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LeBron James has not yet agreed to terms with the New York Knicks. However, they have added a player that can be compared to LeBron.
Sviatoslav “Svi” Mykhailiuk, a sweet-shooting wing for the Knicks, has signed a one-year agreement with the team for the league minimum. According to Fred Katz, the deal includes a partial guarantee of $50,000. Mykhailiuk is considered the finest athlete to come out of Ukraine since Tatiana Gutsu. There are already eight players on New York’s roster who are wings or shooters, so it is unclear whether this move is about depth or whether it is preparation for a deal that sends out more people than it comes back. The Raining Ukrainian has joined the team.
Mykhailiuk is a dangerous shooter from beyond the three-point arc, in addition to having the most aesthetically pleasing name in the Association (svee-AT-ah-slav mee-KY-luck). Over the course of his career, he has taken an average of eight shots from deep every 36 minutes. His accuracy isn’t where you’d expect a shooter to be: after four years split between four teams, Mykhailiuk has only been better than league-average on 3s with Detroit (38% over three seasons), versus 31%, 32%, and 34% for Toronto, the L.A. Lakers, and Oklahoma City respectively. His time with Detroit has been the only time he’s been better than average on 3s.
The Knicks are making a play that is low-risk and late in the game. Mykhailiuk at least presents the option of providing perimeter insurance in the event that they move Evan Fournier in the near future. If not, don’t get too upset up. This will probably be remembered as one of those useless late-offseason additions, similar to when New York signed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and some dummy went beyond trying to figure out what MKG’s contract would signify and ended up digging much too deeply into it. This time, I’m going to stay out of the way and watch what the universe has in store for me.
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