Kenny Wooten comes across for the STRONG DENIAL! #NBASummer
📺: ESPN pic.twitter.com/Kg7JVIkazF
— NBA (@NBA) July 8, 2019
After tearing a ligament in his thumb, it appears as if Kenny Wooten’s New York Knicks debut will have to wait.
The post-All-Star break is always a strange time for the New York Knicks. The head coach, whoever that may be at the time, is forced to decide whether to play the youth or stick with the veterans. Unfortunately, two-way player Kenny Wooten likely won’t factor into that debate this year.
Kenny Wooten will be out a minimum of six weeks, Knicks say https://t.co/t9Y7VDQm3g
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) February 25, 2020
There are about seven weeks left in the season and Wooten will miss at least the next six weeks after undergoing surgery on his thumb. That’s a brutal development considering Wooten’s strong showing with the Westchester Knicks this season.
The Oregon product was signed to a two-way contract midway through the season after lighting it up in Westchester. The 6-foot-8 center might be a little undersized for the position, but he makes up for that with his jaw-dropping athleticism.
In 27 games in Westchester, Wooten is averaging 7.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and a ridiculous 3.6 blocks per game. Even if his per-game averages don’t necessarily jump off the page, Wooten’s high-flying antics will.
He’s a dynamic lob threat on offense while dominating as a rim protector on the other end. Forgive Knicks fans for imagining a center rotation that includes Mitchell Robinson as the starter and Wooten as his backup.
Unfortunately, the G League sensation has yet to make his NBA debut. New York preferred to let him play major minutes in Westchester and there was no indication that they planned to bring him up for a stint with the NBA squad. This injury all but assures that Wooten’s debut in The Association will have to wait until the 2020-21 season.
The athletic center will be a free agent at the end of the season. Expect the Knicks to try and bring him back in some capacity next year. Whether that’s on another two-way deal or on a regular NBA contract remains to be seen.