Jeremy Tyler was a shoe-in to make the New York Knicks roster, and then he wasn't. Tyler was one of five players waived to bring the roster down to 15 players. Tyler wasn't let go because he lacks skills or because the Knicks changed their minds on his future projection. He was let go because his surgically repaired foot is not yet 100 percent. However, the Knicks still want to keep a close eye on Tyler and his rehab. That's left the New York franchise attempting to acquire Tyler's NBA D-League rights from the Golden State Warriors.
The New York Knicks view Jeremy Tyler as a prototypical NBA power forward with the skills to play well on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. That didn't change just because he needed foot surgery that cost him a chance to prove his worth during training camp and pre-season play. They just feel he needs more time to heal. As such, he'll continue his rehab in the NBA D-League. The problem is, the Knicks don't own Tyler's D-League rights. That's something they plan to change.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the Knicks hope to bring Tyler back into the fold once he's healthy but would prefer to have him rehab in their facilities.
The 6-foot-10 Tyler, who had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot in early September, is not expected to be able to play until December. The Knicks are hoping when he gets healthy, the Las Vegas summer-league sensation can play for the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, Erie, then possibly be re-signed if his foot hasn’t hampered him.
But Tyler’s rights are owned by the Warriors’ affiliate, Santa Cruz. The Knicks and Warriors have to work out a deal to transfer Tyler’s rights. If they don’t, Tyler cannot continue to rehab with the Knicks and would have to play in Santa Cruz if he signs a D-League deal.
The Knicks can still re-sign Tyler in December if he’s playing for Santa Cruz, but they prefer to keep tabs on him closer to home and in their D-League system. Tyler has already made $200,000 from the Knicks because his deal was partially guaranteed.
The final three roster spots went to Toure Murry, Cole Aldrich and Chris Smith. Murry is a young and worthy guard with promise for the future. The Knicks were very wise to have kept him around despite their guard depth.
Aldrich has promise as well but the big man has been nothing but a bust since becoming a lottery pick. Despite being outplayed by Ike Diogu and Josh Powell, Aldrich was kept because of his size, position and potential. However, if he does not play well there's no reason why he can't be let go and replaced. If you don't agree you could always go be a Nets fan.
Smith is very expendable. Basically the only thing he does well is defend and even on that side of the court he isn't anything special. He's basically on the Knicks payroll because his brother J.R. is one of the Knicks favorite employees. Chris will spend most of his time with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League.
That being said, he can easily be cut in the future to make room for Tyler if the Knicks decide to bring Tyler back. It's clear that Smith's unemployment wouldn't last long as the Knicks would definitely sign him to a contract with Erie. After all, we can't have J.R. Smith's little brother unemployed.
Now the Knicks need to see if they can work out a deal for Tyler's D-League rights. If they can do that, Tyler will be allowed to continue his rehab in the Knicks' facilities and under their watch. That could allow them to make sure he heals correctly, continues to learn under their system and it would give them inside knowledge as to when he's ready to join the main roster. After all, D-League players can be signed to any NBA roster at any time. Having his rights would give the Knicks an edge to retaining his services.
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