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.
The Knicks on Monday announced the re-signing of guard Ron Baker and the signing of rookie Damyean Dotson, the former Oregon and Houston guard who was the MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational.
Baker, the second-year guard out of Wichita State, averaged 4.1 points and 2.1 assists last season. The Knicks then opted to re-sign him for two years at $8.9 million.
The Knicks brought in veteran Ramon Sessions to play the point and mentor rookie Frank Ntilikina. Baker, meantime, can play both guard spots.
“I look at Ron as a guy who can play both guard positions,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornaceksaid last week. “He’s not the traditional point guard where he can blow by you and use his speed to get around you. He does it with strength. The game of basketball isn’t always about speed. If you know angles and create openings, you can make a lot of plays.
“Ron’s a tough kid and plays hard and does whatever you ask. Those are guys who have a chance to grow as players. We feel Ron is just at the tip of it with what he can do out there on the court.”
Dotson, who averaged 17.4 points and 6.9 rebounds last season at Houston, is considered a prototypical “3-and-D” guy. He was ranked eighth nationally with 3.38 made three-pointers per game and shot 44.3 percent from behind the arc.
“I’m a ‘3-and-D’ guy, two guard, just doing the little things,” he told DraftExpress.com after a recent workout in L.A. “Playing hard. diving on the floor, getting the loose balls, rebounding on both ends, getting my teammates involved and being the hardest worker on the court. Maybe it’s five minutes or 10 minutes, or whatever it is, just playing as hard as I can and come off and get that win.
“Just having great attitude and effort.”
Dotson, who played the 1, 2 and 3 in college, says he wants to work on “consistently making the three-ball.”
“Forty percent is sustainable, I wouldn’t say 45,” he said. “I gotta keep working, keep working, keep working. But I would say 40 percent and higher is definitely what I’m reaching for, that’s my goal.”
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, a former NBA assistant, believes Dotson has a future in the league.
“He can score out of actions as good as anybody I have coached,” Sampson told ZAGSBLOG. “He has great footwork and great technique in everything he does. He’s extremely disciplined and a monster worker. His game really translates to the NBA level because of the things he does besides scoring.
“He averaged seven rebounds and will defend the other team’s best scorer. He’s an outstanding shooter and is tough. I love this kid. He’s a winner.”
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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.