The New York Knicks plan to re-sign forward and former second-round pick Cleanthony Early, according to The Vertical. He won’t begin the season with the Knicks because of a hamstring injury, but he will rehab in the D-League and will likely join the Knicks sometime this season.
New York originally selected Early with the 34th overall pick of the second-round in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was actually the very first pick of the Phil Jackson era in the “Big Apple.”
Early has struggled to make an impact in his NBA career, but he was an All-American forward at Wichita State in college. He notably played at the junior college level for two seasons and won the Division III NJCAA Player of the Year Award twice before transferring to Wichita State for his junior season.
Then, in his two seasons with the Shockers, he helped lead Wichita State to a 65-10 overall record and a Final Four appearance. In 2013, the Shockers fell to the eventual tournament champion Louisville Cardinals, 72-68, in the National Semifinals.
The following season, Wichita State was undefeated heading into the tournament but lost to Kentucky, 78-76, in the Round of 32. Early led the team in scoring with 31 points and seven rebounds in that contest while Kentucky went on to advance all the way to the National Championship before losing to Connecticut.
Early averaged 15.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 47 percent in his two-year Wichita State career. In 56 games with the Knicks over two seasons, he is averaging 4.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per contest while shooting just 34.6 percent.