By Max Marcilla
Tim Hardaway Jr.: After being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Hardaway Jr. has high expectations set by many Knicks fans. Before the Knicks re-signed J.R. Smith to a multi-year extension, many thought he could replace Smith as a sixth man scorer. Now that Smith is inked in as a Knick for at least three years, Hardaway Jr. will not be a replacement to Smith, but he will still have a big role. After averaging 15 points per game on the second best team in the nation, the Michigan Wolverines, Hardaway Jr. will need to prove he can be a consistent scoring option. As the Knicks saw in the playoffs, when either Smith or Carmelo Anthony struggle (or in that case, both) it is near impossible to score points. Hopefully for the Knicks, Hardaway Jr. can help his team contest in the games where Smith and/or Anthony struggle.
C.J Leslie: The undrafted free agent out of North Carolina State is already being talked about as a player that should make the team. Leslie could be a forward that can help the Knicks get bigger, which would’ve helped them last year against Indiana in the playoffs. Leslie is a good rebounder (he averaged 7 per game at NC State last year) and is a good defender. But, he isn’t a great scorer. Even though he scored 15 points per game last year, he doesn’t have an inside game like a power forward should, or a consistent jump shot like a small forward should.
Tony Mitchell: Mitchell is one of four players on the roster that played in the NBA D-League last season. He is a forward that can do a little bit of everything, Mitchell shined last year in the D-League. T- Mitch put up ridiculous numbers, averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game in the regular season. Tony can bring rebounding and scoring to a team that needs a good scoring big man. Since Tyson Chandler hasn’t proven to be a scoring threat and Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t shown he can stay healthy, Mitchell could be the answer to some problems at the small forward.