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Knicks like Kenny Wooten's talent as he joins on two-way contract

Knicks forward Kenny Wooten #45 participates in a

Knicks forward Kenny Wooten #45 participates in a drill during training camp at the MSG Training Facility in Greenburgh on Oct 3, 2019. Credit: Daniel De Mato

MILWAUKEE — Kenny Wooten has had enough highlight plays that he has made his way into ESPN’s Top 10 plays. And now he might be able to do it for the Knicks.

The high-jumping power forward signed a two-way contract with the Knicks Tuesday, taking the roster spot vacated when the team waived Ivan Rabb from his two-way contract a day earlier. The contract includes a two-way deal for next season, too. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Wooten will have a total of 42 days of service: 24 days from now until March 28 and 18 days after that when the G League season ends.

Wooten was averaging 7.7 points and 5.9 rebounds for Westchester and was ranked second in the G League with 3.43 blocked shots per game.

“I’ve seen some of it. He’s had some crazy blocks,” said Mitchell Robinson, who grew close with Wooten in Summer League and training camp. “Very excited. He put in the work and time. He deserves what he got. I’m very proud of him. He jumps higher than me actually. Yeah, he can jump a little higher than me. We play alike, both athletic, block shots. We do a lot of things the same. It’s good to have him around.”

Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said he brings, “Just the athleticism and the energy and the force that he plays with. He has all of those physical tools. He’s jumped so far. From summer league to training camp he’s really improved...He’s really seeing things. He’s really learning the game. That’s what he needs to do. He has those physical tools and now he needs the experience. Derrick Alston and the staff are doing a great job coaching him and bringing him along. Because I’m seeing him, he’s better every time we see him.

He was not with the team in Milwaukee and a plan will be set up this week for his use going forward.

“I’m sure we’ll sit down tomorrow when we get back and take a look at where he fits into it,” Miller said. “I think the best thing about that right now is he’s off to a great start. We had a chance, in summer league we coached Kenny. Had him through the fall and training camp. I spent a lot of time around him as the players have.

“He’s doing very well with the G League team. He’s getting what he needs. He’s getting game experience every day. He’s learning the pro game. So I think he’s on a very good track right now. I’m sure we’ll sit down tomorrow and talk about a short-term and long-term plan for what we’re going to do with him.”

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