The New York Knicks didn’t anticipate landing Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, but luckily, the Canadian fell right into their lap. His offensive traits and motor give him the ability to contribute this upcoming season, but he will likely have to battle it out with veteran, Damyean Dotson.
The third-year player has the three-point capabilities and defensive skills to warrant a roster spot, which would ultimately send Ignas to the G-League in Westchester. Playing well in garbage minutes last year helped earn him more impactful playing time, but Ignas seems to have more potential after just one season with the Wolverines.
At just 21-years-old, the Knicks might elect to put Ignas in their developmental system to further refine his traits. However, I feel as though he’s a better option coming off the bench as a rotational player that can put points on the board and utilize his tenacity to ‘annoy’ opponents.
Which New York Knicks player deserves the roster spot?
Comparing Dotson and Brazdeikis is difficult, as both are capable three-point shooters with average defense. The primary difference is NBA experience, with Dotson getting the nod in that category.
Both players will have the opportunity to prove their worth this preseason — training camp starts in just a few weeks. Realistically, the Knicks might look to trade Dotson later on in the season if he’s playing well and has value on the open market. The veteran might deserve a roster spot, but the Knicks haven’t don’t ample slots to play around with and test different options. A cluttered roster now filled with veteran signings will force head coach David Fizdale to make several difficult decisions, and the one between Brazdeikis/Doston could be one of them.
In a season where the Knicks aren’t expected to contend, maybe it’s better to give the roster spot to a young player with promise.