The Knicks did not make a move before last week’s trade deadline, but on Monday morning they began to prune their roster. The team will waive point guard Brandon Jennings and sign point guard Chasson Randle, a Knicks official confirmed.
The move was first reported by The Vertical.
Jennings, 27, played 58 games for the Knicks this season after signing a one-year contract last summer. He averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 assists per game as the backup to Derrick Rose.
By waiving Jennings, the Knicks are freeing playing time in their backcourt for several young guards now on the roster. Randle, 24, and the rookie Ron Baker, 23, are likely to be the beneficiaries.
“Playing in the Mecca was an amazing experience,” Jennings wrote on Twitter about playing in New York. “And I’m looking forward to being back on the court soon playing the game that I love.”
It could also signal that the Knicks are now more concerned with their future standing than the short-term. At 24-35, they have the ninth-worst record in the N.B.A. They are just two and a half games worse than the Orlando Magic, who have the fourth-worst record, and have as good a chance to bump up their lottery odds as they do of making the playoffs. They are four games behind the Detroit Pistons for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and would have to jump over four teams to make the playoffs.
In recent weeks, the Knicks have given more playing time to Willy Hernangomez, a 2015 second-round pick, because of an injury to Joakim Noah. And Mindaugas Kuzminskas has become a rotation player in his first year in the N.B.A.
Randle, despite playing in only eight N.B.A. games in his career,…