For the second time in three years, Patrick Ewing Jr.'s dreams of following in his father's footsteps were dashed as the final cut. The Knicks placed the Hall of Fame legacy on waivers today, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Knicks are expected to officially announce it this evening.
It's tough news for Ewing Jr., one of the best personalities you'll ever meet at this level of basketball. He didn't have a great camp, however, and it seems he did not do enough to stand out. Donnie Walsh said he brought in the 6-8 Ewing Jr. because of his ability to defend big guards and also for his athleticism and rebounding potential.
Ewing Jr.'s departure means that the comeback of former first round pick Shawne Williams will continue. We did a story about Williams in Saturday's editions of Newsday, in which the 24-year-old said he put his troubled past behind him. Williams, it needs to be noted, is represented by Happy Walters, who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire.
Williams, who, at 6-9, has a good shooting touch and terrific range and makes smart decisions with the ball, also had a great line that didn't make the story but is worth sharing here, especially in light of his success of making the team as a training camp invitee. Williams will make the fourth-year minimum salary of $885,120, which won't be fully guaranteed until Jan. 5.
"I've followed D'Antoni's system for a long time," he said, "I seen this system has gotten a lot of people paid."
Add one more.
With the roster set, here is my prediction for a 9-man rotation:
PG Felton SG Douglas SF Gallinari PF Stoudemire C Mozgov
G/F Chandler F/C Turiaf G/F Walker G Fields
You'll notice I did not include Anthony Randolph. My reasoning is I don't think he's ready to contribute positive minutes for a team that desperately needs to get into a flow and get off to a strong start. You need to play the guys who are ready. Randolph can eventually work his way into regular minutes (he'll play some if D'Antoni needs a big because of foul trouble or if he opens it up to a 10-man rotation) as the season goes on.
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Meanwhile, the Knicks also got to some other business today when they picked up the 2011-12 options on three players in their rookie contracts. The fourth-year options were picked up for Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Randolph and the third-year option was picked up for Toney Douglas. All three had to be done by Nov. 1 or the players would become restricted free agents next summer.