Training camp coming to a close means that the final set of personnel decisions starting rolling through the headlines.
The latest of those for the Knicks was their waiving of veteran guard Dwayne Bacon, who is notably a former teammate of starting point guard Kemba Walker.
Fred Katz of The Athletic was first with reports:
Yes, the Knicks signed former Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin, but this move seems to hold greater implications for three-year veteran Wayne Selden.
Dwayne Bacon leaves the New York Knicks without playing in the preseason. This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Selden the Favorite for Spot No. 15?
After the New York Knicks waived Luca Vildoza, it was Wayne Selden, who head coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned (via the New York Post) in regards to the last roster spot:
We love what Wayne has done. Wayne has been terrific. He’s been here all summer. Wayne has done a really good job.
Selden, 27, has appeared in 124 NBA games for three teams since 2016-2017 (Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, and the New Orleans Pelicans).
He’s got career averages of 7.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.
But while Wayne Selden’s future with the New York Knicks remains very up in the air, fans got some exciting news regarding a member of the starting five who’s been out with injury.
Robinson Likely to Return for Preseason Finale
During his media availability on October 14, head coach Tom Thibodeau (via Newsday) all but confirmed Mitchell Robinson’s return in Friday’s preseason finale:
Yeah, he’s fully engaged now. We feel like one more practice he’ll be good . . . Every day there’s more contact. There’s more that he’s doing, and then you want to see how he responds the next day, and there’s still the conditioning element of it. He’s done a lot. He’s come back every night. He’s put in a lot of extra work. We feel good about where he is.
Friday’s exhibition matchup with the Washington Wizards will mark 202 days since the New York Knicks’ starting center has touched an NBA court.
Thibodeau compared his rehab process to that of Derrick Rose, who had his own share of injuries under the head coach when the two were with the Chicago Bulls:
I think going through a rehab like he’s going through, it’s important for us to be heavily involved. And he’s responded . . . It’s not easy to go through a long rehab. That was the one thing that Derrick [Rose] did before, for three consecutive years. So I know the challenges that go along with that.
Robinson is one of the most promising defensive frontcourt players across the NBA.
Thibodeau made sure to emphasize that as well:
He’s a unique player, the things that he brings to our team — and it’s not just on the defensive end. The defensive end, I think we all know he’s an elite rim-protector. He makes people miss inside. He can cover a lot of ground. He can cover up mistakes. But offensively, he adds a lot to our team as well, just putting the pressure on the rim. And you throw the ball anywhere up near the rim, he has great hands.
Mitchell Robinson has appeared in 158 games with the New York Knicks and has career averages of 8.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals.
Expect starting-caliber backup Nerlens Noel to take the second-unit minutes and savvy veteran Taj Gibson to shore up the reserve defense.
Welcome back, big fella.