New York Knicks: Time To Call Chasson Randle Up From NBA D-League?
The New York Knicks are facing adversity at the point guard position. Is it time for the Knicks to call Chasson Randle up from the NBA D-League?
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 hotter start than most expected them to. With 10 new players and a new head coach, the Knicks were in line for a disastrous start to the 2016-17 NBA regular season.
Unfortunately, the loss of starting point guard Derrick Rose has beckoned a critical question: is it time for Chasson Randle to be called up to the main roster?
Rose has been a pleasant surprise for the Knicks during the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Through 25 games, he’s made 23 appearances and has recorded averages of 16.4 points, 4.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 0.7 steals per game.
He’s done so on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and a remarkably efficient mark of 83.8 percent from the charity stripe.
Unfortunately, Rose has already missed two games and could miss even more time with what’s becoming a recurring back injury.
Rose left the Knicks’ December 6 game against the Miami Heat with back spasms. He proceeded to miss games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings on December 7 and December 9.
Rose rebounded with an explosive 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, December 11.
Unfortunately, Rose’s back spasms returned on Tuesday, December 13—just one week after his back first became an issue.
It stands to reason that Rose could push through this issue and play a high number of games during the 2016-17 NBA regular season. The fact that injuries are already becoming an issue, however, is a sign that depth is vital and necessary.
The obvious question is: can the Knicks find the necessary depth with a player who’s currently on the roster?
Brandon Jennings is the sixth man and backup point guard, and he’s more than capable of filling in as a starter. The issue with Jennings becoming the starter in Rose’s place, however, is that there isn’t a third point guard on the roster.
That leaves rookie combo guard Ron Baker and veteran shooting guard Sasha Vujacic to handle the duties of being the third point guard on the roster.
Baker has upside, but he’s been struggling to find playing time and produce at a consistent level. Vujacic, meanwhile, is a skilled player who can create for others, but he’s also an underwhelming athlete who’s often limited to less than 20 minutes of efficient basketball.
That opens the door for Westchester Knicks standout Chasson Randle to be called up to the main roster and make his mark off the bench.
Through 10 appearances in Westchester, Randle has recorded averages of 19.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.6 3-point field goals made per game. He’s played big minutes and appears to be healthy after enduring an orbital bone fracture during the 2016 preseason.
That includes Randle’s explosive 28-point performance against the Greensboro Swarm and the 24 points he posted in a one-point win over the Santa Cruz Warriors.
This follows what were explosive, productive, and efficient showings at Summer League and during the preseason. His signature performance was a 14-point and three-steal showing in 21 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets.
Though Baker has the upside and character to make him deserving of a main roster spot, it was Randle who was expected to make the cut before his injury.
Randle is now working to move up from the NBA D-League to the main roster.
Randle has triangle offense experience, defensive tenacity, an efficient outside shot, and a willingness to facilitate. He’s a relatively explosive athlete who can play above the rim and create penetration.
As New York faces the reality that a third point guard has yet to surface, bringing Randle up to the main roster should be considered a realistic option.
The Knicks could follow a different route to success, but Randle is playing well and would fill a glaring void.
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