The New York Knicks are reportedly expected to sign Chasson Randle to the main roster once he’s healthy. Here are five reasons the Knicks should do so.
Article continues below ...
Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Chasson Randle (4) drives to the net between Brooklyn Nets forward Chris McCullough (1) and Brooklyn Nets forward Justin Hamilton (41) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks have gotten off to a rather underwhelming start to the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Having dropped two winnable games and a pair of blowouts, New York currently sits at 2-4 through six outings.
With many questioning the short-term potential of the second unit, rumors have begun to surface that Summer League standout Chasson Randle could soon be joining the Knicks.
Randle made waves by averaging 18.3 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.0 steals for the Knicks at the 2016 Orlando Summer League. He followed with a strong showing in the preseason, including a 14-point game, before suffering a broken left orbital bone in practice.
Point guard Chasson Randle (fractured orbital bone), who is not on the 15-man roster, is starting his rehab stint with the Westchester Knicks at training camp and is expected to be signed when he’s back in shape.
That move could go a long way towards helping the Knicks solidify the second unit.
Randle, 24, has become something of a folk hero amongst Knicks fans. New York has missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons and Randle has been one of the few players who has provided the rabid supporters with a reason for optimism—no matter the stage.
Though nothing is imminent or guaranteed, the Knicks should bring Randle back up to the main roster once he’s fully recovered from his injury.
Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
5. He Has Support
Chasson Randle isn’t just a Summer League standout whom New York Knicks fans have taken a liking to. Randle has the support of many within the organization, including two of the most significant members of the team.
One of the two individuals who has publicly voiced his support of Randle is franchise player Carmelo Anthony.
Carmelo on Chasson Randle: "I love him. I love. I just love his poise out there, the way he controls the game, controls the basketball."
It’s not just who’s saying this about Randle, but what they’re saying that matters.
Anthony and the starting lineup have fared well, but the Knicks need something more from the second unit. Having a guard who can complement Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings would be ideal, but adding a playmaker who has chemistry with the star would be even more beneficial.
Chasson, he’s done a great job for us. We hope all these guys get other jobs and other teams pick them up, but our hope is if he doesn’t go to another team he stays with our organization.
There aren’t many votes of confidence more significant than those by the star player and the head coach.
Anthony and Hornacek are on the same page about Randle being a valuable long-term member of the organization. Team president Phil Jackson may or may not agree, but the coach and the star are on the same page.
Adding Randle wouldn’t just help the back end of the rotation; it would give Hornacek a well-liked and supported player to give minutes and groom for the future.
Oct 10, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Chasson Randle (4) shoots the ball in front of Washington Wizards guard Daniel House (4) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won 90-88. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
4. Scoring Instincts
The New York Knicks have begun to do what Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson promised: balance the offense. The triangle is still a powerful word and factor, but it’s far from the primary source of offense in New York.
If there’s one area in which the Knicks’ offense continues to struggle, it’s in generating offense without the starters on the floor.
Chasson Randle is much more than a scorer, but it’s his ability to put points on the board that’s made him such a noteworthy individual. He’s an efficient 3-point shooter, a strong ball-handler, and a creative finisher at the rim.
The proof of Randle’s scoring instincts can be found in the fact that he’s the leading scorer in Stanford Cardinal history.
Randle made 304 3-point field goals on 38.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc during his four-year college career. He went off at Summer League with an average of 18.3 points and put up 14 points against the Brooklyn Nets this preseason.
The Knicks need shooters and penetrators like Randle who can consistently create offense for the second unit. Why not give him a chance to do so?
Mar 7, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard T.J. McConnell (4) dribbles the ball as he is defended by Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) during the first half at McKale Center. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
3. Defensive Potential
Chasson Randle is the type of player who’s ready and willing to do whatever it is that his team asks of him. He’s calm, cool, and collected under pressure and has a team-first mentality that’s endeared him to his former—and future?—New York Knicks teammates.
That mentality plays a defining role in what make Randle such an intriguing player: he has the potential to play at an exceptional level defensively.
Randle stands at 6’2″ and a muscular 180 pounds with an impressive 6’7″ wingspan. His strength and length enable him to keep slashing guards in front of him, as well as shooters within arm’s reach for a quality shot contest.
Considering the Knicks currently rank dead last in points allowed per 100 possessions, it stands to reason that New York needs all the defensive help it can get.
Beyond the physical tools is the fact that Randle has active hands and a willingness to defend. If he’s assigned by Jeff Hornacek to be one of the Knicks’ top defenders, then he has the physical gifts and mental fortitude to become exactly that.
Randle isn’t exactly an elite defensive player, but he has the tools to be a Patrick Beverley-like player on that end of the floor.
Oct 10, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Chasson Randle (4) dribbles the ball past Washington Wizards forward/center Johnny O’Bryant III (7) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won 90-88. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
2. Playmaking Ability
The New York Knicks have either been outstanding or close to dreadful at creating ball movement. The proof is in the fact that New York has jumped out to a record of 2-0 when it reaches 20 assists and is 0-4 when it fails to.
Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose have stepped up as facilitators, but the Knicks need another player who can create offense for their teammates—a role Chasson Randle can fill.
Randle isn’t exactly Rajon Rondo as a facilitator, but he spent parts of his college career playing in the triangle offense. He understands how to play with and without the ball, and does an outstanding job of getting it out quickly instead of allowing the opposing defense to reset.
Coupled with his athleticism and smooth stroke from beyond the arc, Randle has the tools to help Hornacek run his motion offense.
Beyond the ability to keep the ball moving is Randle’s proficiency in setting up teammates directly. He excels as a drive-and-dish facilitator, can push the pace as a playmaker in transition, and does an excellent job of identifying passing lanes when the opposition rotates.
The Knicks need to do a better job of creating ball movement and efficient scoring opportunities. Randle can help.
Oct 8, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings (3) drives to the basket defended by Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
1. Second Unit Woes
The New York Knicks have been able to rely upon the starting lineup for quality minutes in 2016-17. Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah are still developing chemistry, but the early results have been promising.
The second unit hasn’t been quite as reliable for New York, which is why giving Chasson Randle a main roster opportunity would be wise.
Brandon Jennings is locked in as the sixth man and backup point guard, and Justin Holiday is beginning to establish himself as an energy guy. Randle would be the perfect complement to that duo if Jeff Hornacek attempts to combat or take part in the small-ball revolution.
Jennings and Randle are quality ball-handlers, facilitators, and shooters, and the same can be said about Holiday from the wings.
Defensively, Holiday, Jennings, and Randle may not lock players down, but they could blitz teams and create turnovers. Randle has a 6’7″ wingspan, while Holiday’s was last measured at 7’0″ and Jennings has been known to rack up steals.
With that trio playing the passing lanes and taking gambles defensively, New York’s second unit could find its niche as an up-tempo group that keeps the opposition on its heels.