Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
It has been a quiet summer for the New York Knicks since the Summer League ended, but on Friday they made their first roster move since signing Cole Aldrich during the Summer League. That move was signing one of their second round picks, Cleanthony Early, the 34th pick in the draft.
The forward out of Wichita State agreed to a contract with the team Friday, and will be on the roster this coming season. He will be a good asset to the team, giving Carmelo Anthony a legitimate backup for the first time since he has come over to the team.
Early’s presence on the team could give Anthony a chance to get rest during games after playing a career-high 38.7 minutes per game in 2013-2014. With Early now in the fold, the Knicks should be pretty set at the small forward position. In addition to Anthony, the Knicks can also squeeze some minutes out of the trio of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. in a pinch.
Early is expected to make the league minimum of $507,000 because he fell out of the first round and the Knicks have no cap space. He has the potential to be the next in a list of second round picks that have become bargains for their NBA team playing on smaller contracts the first couple of seasons in their careers.