NEW YORK — There are two days remaining until the NBA’s cut-down day, and the New York Knicks have 18 players battling for 15 roster spots.
The Knicks, however, have only two point guards on guaranteed contracts and would have to cut an additional player, likely a forward or center, to add a third. And while Derrick Rose has tended to a sexual assault case in California, it’s been 32-year-old Sasha Vujacic who’s backed-up Brandon Jennings at the point — an eerie thought for those fearful of an injury to the back court.
By week’s end, Knicks president Phil Jackson must put his team in position to end a three-year playoff drought that has included a 49-115 record over the past two seasons.
“We’ve got some very close calls on some guys, guys who could make the team or not,” said coach Jeff Hornacek.
Jackson seemed a bit trigger-happy with the Maurice Ndour signing, a move that would have made more sense a year ago. And he left fans scratching their heads at the Lou Amundson deal that absorbed New York’s 15th and final guaranteed roster spot.
Now, the Knicks are loaded — or log-jammed — in the front court. And with Rose absent all but one preseason game, the team’s October play could be indicative of regular season misfortune.
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Both Rose and Jennings have well-documented injury histories, and Vujacic has run amok as B.J.’s preseason back-up.
Anthony told reporters health is not a concern because “everybody is healthy.”
“Everybody came into camp knowing that they were healthy,” he said after Saturday’s loss to Boston. “Nobody came into came into camp saying, ‘we can’t do this’ or ‘we can’t do that ’cause we’re hurt, or we’re gonna get hurt.’ I don’t think nobody is thinking about injuries at this point.”
But Murphy’s Law has had its way with the New York franchise, and if the things that can go wrong indeed do go wrong, a third point guard is a necessity.
Enter Randle, Baker and you, assuming the role of Knicks president of basketball operations effective immediately.
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