Wayne Selden completes Knicks opening night roster

wayne selden, knicks

NBA veteran Wayne Selden Jr. made the final cut for the New York Knicks‘ opening night roster.

Selden, a 6-foot-5 wing out of Kansas Jayhawks, will be playing for his fourth NBA team after going undrafted in 2016. He holds career averages of 7.3 points on a 42/34/72 shooting split, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists over 19.1 minutes in 124 career games, including 27 starts, with New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. His best year in the league came in the 2017-18 season when he put up 9.3 points and 1.9 assists (both career-highs) in 35 games, with the Grizzlies highlighted by a career-high 31 points in a 111-104 loss to his former team New Orleans Pelicans.

For the final roster spot, Selden beat Dwayne Bacon, Brandon Knight, Brandon Goodwin, Aamir Simms, M.J. Walker, and Myles Powell. All waived players will likely see action for the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate team.

Knicks Tom Thibodeau had been hinting at Selden making the final cut throughout the training camp. Thibodeau raved about him even when reporters were asking about other players.

Signed to a training camp deal in August after playing for the Knicks Summer League team, Selden caught Thibodeau’s eye for his professional approach even when his spot and minutes are not guaranteed.

“Well, he’d been here all summer and been here in the fall and then training camp and just [brings] a lot of the intangibles,” Thibodeau said after Sunday’s practice.

“[Wayne] got experience. He’s played in the league and he’s a great practice player. That’s what we’re looking for — someone who could move the group forward. He’s been terrific in practice and we felt like it’s another wing and it’s a wing-driven league.”

Selden averaged 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists over 16.4 minutes in the NBA Summer League but never saw action during the Knicks’ undefeated run in the preseason. And that will likely continue unless the Knicks’ wings get hit by an injury bug.

While Selden figures to be an end-of-the-bench player for the Knicks, Thibodeau raved about his professional approach to work. He was impressed most with Selden’s work capacity, concentration, and ability to fill in when necessary.

“He will do anything that you ask him to do. Basically, his practices are his games,” Thibodeau said, “and so when you have guys like that, it helps everyone move forward and brings the best out of his teammates. So that’s important to us.”

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