Damyean Dotson was damaged goods when he entered the league.
A four-year college athlete who returned home to Texas when his Oregon Ducks dream vanished before his eyes after an alleged abuse scandal led to his dismissal from the Pac-12 school.
Dotson, otherwise known as ‘Dot’ to his team-mates, was handed a lifeline in the 2017 NBA Draft when the Knicks took a chance on him with the 44th pick, while also handing a three-year deal in Manhattan. Bleacher Report, CBS Sports or Sports Illustrated weren’t particularly high on the Houston sharp-shooter, with CBS and SI both neglecting to suggest Dotson would even be drafted at all.
Dotson’s rookie-season was to be expected of a ‘second-round project player’. He averaged less than 11 minutes per game, scoring little over 4 points. His involvement was staggered, and arguably too his production, until we got to April, and the final run-in of the Knicks’ disappointing 29-53 record (which by current standards doesn’t seem all that bad now).
He finished the season with three straight 11 point games, but before that, there was the small matter of a 30 point, 11 rebound game at The Garden against the Miami Heat. Like a man possessed, Dotson was sensational, knocking down four three-pointers on his way to a double-double in 36 minutes on the court.
Was this the Damyean Dotson Knicks brass envisioned when arguably reaching for him at #44 overall?
With more experience came more minutes for Dotson, who started 40 games in his sophomore season in New York. He only sat out nine games in the entire season as a youthful Knicks team admittedly struggled as a whole, finishing with the worst record in the NBA.
Dotson finished the campaign averaging a little over 10 points a game, 3.6 boards, and 1.8 assists. He hit 20+ points on seven occasions, but ultimately it was a bad winter period that seemed to cost him. From the months of October, February, and March, Dotson averaged a combined 13.4 points per game while playing around 30 minutes.
Those numbers don’t jump off the page, that’s true, but we’re talking about a guy who some industry professionals (in the media) suggested may not even make the NBA. One of the reasons for this might be Dotson’s lack of all-round ability. His specialty is simple, his three-point shooting.
Damyean Dotson is a career 35.3% three-point shooter.
Here are five of the best shooters from behind the arc in the 2019/20 season (as per Fox Sports), and their three-point percentage.
- James Harden (Houston) – 36%
- Damian Lillard (Portland) – 37.4%
- Buddy Hield (Sacramento) – 36%
- D’Angelo Russell (Golden State) – 36.1%
- Luka Doncic (Dallas) – 32.2%
Harden (#3), Lillard (#6), Hield (#6), Russell (#2) and Doncic (#3) were all highly-heralded players before the draft and were also picked inside the first six picks. Last season, Dotson was only behind Allonzo Trier in terms of three-point field goal percentage on the Knicks (from players who had played in more than 20 games), and even then attempted more than double the amount of Trier.
Players need minutes to find their rhythm and playing 12 minutes one night, 26 the next and then a DNP (Did Not Participate) the night after is tough, especially on younger players. Dotson has proven that he is capable of drilling three’s at a significantly better-than-average level in the NBA, but the question remains, given that he turned 26 years old in the off-season, does he deserve another contract?
Should the Knicks try and trade him before the deadline for a future second-round pick from a team who might want to take a chance on him? Would Dotson hedge his bets and take a modest deal in New York to just stay in the league?
A lot of questions, not a lot of answers. Another one to look out for both the trade deadline and in the summer.
FEATURED IMAGE: New York Post