Knicks News: Theo Pinson in, Allonzo Trier out

The Knicks claimed former Net Theo Pinson off waivers, letting go of Allonzo Trier to make room on the roster.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Allonzo Trier era has come to an end in New York.

Scott Perry's once promising draft night find from 2018 has now been waived so the Knicks can pick up Brooklyn Nets cast-off Theo Pinson.

Like Trier, Pinson went undrafted coming out of one of preeminent college programs in the country. Unlike Trier, whose time in Arizona was marred by a suspension for PED's, Pinson achieved more favorable notoriety for helping lead the North Carolina TarHeels to the 2017 NCAA Championship.

Thus far at least, that success hasn't translated to the NBA. Over his two years in Brooklyn, the idea of Pinson far out-shined Pinson the player, who has struggled shooting it from deep during the limited chances he got. He hit just 21.4 percent of the 126 long balls he attempted over 51 games between the last two seasons. 

Pinson will be 25 in November, and the Knicks won't have long before having to make a decision on their newest player. He has a $1.7 million team option that needs to be exercised by October 17. Trier, on the other hand, carried with him an upcoming qualifying offer of $4.5 million thanks to the larger than average contract he signed after being converted from a two-way player as a rookie.

That said, the reasons Trier is gone likely aren't completely financial. If that were the case, Bobby Portis - who has a $15 million team option for the 2020-21 season - would have likely been on the chopping block today. There is definitely more to this, although based on everything I heard coming out of the locker room last season, Trier was as good of a soldier privately as the team made him out to be when asked publicly.

Still, it's an ignominious end for a player who at one time looked like he might become part of New York's young core. As a rookie, Trier put up 20 or more points nine times, including a 31-point, 10-rebound showing against the Houston Rockets and a 29-point outing at Sacramento when he got to the line 15 times, converting 10.

It seems like ages ago now, but Trier was a shocking opening night starter in what was arguably the first and last legitimate attempt he received as a rotation player in New York this season. Most of the rest of his appearances came after games were already out of hand.

The legacy Trier leaves in New York is one of what could have been. The knocks on him were always the shots he forced and the passes he didn't make, but he was a viciously dangerous microwave scorer off the bench when he got going, and he never really got a chance to show improvement in 2019-20. His indifference to defense also never helped his cause.

In the end, the Knicks new brass likely saw Trier as someone who, while skilled, was not the type of player they wanted to continue to invest time and energy trying to fit into the program they're attempting to build. 

That said, it won't be surprising to see him make an impact elsewhere soon, maybe even on the team that just let go of the man replacing him on the roster. He is, after all, close with Kevin Durant, who probably wouldn't mind having his buddy around when he ramps things back up for a championship chase next season.