The Knicks recently announced their new "hybrid affiliation" with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA's D-League.
Ironically enough, while the union will give the Knicks full control and final say on the team's matters, they still remain the lone NBA franchise to have never utilized the D-League by sending a player down.
While that holds true, the Knicks officially have announced their very first D-League assignment: Allan Houston.
Now those fans that may be scratching their heads may recall that Houston has not donned as much as a New York Knicks practice uniform since 2008. It's true, his playing days are over, but Houston will, nevertheless, be heading to the D-League to assume General Manager duties for the Knicks' new project.
In addition to overseeing the BayHawks, Houston will still remain Assistant G.M. of the Knicks as well. The move does boast a potential development of sorts, as owner James Dolan (and current President-turning consultant Donnie Walsh) may feel as though Houston is simply not yet ready for the big league job and requires some more familiarity with the position. Working with the BayHawks is sure to provide Houston with that type of experience.
Furthermore, with full control over the BayHawks' medical and coaching staffs, the Knicks are almost certain to be more trusting when considering sending their own players down to the D-League club.
This past season alone, there were rumblings about sending former Syracuse guard Andy Rautins down to the D-League for more seasoning. Alas, despite playing in only five games for the Knicks all season long, Rautins stayed with the organization the whole way through.
With more extensive options in the D-League next season, Rautins and some of the team's younger players and draftees may benefit from the Knicks sending them down after all.