Knicks bring back young guard with upside on new contract

Duane Washington Jr., New York Knicks
Jan 21, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers guard Chris Duarte (3) in the first half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In recent weeks, the New York Knicks have honed their focus on minor transactions. These include the signing of a few two-way contracts and figuring out a long-term extension for Josh Hart following the acceptance of his player option to maintain a low salary.

New York Knicks: Small Moves and a Renewed Contract

The Knicks’ front office’s latest move is the re-signing of young guard Duane Washington Jr. After initially letting him go, the Knicks decided to bring Washington back, primarily to serve as a camp body once the season commences.

Washington’s NBA Journey

Washington played in 31 games for the Phoenix Suns last year, averaging 7.9 points, 1.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and a .367 shooting percentage from the field. Impressively, his hit rate from the three-point line was .360.

At just 23 years old, Washington exhibits considerable upside. His NBA career includes 79 games with an average of 17.2 minutes per game. Particularly noteworthy is his .371 hit rate from the three-point range, averaging 4.1 attempts per game. This decent clip is something the Knicks might find beneficial.

Position Battles on the Horizon

By offering Washington a cost-effective contract and giving him the opportunity to fight for his spot on the roster, the Knicks are instigating some intriguing position battles. Washington’s experience as both a point guard and a shooting guard in the NBA grants him an element of versatility. However, with an abundance of guards entering training camp, the Knicks will need to scrutinize the roster to identify players who can contribute effectively to the 2023–24 season.

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