With his stellar play for the Westchester Knicks, Lamar Peters deserves a two-way contract with the New York Knicks next season.
Peters plays point guard, and there happens to be an overflow at that position currently (Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, & Kadeem Allen). At the same time, the Knicks don’t have a true starting point guard and are still looking for the point guard of the future.
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Could the former Mississippi State Bulldog be the answer for the Knicks? Who knows. But he definitely deserves a spot on the parent team’s roster.
Per Basketball-Reference, during the 6’0″, 185 lbs point guard’s third and last season as a Bulldog, he averaged 12 points, 39.8 field goal percentage, 38.6 three-point percentage, 64.4 free throw percentage, 5.2 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals during 30 minutes per game. Peters was instrumental in leading the Bulldogs to the 2018-19 NCAA Tournament. Sadly, his team got bounced in the first round by the Liberty University Flames with a final score of 80-76.
After finishing his third year as a Bulldog, Peters would declare for the NBA Draft and go unselected. He then joined the Knicks’ summer league team, where he had a pretty quiet outing. Nevertheless, he would get his shot to play for Westchester.
Peters was not the most efficient player in college, but he has improved during his G League and has really been making a name for himself.
Peters may have started off the season slowly but really got it going once January and February came rolling around. According to NBA G League Stats, during the start of the season in November, Peters was averaging 15.3 points, 43.1 field goal percentage, 40.9 three-point percentage, 75 free throw percentage, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals during 30.1 minutes per game.
By January, Peters was averaging 22.3 points, 42.6 field goal percentage, 47.4 three-point percentage, 76.9 free throw percentage, 2.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 0.6 steals during 34.1 minutes per game.
Peters was so hot during the month of January that the G League took notice and made a highlight reel. Just take a look.
When watching Peters play, it is appealing that he is capable of scoring at all three phases. Yet what is very noticeable about his scoring prowl is that it fits the style of play of the modern NBA, which is the capability to make a lot of three-pointers and being able to drive and finish at the rack.
Just watch how Peters puts up 29 points and hits seven of his 14 three-point attempts.
Also, Peters’ scoring ability opens up the court for other players to get off their shots. And thankfully, he poses the court awareness to get teammates involved while having the ability to complete passes through tight windows or finding players in motion. Just look at the video below where he is… “wheeling and dealing” – these Frazier-isms are not stopping – and broke the team’s assist record with 19 dimes.
After watching Peters tear up the G-League this season, it is clear that he is a dynamic player. He demonstrates it every night with his quick first step, good court vision, ability to cause havoc by attacking the lane, and capacity to score at all phases. It would be shocking if he is not rewarded with a two-way contract next season.
According to the 2017 NBA CBA rules, each team is permitted to have two players on two-way contracts. The Knicks already made one commitment after waiving Ivan Rabb and signing Kenny Wooten to a two-way deal (who clearly deserved it). The second two-way contract, which is about to expire, currently belongs to Allen.
The CBA states that in order for athletes to qualify for a two-way contract, the player cannot have “four or more years” of NBA service. And NBA service is qualified as playing just a single game in the NBA during any given season.
Since this was Allen’s third year, in order for the Knicks to retain him they must offer a veteran’s minimum contract, which then opens up the two-way contract position for Lamar Peters.
So there should be no problem with signing Peters next season since the New York Knicks will have a vacant two-way contract position and Peters clearly deserves it. He has the skill set that the Knicks are missing at their point guard position, which is an athletic playmaker who is able to score at all levels. Peters has shown that he is more than capable of dominating in the G League, and should be given the challenge to prove himself in the NBA.
It is unclear what Peters’ potential will be on the New York Knicks or in the league in general. The most likely outcome is that he becomes a solid role or bench player that offers the Knicks quality minutes. But there is no better way to find out what his trajectory is than to give him the chance to demonstrate it on the big stage.