Now, sadly, they’ve shrank that number down to a mere four — waiving James Young, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Skal Labissiere over the last week.
They have kept Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox and Nerlens Noel, all of which will more than likely crack the team’s 15-man roster.
As for the waived Cats, there’s no telling where they’ll end up, but Kidd-Gilchrist, the last one to be waived, should eventually find a new home this season.
A former top-three pick, Kidd-Gilchrist has shown flashes of being an elite defender. He most-recently played solid minutes with the playoff-making Dallas Mavericks. The 6-foot-6 forward, at his best, averaged 10.9 points per game.
Skal Labissiere also has a very good chance to make another roster as well. He’s a mere 24, and his game is still developing.
At 6-10, Labissiere offers good upside as a defender and scorer. In his stint with the Portland Trail Blazers last season, Labissiere averaged 12.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes.
James Young is another case. He certainly could’ve used another season or two in Lexington. A former first-round pick in his own right, Young played a few seasons with the Celtics, never seeing time in more than 35 games.
He’s still young and has room to grow as a player, but the lefty hasn’t shown the elite scoring that many hoped he could have.
That said, all three first-round picks should continue to play in the league or G-League but not with the Knicks. Who knows — maybe they were saved from spending more time with a franchise that hasn’t seen the postseason since the 2012-2013 season.