NBA Summer League isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about player development. With that said, a big reason why the Knicks were blown out by the Pistons 103-78 in game two of Orlando Summer League competition is because one player in particular isn’t developing to be what this team needs.
Chasson Randle struggled for the second straight game on Sunday, this time even more so than he did in the opener. The 24 year old shot 5 of 17, missing all seven of his attempts from two-point range and also committed six fouls and three turnovers. He’s proven himself unable to run the floor and guide an offense. What’s more, his ability to effectively attack the basket has really been non-existent. Randle’s had a tough time, weakly going at opposing defenders who are much further from gracing the NBA stage than he currently is. That’s at least the way it would appear on paper.
The Knicks hold a team option on Randle’s contract for next season. If they decide they’ve seen enough, they could waive him much like they did Maurice Ndour before Summer League began. If more time is needed, the team may decide to carry him through training camp. They could still subsequently waive him following preseason action and only be on the hook for the amount of his partial guarantee. Either way, Randle can’t be confident in his showing thus far and should no means be a lock to make next season’s roster.
New York desperately needs facilitators and playmakers on their regular season roster. It’s their most glaring void this offseason. Perhaps Frank Ntilikina’s injury is putting more pressure on Randle to play a role he isn’t comfortable with. Randle is known as a pesky defender and someone who was able to score in bunches both during last season’s camp and with the D-League affiliate in Westchester. Whereas he isn’t a natural born passer, Randle should still be showing potential similar to the likes of Aaron Brooks, Toney Douglas, and John Lucas III at the NBA level. He simply isn’t there, and may not be enough good just yet. There’s cause to be concerned at this point.
Elsewhere in Knicks’ Summer League land, Louis Labeyrie has really been stating his case for an NBA spot and New York should be taking notice. After playing international ball and finding success there, the kid is a pro in every true sense of the word. His versatility could give him real value at this level. The 25 year old logged a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday’s defeat.