Hornacek Says Knicks Preferred Ron Baker to Injured Chasson Randle | Zagsblog
Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Couldn't connect with Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Thursday / June 30.
  • Hornacek Says Knicks Preferred Ron Baker to Injured Chasson Randle

    Share Zagsblog Share Zagsblog
    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the team opted to keep former Wichita State standout Ron Baker over former Stanford guard Chasson Randle, who is out a month with an orbital bone fracture.

    The Knicks ate $100,000 of guaranteed money to Randle, but sound like they hope he will remain with the Westchester Knicks D-League team. Still, Randle is a free agent and could opt to play for another team if he’s signed, or play overseas.

    “Well, we liked those guys we had to waive,” Hornacek said Saturday. “It’s a tough thing to do. All these guys are capable players. We have to look at our roster and see the different balance that we have. Chasson, he’s done a great job for us. We hope all these guys get other jobs and other teams pick them up, but our hope is if he doesn’t go to another team he stays with our organization. We really liked what he did for us. “

    The Knicks on Friday waived Randle, Cleanthony Early, J.P. Tokoto, Lou Amundson and Damien Inglis.

    “Lou, it came down to a matter of how many bigs we have,” Hornacek said. “We have a lot of bigs on the team. So that was a tough one. J.P. is a guy who is working on his shooting. I really liked what he does defensively out there on the court. He’s got the size that can guard a 1, 2 or 3 – but again, when we looked at what guys were providing for us, we just felt Ron was a guy who could be there for that last spot.”

    Baker is now an emergency guard behind the likes of Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings and probably even Sasha Vujacic. (His former Shockers’ backcourt mate Fred VanVleet also made the Raptors 15-man roster on Saturday).

    “I think I just want to be efficient,” Baker told me during training camp. “Obviously, if they want me to play the point guard, I can. Just take care of the ball, make good decisions with the ball and take pride in my defense. And I feel if I guard the basketball and be in good position as a defender, I can help the team win.”

    Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has no doubt that Baker can help the Knicks.

    “First of all, he’ll figure out a way to help them win,” Marshall told me. “And that’s the bottom line. You want more points than the other team at the end of the game, and Baker does a little bit of everything very well.

    “He’s a natural two who can swing to the point guard position. He’s got great vision in transition. We picked up our pace a lot when he became the point guard because he was so good in transition, he could make the Magic Johnson-type crosscourt, diagonal pass. He’s big enough and he’s strong, he’s what I call ‘country strong.’ He’s got big hips, big shoulders, big hands and he plays strong.”

    Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter

    And like ZAGS on Facebook



    Written by

    [email protected]

    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.