After Surprise Roster Cut, Knicks to Sign Young Sharpshooter: Report

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau

Getty Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau

The Knicks will finally fill the 20th spot on their training camp roster, and will do so with a combo guard who has been on the fringe of the organization for the past two seasons—G-League shooter Tyler Hall, who spent the past two seasons with the Westchester Knicks.

According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, Hall will sign a camp deal with the team. A spot opened up after the Knicks waived Luca Vildoza over the weekend.

Hall went undrafted in 2019 out of Montana State, where he was a prolific four-year scorer. Hall averaged 20.0 points for the Grizzlies and shot 40.0 % from the 3-point line. He was on the All-Big Sky team (either first or second team) for each of his four seasons in Bozeman, and finished his career with 2,518 points, most in school and conference history.

Hall averaged 9.3 points in 39 games for Westchester in 2019-20, making 41.0% of his 3-point tries, taking 5.7 per game. He averaged 10.1 points and made 41.5% of his 6.7 3-point attempts per game in his second season with Westchester, in 14 G-League bubble games last year.

Luca Vildoza Cut Was a Surprise

Hall would be a longshot to make the roster. It had long been believed that Vildoza, a member of the Argentinian Olympic team, was all but a shoo-in for the spot when the Knicks signed him in the spring. But Vildoza struggled in the Olympics, averaging 7.0 points and 3.0 assists in four games, shooting 9-for-29 from the field and 3-for-18 from the 3-point line.

Vildoza was not impressive, either, in Summer League for New York, and it was there that his chances at earning a spot on the team faded. He played 12.8 minutes per game in two games, and missed all four of the shots he attempted.

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The Knicks had to waive Vildoza before the end of camp or else his contract would have been guaranteed. Pulling the trigger on the dumping of VIldoza has allowed Hall a few weeks to show the coaches what he can do, but it is the longest of shots that he winds up on the final roster. The Knicks could enter the season with only 14 players, leaving one spot open for flexibility.

If the Knicks do fill the 15th spot, it is likely that it would go to veteran scoring wing Dwayne Bacon, who signed a non-guaranteed deal this summer.

Knicks Could Need 3-Point Shooting

The Knicks were one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the NBA last season, making 39.2% of their attempts, third in the league. But, as is typical for teams coached by Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks did not try all that many 3s, only 30.0 per game, which ranked 27th.

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There might have been a fluke aspect to the Knicks’ 3-point numbers, as three players topped 40% from the arc for the first time in their careers—R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle and Derrick Rose. It is hard to expect them to repeat those shooting performances.

The Knicks’ most prolific 3-point shooter, R.J. Bullock, left for Dallas in free agency.

It could be, then, that the Knicks badly need to add 3-point marksmen during the season. Perhaps then Hall could get a real look with the big club. Until then, it is hard to see him suiting up for the Knicks beyond training camp.

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