That means Ron Baker, who joined the Knicks on a partially guaranteed deal, along with forward Maurice Ndour and big man Marshall Plumlee have made the team’s final 15-man roster heading into the Oct. 25 season opener at Cleveland.
New York’s need for a third point guard was highlighted while Derrick Rose missed five preseason games handling a civil rape case in California. Baker’s survival addresses that.
The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 7.0 points and 2.4 assists through his last five preseason games, including a 12-point, five-assist outing against Boston. Hornacek labeled Baker a guy who does the things other players don’t do to win ball games.
“He’s got the strength to play in the NBA. He gets knocked around but he also knocks guys around,” he said of Baker after the team’s open practice. “He’s able to fight through screens. He’s pretty calm out there, it doesn’t look like anything rattles him. He’s just a solid guy. He’s got long arms, he’s got the strength, he knows how to play.”
“He’s does a lot of things in the offense that not many of our guys do. And they’re basically reads that are setting up other guys. So Ron, again, is one of these young players who has no fear when he gets out there.”
Hornacek also said guys who can play more than one position had better odds of making the team, which is likely why combo forward Ndour held on despite an underwhelming preseason performance.
Despite glowing reviews from both the coach and Carmelo Anthony, Randle had been sidelined with a left orbital fracture in practice and was kept out of the team’s final two preseason games. He was expected to miss two-to-four weeks nursing his injury.
Randle scored 14 points and notched three steals in a win against Brooklyn and had been neck-and-neck with Baker until the injury.
Tokoto had been considered a longshot to make the Knicks roster.
New York also waived forwards Cleanthony Early and Damien Inglis.
Kristian Winfield covers the New York Knicks for Elite Sports NY. You can start the conversation on Twitter @Krisplashed.