MILWAUKEE – Mitchell Robinson is glad his buddy Kenny Wooten officially signed a two-way contract for the G-League on Tuesday.
"I'm very excited," said Robinson, who played with Wooten in the Knicks summer league team last July. “He invested time and effort. He deserves what he has. I am very proud of him.
"He actually jumps higher than me," added Robinson before scoring seven points and three rebounds on the Knicks' 128-102 blowout loss to the goats. "Yes, he can jump a little higher than me. We play the same – both athletic, block shots. We do many things the same. "
After being noticed in the summer league, Wooten, a defensive forward from Oregon, was invited to the training camp, but an ankle injury prevented him from participating in exhibition games.
The 22-year-old became a highlight show with the Westchester Knicks and even managed to get into the top 10 games from SportsCenter. He scored an average of 7.7 points at 66 percent, 5.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks.
"Only the athleticism and the energy and strength with which he plays," said Knicks interim coach Mike Miller about the best features of Wooten. "He has all of these physical tools. He jumped so far. He really improved from the summer league to the training camp. And he's really improved now. I've seen two games in Westchester in the past three weeks and see improvements there. He really sees things. He really learns the game. He has to do that. He has these physical tools and now he needs experience. "
Wooten's injury-related training camp prevented him from getting the two-way contract when an agreement with Kris Wilkes failed.
Before the season kicked off, the Knicks instead hired a former David Fizdale player from Memphis, Ivan Rabb, who was cut to give Wooten this chance. Players who sign a two-way contract on January 15 can be in the squad for 25 days, with the clock remaining after the G-League final.
The effects of wooten are only felt later in the season. Miller said he was not sure if Wooten would train on Wednesday and be active against Phoenix on Thursday.
"We sit down [Wednesday] and talk about a short-term and long-term plan of what we're going to do with it, "said Miller.
According to an NBA scout, Wooten is concerned with finding a position in the NBA at 6-foot-8. He was a power forward in college and in the G-League, but may have to play a little striker in the NBA. Wooten has upgraded his sweater from the top of the key, the scout said.
PG Frank Ntilikina (groin strain) missed his second game in a row. A groin strain cost him a lot from the second half of last season. Marcus Morris missed his fifth game in a row with a neck injury and did not travel here.
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