Why Damyean Dotson’s future with Knicks is uncertain
Part 4 of a series analyzing the New York Knicks:
When Dennis Smith Jr. got booed off the court at the Garden in late October, the lone player to go over to him on the bench was Knicks shooting guard Damyean Dotson.
Those are the type of quiet leadership gestures Dotson does that go unnoticed by a Knicks front office now two administrations removed from drafting him. That makes the 25-year-old’s future highly uncertain as he enters free agency.
Dotson did not play in eight of the last nine games, including the double-overtime potential season finale March 11 in Atlanta.
“That seemed the writing on the wall,’’ one NBA scout said of the demotion. “You’d think they’d be still trying to develop him.’’
According to NBA sources, three prominent organizations — the Jazz, Bucks and Warriors — are expected to show some interest in Dotson, who made $1.6 million this season as a “3-and-D’’ prototype.
“He’s got a great work ethic, leadership qualities and toughness,’’ former Knicks coach David Fizdale told The Post this week. “He’s extremely coachable and dedicated teammate. Totally committed to the culture with a consistently good attitude regardless of his minutes.’’
Former team president Phil Jackson picked Dotson in the second round (44th) in 2017 and was fired days later. GM Scott Perry didn’t draft Dotson nor did new president Leon Rose, the former agent who has barely seen him play since taking command March 2.
Dotson’s offseason shoulder surgery prevented him from working on his already decent 3-point shot. It was still reliable at 36.3 percent this season.
That made it all the more perplexing when he got dumped from the rotation so interim coach Mike Miller could play veterans Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock.
Dotson and Frank Ntilikina, the longest-tenured Knicks, achieved the best plus-minus pairing on the squad but never started a game together. When rookie RJ Barrett went down for nine games, Dotson’s minutes rose dramatically and the club went 4-5.
Fizdale, now an ESPN analyst, said Dotson should have a nice future. Dotson’s weakness coming out of the University of Houston has been ballhandling.
“He’s a game shooter and improved his handle and as a finisher,’’ Fizdale said. “He’s a good rebounding guard, but he still has to improve defensive awareness on the weak side. Overall he’s a solid NBA player.’’
The 6-foot-6 Dotson, who’s built like a linebacker and played Texas high school football, is holed up in Houston, his hometown, amid the season’s suspension. He’s an Astros fan and wore their cap proudly in the Knicks locker room during the ALCS versus the Yankees.
“He plays with a high motor,’’ another NBA talent evaluator said. “He lacks athleticism but he’s improved as a 3-point shooter since his rookie year. He probably has more shot-creating ability than he’s shown.’’
Source : Marc Berman Link