The preseason and summer league came with some intriguing prospects for the New York Knicks. Jeremy Tyler, an undersized yet active on the glass center, Ike Diogu, an offensive oriented power forward with great hustle, and Toure’ Murry, a combo guard with a good handle, court vision, and defense all seemed like excellent options.
You’re asking who the Knicks decided to keep; who would, with a little time and effort, become a bright future. Today, Steve Mills and James Dolan answered that question for you: Toure’ Murry, Cole Aldrich, and none other than Chris Smith.
Keeping Murry on the roster was undoubtedly the right decision. Aldrich has good size and rebounding instincts, so retaining him wasn’t a bad move. But Chris Smith, who just happens to be J.R. Smith’s brother, is not by any measure an NBA player. The only redeeming aspect of his game is his defense and hustle, but his offensive game is unbearable to watch. Remember that kid on your travel team who was really terrible but he got insane amounts of playing time because he was the coach’s son? Or he had connections? That’s Chris Smith.
Murry and Aldrich aren’t bad players. Murry was easily the most impressive throughout the games he’s played for the blue and orange. His combination of size (6’5”), perimeter defense and hustle, excellent handle, and court vision make him a player that you just can’t pass up on. Aldrich, at seven feet tall, has good court instincts and can get things done in the paint. With Jeremy Tyler out with a foot injury, bringing him in was probably the right decision.
But honestly, Knicks, where are we going with Chris Smith? He’s undersized for a point guard, doesn’t have good court vision, and can’t shoot for his life. He has a jumpshot uglier than Shawn Marion’s. (Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.) It’s clear that the only reason he didn’t get cut is because his brother just happens to be a key player known as J.R. Smith. But is it really worth pleasing J.R? Is it worth having one of the worst players in the NBA representing New York in that orange and blue? No one should have this kind of influence.
All we should hope as Knicks fans is that Dolan and Mills get some sense knocked into them and waive him in favor of another big man. Once Tyler’s healthy, he could jump right back into the picture for our squad. Chris Smith needs to be the one booted out of that picture.
In a week’s time the Knicks will be taking the floor at Madison Square Garden, and Toure’ Murry, along with Tim Hardaway Jr, should be the unseasoned player in the spotlight. Murry will be the one proving to everyone - analysts, fans, fellow teammates - why he deserves to play in the NBA, all under the bright lights of the world’s most famous arena.