Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThis coming season, the Knicks will own and operate their own NBA D-League team out of Westchester (to be called the Westchester Knicks). On Tuesday, the league held an expansion draft for Westchester, allowing the Knicks to begin building a foundation for its minor league team.
The results of the draft are expected to be released at some point on Wednesday.
The NBA squad has been affiliated with D-League teams in the past, but never before have they had a minor league team with such local proximity. The fact that the team can finally operate out of Westchester will allow the Knicks to utilize the minor league a bit more freely. NBA players can be easily assigned back and forth (even as frequently as on a nightly basis), aiding the development of such guns as it relates to helping them receive more substansial in-game reps. If the minutes aren’t available on the NBA squad, some of the Knicks’ youngsters can hit the hardwood in Westchester instead. In the process, the team can send over a scout or two to easily and readily monitor such progress along the way. Sometimes that proves more difficult to do if the minor league is out of state.
In addition, operating an entire team out of Westchester will open the Knicks’ eyes up to an entire other way of scouting players. The team will have access to up to ten promising prospects on a daily basis, as well as some of the incoming visiting prospects occasionally, too. They will be able to keep a closer eye on those players who happen to intrigue them, but perhaps aren’t quite fully ready to make the cut.
Some players with previous Knickerbocker ties (be it via a roster spot or training camp invite) to grace the D-League stage in most recent seasons include Jerome Jordan, Ike Diogu, CJ Leslie, Andy Rautins, and even former camp invitee Ron Howard, who was named the minor league’s co-MVP last season.
UPDATE: Below are the results (with sixteen selections in all) from the expansion draft: