By Marc Berman NEW YORK POST
The odds are always against a Division II product getting a real look at training camp, but point guard Amir Hinton may be different.
Signed to an Exhibit 10 contract, Hinton led all of college basketball in scoring at Division II Shaw University at 29.4 points per game and drives to the basket with a craftiness that belies his small-school resume.
Amir Hinton is Knicks’ long shot ready to make some noise
After playing on the Knicks summer-league team, the 6-foot-5 combo guard will be the unlikeliest player at Knicks training camp that starts Monday. (There was one Division II player on an NBA roster last season: Atlanta’s Jaylen Morris of Molloy College in Long Island.)
Though the 22-year-old will likely wind up with the Westchester Knicks with his $50,000 guarantee, the ultimate long shot’s future bears watching.
David Fizdale’s mission is to run more this season, and Hinton thrives in transition. For three weeks, Hinton has participated in the Knicks’ voluntary scrimmages at Columbia and the club’s Tarrytown facility.
“We have a lot of young guys; five vets,’’ Hinton told The Post. “Everybody’s young and everyone just likes to run and pick up on defense. That’s something I’ll be fine with. Getting out running, that’s better for me. Not that I can’t be in a half-court system but getting out and running makes the game more fun and free. To have a coach let the players play, that’s good for players to build confidence.’’
Indeed, Fizdale is attempting to be faster with all that young depth this season. Point guards Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina, who has yet to show up for workouts after finishing up a standout World Cup performance with France, will be in a battle royale for the starting job.
Hinton? It’s no secret the Knicks have signed a slew of guys with one-year deals who could be peddled at the trade deadline for draft picks, opening up roster spots.