

The undrafted rookie from Oregon, who was in camp with the Knicks in the fall, has stood out with his defense for the Westchester Knicks, particularly his blocks. He currently leads the G League with 3.7 blocks per game while averaging 6.8 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

“He certainly looks capable of defending on the interior at this level,” a scout said of Wooten’s NBA potential, per Begley.

As a G League player, Wooten is eligible to ink a 10-day contract with any NBA team. The Knicks could add Wooten to the NBA roster by waiving or trading a player to free up a roster spot.

Knicks Waive Three Players

The Knicks have officially waived guard Lamar Peters, swingman V.J. King, and forward Kenny Wooten, the team announced today in a press release. All three players were on non-guaranteed contracts, so New York’s cap won’t be affected by the cuts.

Peters, King, and Wooten each joined the Knicks as rookie free agents after going undrafted in the spring, which makes them eligible to be designated as affiliate players for the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League team. That appears to be the plan, as Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets.

As a result of today’s roster moves, the Knicks now have 16 players under contract, including 15 on guaranteed salaries and one on a two-way deal. I expect the club will make an additional move by Monday to fill that second two-way slot.

Knicks Release Amir Hinton

The Knicks have waived guard Amir Hinton, according to a release from the club. Hinton was signed to a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deal, so the Knicks won’t be on the hook for any dead money.

Hinton, 22, declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after his junior season at Division II school Shaw University, where he led all Division II players with 29.4 points per game and earned CIAA Player of the Year honors.

Shortly after going undrafted, Hinton agreed to a training camp deal with the Knicks, which became official last month. Now that he’s been cut, it’s likely he’ll become an affiliate player for New York’s G League team, the Westchester Knicks.

The Knicks now have 19 players under contract, including one two-way player. Of the 18 guys on standard contracts, 15 have guaranteed deals, meaning it looks like it’ll be an uphill climb for V.J. King, Kenny Wooten, or Lamar Peters to earn a roster spot.

Knicks Officially Sign Four Undrafted Rookies

The Knicks have officially signed four players who previously reached contract agreements with the team, according to RealGM’s transactions log. All four players are believed to have received non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deals.

Here are the players who have now officially joined the Knicks:

Word of New York’s deals with Hinton and King broke shortly after the draft concluded in June. The Knicks also struck a tentative agreement on a two-way contract for Kris Wilkes at that time, but it fell through for health reasons. Hinton, a former Division II standout, and King both went undrafted this year.

Like Hinton and King, Peters and Wooten are rookies who went undrafted after declaring as early entrants in the spring. Both players were members of the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July, with Wooten’s 2.5 blocks per game in just 13.3 MPG turning heads. Peters struggled with his shot (2-for-17 from the floor), but still apparently showed enough to earn a deal with New York.

The Knicks now have a full 20-man roster, including 15 players on guaranteed contracts and one (Kadeem Allen) on a two-way contract. One of the players from this new group could end up in that second two-way slot, but most of them are good bets to eventually land with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Knicks Signing Kenny Wooten To Exhibit 10 Contract

Kenny Wooten, a shot-blocking power forward out of Oregon, will join the Knicks for training camp on an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Wooten made an impression with New York’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, even though he saw minimal playing time. He averaged just 1.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in four games, but blocked 2.5 shots per night, including five in 16 minutes in a win over Washington in the consolation round.

Wooten will have trouble earning a roster spot in camp because the Knicks already have 15 players with guaranteed contracts. However, the Exhibit 10 deal will guarantee him $50K if he spends 60 days with the organization’s G League affiliate in Westchester. A roster opening could emerge by then, as Berman notes that several of the free agents whom the Knicks signed to de facto one-year contracts could be used as trade bait.

Wooten ranks third in all-time blocks at Oregon, and his agent, Mitchell Butler, claims he is one of the five best athletes coming out of college. The Knicks likely would have drafted Wooten at No. 55, Berman adds, if they hadn’t traded up to get Ignas Brazdeikis.

“The club is positive on Kenny,’’ Butler said. “His Summer League games resonated with the organization. Mitchell Robinson is good on the defensive end and to have Kenny coming in with no drop-off, that’s a big thing. Both of those guys on the floor, they literally shut off the inside and make teams shoot from the perimeter.’’

Butler claims several teams expressed interest in Wooten, but he picked the Knicks because of coach David Fizdale.

“[Fizdale] always appreciated guys who did the little things and comes from organizations like Miami and Memphis that appreciated glue-type guys,’’ Butler said. “I wanted to get him to a coach like that where he‘d have chance at the next level.’’

Draft Notes: Blazers, Hawks, Hunter, Samanic, Kings, Warriors

The Trail Blazers, who hold just one pick – No. 25 overall – in this year’s draft, brought in a total of 24 prospects for workouts, according to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com.

In addition to the 12 prospects whose names we previously relayed, the Trail Blazers also brought in David Crisp (Washington), Matur Maker (Slovenia), KZ Okpala (Stanford), Samir Sehic (Tulane), Jaylin Walker (Kent State), Cameron Young (Quinnipiac), Vic Law (Northwestern), Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Louis King (Oregon), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock) over the last week.

Not all of those players are candidates to be selected 25th overall, so the Trail Blazers were also doing their homework on potential undrafted free agent signings — or possibly even second-round picks, if Portland opts to trade back into the draft.

Here are a few more draft-related notes and rumors worth rounding up:

  • The Hawks are “very high” on Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link). Sources tell Givony that Atlanta is the only team Hunter has worked out for, though if the Hawks want to secure him, they may have to trade up from No. 8. The Hawks are also said to like Jarrett Culver.
  • Croatian forward Luka Samanic isn’t interested in becoming a draft-and-stash player, sources tell Givony. That might cause his stock to fall a little, since he’s still “raw and inexperienced,” Givony writes. Some teams may be reluctant to guarantee him a roster spot until he’s a little more NBA-ready.
  • The Kings worked out Kyle Guy (Virginia), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Rayjon Tucker (Little Rock), Miye Oni (Yale), Daulton Hommes (Point Loma), and Kenny Wooten (Oregon) on Monday, per James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets are among the teams that brought in Purdue Fort Wayne’s John Konchar for a pre-draft workout, tweets ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.
  • Jordan Poole (Michigan) and Jarrell Brantley (Charleston) auditioned for the Warriors today, per Gery Woelfel and Adam Zagoria, respectively (Twitter links).

Southeast Draft Notes: Hornets, Heat, Magic, Hawks

The Hornets have looked into the possibility of moving up in the draft from their current spot in the lottery at No. 12, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Bonnell acknowledges that it may be difficult for Charlotte to put together the sort of trade capital necessary to make a deal happen, but says GM Mitch Kupchak is active.

Meanwhile, the Hornets will continue to explore their draft options by bringing in six more prospects for workouts tomorrow, according to the team. Marques Bolden (Duke), Tacko Fall (UCF), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest), Jalen Hudson (Florida), and Luka Asceric (Mega Bemax) are among the players set to participate.

Here are a few more draft-related items from around the Southeast: