Theo Pinson’s time as an NBA free agent didn’t last too long, as he was picked up by the New York Knicks on Friday after being released by the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
Pinson, who only appeared in 51 games as a Net over two years, averaged just under four points per game on 31% shooting in Brooklyn. Pinson’s release was one of the first transactions to happen when the NBA season opened back up for business this week.
The Knicks waived former Arizona Wildcat Allonzo Trier to make room for Pinson. Trier is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and has been the root of some chemistry issues for New York in the past.
The change of scenery could be a good thing for the former Tar Heel guard. Pinson was starting to flounder in Brooklyn, only playing in twelve of 32 games from January 1st to March 11th. His production had also taken a hit, averaging only 1.5 points on 27% shooting.
The change of boroughs for Pinson will give him the opportunity for more playing time next season, as the Knicks are unlikely to be competing for a playoff spot. The Nets’ timeline didn’t line up with Pinson, who is still coming into his own as an NBA player. He will be given plenty of chances with the Knicks.
Pinson, who is only one of three Tar Heels from the 2017 national title team still on an NBA roster, can provide nice depth and leadership for a team who has lacked both of those things in recent years. Even dating back to his days at North Carolina, Pinson is regarded as one of the best teammates there is. For a team that has been in a perpetual rebuilding stage like the Knicks, he will provide a veteran presence for a team that hasn’t had much of it recently.
While this signing does mean that his season is over, because the Knicks are not a part of the twenty-two teams entering the NBA quarantine bubble next month, Pinson will be able to join his new teammates soon. Even though Trier had some locker room issues, he was a fine player. New York wouldn’t throw away a good asset like him if they didn’t believe in Pinson’s ability.
It’s likely he will spend some time in the G-League with the Knicks as well, but Pinson’s time in the NBA isn’t over yet.