The New York Knicks have signed former Philadelphia 76ers man Tony Wroten to a three-year deal.
The 22-year-old was waived by the bottom franchise in the league on Christmas Eve of 2015 after tentatively returning to action following ACL surgery.
Rajon Rondo's initial dip in form following his similar knee problems may be cause for concern amongst the Knicks faithful, but now that the former Celtics point leads the league in assists, it's a good indication that Wroten can return to full potential.
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Franchise player Carmelo Anthony has been talking about Rondo recently and the Knicks need for a star at the point as free agency looms in the summer. Wroten will hope he can answer that plea after flashes of talent during his tenures with Memphis Grizzlies and the 76ers.
The 25th pick in the 2012 draft has definitely got some upside to explore. Prior to his knee injury in the 2014-15 campaign, Wroten averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 assists a game for the third worst franchise in the NBA.
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He'll likely provide competition, if not backup, for Jose Calderon and rookie Jerian Grant. However, there's nothing to suggest that Wroten won't usurp the pair and establish himself in the Knicks lineup, especially given their fortunes this season.
Grant, for instance, is actually one-year older than Wroten despite only playing in his first NBA season as opposed to the new recruit's fourth.
Despite a last second winner against the L.A Lakers, 34-year-old Calderon isn't posting remarkable numbers either. This term the Spaniard has posted averages of 7.7 points and 3.9 assists a night. Wroten put up over double the points last season and even managed 8.4 a pop in his eight appearances this year.
The Knicks have done a bit of prudent, low-risk business in acquiring the Washington-born youngster. Tieing him down to a relatively small salary for two years, with the second season carrying a team option or a partial guarantee, gives the Knicks the a chance to put a stop to the deal if things don't progress how they'd like.
Although it's unlikely Wroten will feature again this term as he continues to rehab his knee and the Knicks have virtually nothing to play for, he should return to fitness in time for the Summer League.
That's where Wroten will likely establish himself in front of the Knicks front office ahead of next season and most importantly, prove his fitness.
Whilst it's not certain how a penetrating point guard who slashes to generate openings like Wroten could fit in the fabled triangle offence of Phil Jackson, interim Knicks coach Kurt Rambis has dissected the arrivals potential value.
“If he’s not healthy to play, we can evaluate him over summer,” Rambis said. “We see potential in him. Now we have his rights. He’s a penetrating guard. He was somebody who can really break down defenses and attack the basket, but I haven’t seen him play in a while.
“A lot of management reasons to do something like that that still holds value to the team, even if he’s not actively playing the rest of the year. It’s a management and medical decision right now.”
Can Wroten be the piece in the jigsaw that enables Kristaps Porzingis and Anthony to put the Knicks back in playoff contention?