New York Knicks veteran signings Julius Randle and Marcus Morris have plastered the headlines for the past few weeks, but some of the more underrated options have fallen through the cracks.
Veteran three-point specialist, Wayne Ellington, could receive consideration as a potential starter during the 2019-20 season. The likelihood that Ellington earns starting minutes is unlikely, though, considering the drafting of rookie RJ Barrett and the elevation of sophomore power forward, Kevin Knox.
The starting lineup could look something like this, Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr., Marcus Morris, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle. However, Ellington might play a similar role to second-year man, Allonzo Trier. Both are unique scorers that serve a specific purpose and will make their impact when called upon by head coach David Fizdale.
The New York Knicks needed a boost in this area:
Last season, the Knicks were 27th in three-point shooting at 34%. The spacing on the floor was inadequate, and the Knicks weren’t able to score efficiently without consistent shooters from beyond the arc.
Ellington gives them that advantage and will play a unique role in expanding the space between players and allowing better passing and ball movement. Without space on the court, the defense will lack, and there will be less driving lanes for the power forwards to exploit.
Ellington is a career 37.9% three-point shooter. Throughout the last four seasons, Ellington has connected on average 2.5-3 three-pointers per game. In 2018, the Knicks averaged only 10 per game. Having more threats from the perimeter with veteran experience and knowledge will help the team grow as a unit. It will benefit the aggressive players that attack the rim, and it will help them on defense.
At 31 years old, Wayne has the veteran leadership accolade and can help the flow of the game for the younger players while on the floor. He has experience in the playoffs and playing with quality teams; something needed after last season’s 17-win debacle.
While the idea of Ellington starting might go against the preferences of most fans and analysts, he could provide more value in terms of spacing and perimeter shooting then options like Barrett or Knox. However, I highly doubt Coach Fizdale takes this route.