NEW YORK, NY (July 9, 2019) - The New York Knicks announced today that the team has signed five players: Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis and Julius Randle. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Wayne, Taj, Elfrid, Bobby and Julius to New York,” said Scott Perry, general manager, New York Knicks. “Collectively, we’re adding a mix of extremely talented and experienced multi-dimensional players who will improve our team as we continue building out a deep and versatile roster. These players are all tough-minded, motivated and ready to compete, and we’re excited to have them as part of the Knicks family.”
Ellington, a 6-5, 200-pound guard, appeared in 53 games (38 starts) for Detroit and Miami last season, averaging 10.3 points on 37.1-percent shooting from behind the arc with 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.02 steals over 24.5 minutes. After being acquired by Detroit, Ellington started in 26 games and Detroit went 15-11 (.560) with Ellington in the starting lineup. Ellington became just the second Piston ever to make six or more triples in consecutive games from Mar. 18 to Mar. 21 (Terry Mills, 1996-97). The Wynnewood, PA-native was selected by Minnesota with the 28th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of University of North Carolina. He has appeared in 645 career regular season games with Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn, Miami and Detroit, averaging 8.2 points on 37.9 percent shooting from three, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists over 21.3 minutes.
Gibson is a 6-9, 232-pound veteran forward, who returns to his native New York after 10 seasons with Chicago, Oklahoma City and Minnesota. Last season he appeared in 70 games (57 starts) for the Timberwolves, averaging 10.8 points on 56.6-percent shooting, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 24.1 minutes. Selected by Chicago with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of USC, Gibson has appeared in 737 career regular season games (384 starts). He has averaged 9.8 points on 51.2-percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists. Additionally, Gibson has appeared in 66 postseason contests (17 starts) including eight playoff runs from 2009-18, averaging 8.0 points on 51.5-percent shooting from the field and 4.7 rebounds.
Payton, 6-4, 185-pounds, averaged a career high 10.6 points per game last season, along with 7.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.05 steals over 29.8 minutes in 42 games (42 starts) with New Orleans. The 25-year-old point guard became just the fifth player in NBA history to record a triple-double in five consecutive games, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robinson and Russell Westbrook. Payton was the 10th overall pick out of University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the 2014 NBA Draft and started his career with the Orlando Magic. Payton holds career averages of 11.1 points, 6.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.30 steals over 29.5 minutes in 342 games (295 starts) with Orlando, Phoenix and New Orleans.
Portis, 24, is coming off a career season where he averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds over 26.0 minutes in 50 games (28 starts), playing for Washington and Chicago. The forward is one of four players in the 2018-19 season to shoot 37.5-percent or better from three-point range and average seven or more rebounds per game. The 6-11, 250-pound Little Rock, Ark. native was originally selected by the Bulls with the 22nd overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft following two seasons at the University of Arkansas. For his career, he has averaged 10.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists over 20.3 minutes in 249 games (49 starts) across four seasons with Chicago and Washington.
Randle is a 6-9, 250-pound forward who joins the Knicks after spending last season with New Orleans. The 24-year-old averaged 21.4 points on 52.4-percent shooting, including 34.4 percent from three, to go along with 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists over 30.6 minutes in 73 games (49 starts). His 21.4 points, 34.4-percent three-point percentage and 30.6 minutes all marked career highs for the Dallas, Texas native. Last season Randle became just the eighth player in NBA history to record at least 45 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks in a game. Randle was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of University of Kentucky.