After 58 games with the New York Knicks, guard Brandon Jennings has reportedly been waived.
The news was broken by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and Woj reported that the Knicks would be making room for Chasson Randle, who’s going to sign a partially guaranteed deal.
Jennings, who’s in his first full season since rupturing his Achilles two years ago, was acting as New York’s sixth man. The 27-year-old spark plug was averaging 8.6 points and 4.9 assists in 24.6 minutes as Derrick Rose‘s backup. He was utilized as an energy guy more than anything else, and he made the occasional dazzling play to bring life back to the struggling Knicks.
Unfortunately, Jennings’ wild style of play is complemented by inconsistency, and the former lottery pick is shooting under 40 percent from the field for the sixth time in his career — 41.5 percent from two and 34 from three. Add that with less-than-stellar contributions on defense, and he’s done more harm to the Knicks than good. Or has he?
Their offense may be worse with him running it, but New York is incredible dysfunctional on that end of the court. On defense, where the team has been terrible all year, Jennings is a pesky defender who consistently puts pressure on opposing ball handlers. The only problem with that is their weak side help.
Since the Knicks have weak team defense, opponents have easy looks below the free throw line if they beat Jennings off the dribble.
Jennings is likely to be a hot commodity on the waiver wire. He can help a handful of teams down the stretch of the season because when he gets hot from the perimeter, he’s a legitimate threat. However, the team signing him needs to have other options that they can rely on when Jennings gets cold.
New York’s newest guard is coming along for his second stint with the team after splitting time with the Philadelphia 76ers and Westchester Knicks. Randle’s first go-around came during the Orlando Summer League, where he was one of the best players out there. In three games, he lit up defenses to the tune of 18.3 points and 5.0 assists, and he shot 11-of-20 from three over that span.
The volume continued in the D-League, and Randle was averaging 20.4 points a night with Westchester. His only issue was decision-making and efficiency, and that’s not something you want from your point guard. Randle shot 42 percent from the field and had more turnovers than assists (72-69).
Being a young player, the Knicks can hopefully ween him off of those bad habits, and it’s something that’ll be necessary if they see Randle as their long-term floor general.
As the regular season clocks ticks, New York is 24-35 and four games out of the eighth seed. Jennings was someone who they attempted to move at the deadline, but no one bit. And maybe the organization thinks he’s no longer helpful to their team. All that remains to be seen is if it’s a case of too little, too late.
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