Knicks Make Roster Move to Bolster Bench Depth

Knicks guard Shake Milton

Getty Shake Milton #18 against former New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley #5.

The shorthanded New York Knicks will add veteran guard Shake Milton to bolster their bench depth, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 27-year-old Milton will fill the Knicks open roster spot and will be eligible for the playoffs.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have checked in with the Minnesota Timberwolves before they traded for Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic.

The Timberwolves sent Milton to the Detroit Pistons in the Monte Morris trade a day before the February 8 trade deadline and the Knicks quickly pivoted to acquire Burks and Bogdanovic.

Milton, who desired for more playing time, signed a $10 million, two-year deal with the Timberwolves last summer. But the backup guard only averaged 12.9 minutes, producing 4.7 points and 1.3 assists off the bench.

Then after appearing in just four games off the bench for the Pistons, he agreed to a contract buyout to join a playoff contender.

Milton will join a Knicks team, a playoff contender, whose roster has been depleted by injuries. But when the Knicks get back to their full strength, Milton will have to fight with Burks and the improving Miles McBride for a rotation spot.

Milton averaged 6.8 points and 1.5 assists while shooting 42.3% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point line for the Pistons.

Milton will be third player represented by CAA’s Drew Morrison to join the Knicks after OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein.

OG Anunoby Cleared for Non-Contact Drills

The Knicks are hoping to get Anunoby back later this month.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau revealed their prized trade acquisition has been cleared for non-contact on-court activities following a procedure to remove a loose fragment in his right elbow.

“He can shoot, dribble and pass. No contact [drills] yet but that’s the next step,” Thibodeau told reporters before the Knicks lost to the Golden State Warriors on February 29.

Anunoby has already missed 13 games since his elbow flared up at Charlotte on January 29. The Knicks are 6-7 without him. They were 12-2 in Anunoby’s first 14 games with the Knicks since they acquired him from Toronto on December 31 last year.

Knicks Agree with Becky Hammon’s Take on Jalen Brunson

Wojnarowski revealed on the February 27 episode of the “NBA Today” that the Knicks agree with two-time WNBA champion Becky Hammon in her opinion in December that Brunson is not enough to lead them to a championship which drew flak from the Knicks fanbase.

“I texted Becky that night and said, ‘Don’t let anyone make you apologize for this. The Knicks agree with you,’” Wojnarowski said. “That’s not a slight on Jalen Brunson who has transformed that organization. He is one of the biggest free agent signings of the past decade in the NBA.

But the reason that the Knicks are hoarding draft picks and assets is that they want to — if he becomes available — get a First, Second-Team All-NBA-level player. You win with that. [Nikola] Jokic, Giannis [Antetokounmpo], LeBron James, Steph [Curry].

And if we were doing a draft of available [star] players, would Jalen Brunson be in the first five, the first 10, the first 15? Maybe? But championships are won when you have one of those guys. That doesn’t diminish what Brunson has met. What he has done in his career. He is one of the great success stories in this league from a second-round pick.”

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