Former Hoya Henry Sims signs with New York Knicks
Simsanity is heading to the Big Apple, as former Hoya center Henry Sims signed a deal with the New York Knicks today. The Knicks, who were already at 15 roster spots, are presumably bringing Sims onto their training camp roster, where he will have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot.
Sims, who had a well-chronicled rise from a pedestrian three-year bench player to a key cog in the Hoyas’ upstart 2011-2012 season, found himself on second round draft boards all the way through draft day this year. Teams ultimately veered toward the ‘draft-and-stash’ route in the latter half of the draft, opting to select the rights to high-potential European prospects in the hope that they’ll develop over time. Ultimately, this left the Baltimore native in a similar predicament to his two teammates, Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson, who also went undrafted.
Thompson was the first of the trio to find a home, as the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder signed him to a partially-guaranteed three year deal. Clark, meanwhile signed with Belgian club Okapi Aalstar.
Thompson and Clark had their situations settled a couple of months ago, but Sims remained in limbo until today. The center played with the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls during the Summer League, hoping to parlay the exposure into an NBA contract – it just took a little longer than he anticipated.
Despite the surprise signing, the Knicks have been looking at Sims for quite some time now, with rumored interest leading up to the NBA Draft and assistant general manager Allan Houston’s presence at this season’s Georgetown vs. UConn matchup.
Houston is also coincidentally in charge of the Knicks’ developmental league affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. If Sims does not make the Knicks roster, he could find himself in Erie, setting up what amounts to an extended audition for an NBA roster spot. With the Knicks’ essentially set up front – they have starters Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire with veterans Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas as backups – Sims needs to hope the Knicks see merit in carrying a fifth big man. With Camby and Thomas’s age as a factor, along with Stoudemire’s injury history, it’s certainly not out of question.
Photo: Jackson Perry