The towering forward has signed an Exhibit 10 deal, alongside former Boston Celtics 1st round pick James Young. Such a deal is essentially a training camp contract that provides Labissière with a financial incentive (between $5,000-50,000) to commit to the Knicks’ G League franchise.
Having last played for the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2019-20 campaign, Labissière joins a large Kentucky contingent within the Knicks organization.
Former Wildcats currently on the New York and Westchester Knicks’ roster include Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, and Kevin Knox. Along with Nerlens Noel, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, James Young, and assistant coach Kenny Payne.
Listed at 6-foot-10, Labissière is a mobile big man, capable of playing both the Power Forward and Center positions. Still only 24-years-old, there’s a significant amount of untapped potential left in his game that the Knicks will look to unlock.
At one point considered a consensus lottery pick, the young forward’s career was disrupted by injuries that threw doubt into his ability to withstand the rigors of an NBA season.
This led to the Haitian forward free-falling in the 2016 draft. Eventually being selected 28th by the Phoenix Suns. His draft rights were then traded to the Sacramento Kings on draft night.
Blessed with length and athleticism, Labissière has all the characteristics to be the perfect modern-day big man. Coming out of high school, he had it all.
An advanced offensive game that had scouts drooling. Elite length and rebounding ability that would be easily transferable to the professional ranks. An ability to step out to the 3-point line and an NBA-ready body.
Upon arriving in Kentucky, Labissière started his college career strong but it went downhill, quickly. Never seeming to find his groove, he had a lackluster season. Which along with injury concerns, led to his draft stock plummeting.
With nothing but time on his side, there is still room for Labissière to turn things around, however.
Trail Blazers Stint and Future With the Knicks:
Skal Labissière’s most recent stop in the NBA came in the 2019-20 season with the Damian Lillard-led, Portland Trailblazers. Where he played in 33 games, starting 1. In those games, he posted averages of 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, in 17.2 minutes per contest.
Labissière and James Young will bring additional NBA experience to a G League team that is already well-renowned for producing numerous NBA caliber players. With Ivan Rabb, Kenny Wooten, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Kadeem Allen all having had stints in the NBA.
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