Archive for the ‘ New York Knicks Blog ’ Category

Are players outside of New York thinking differently about the Knicks? Here’s reporting what top team brass had to say about it:

New York Knicks team president Steve Mills believes the perception of the club among NBA players has changed recently.

“In our circles that we travel and the people that we talk to, we know that there is a change in how people perceive us,” Mills said at an event for fans on Monday night. “… We know that the players are talking about New York as a place that, ‘Things are different there now.’ If we do all the things that we’re supposed to do over the course of the year, we’ll be in a good place [to attract free agents].”

The Knicks plan to have enough cap space to attract at least one max free agent in the summer of 2019. Players expected to test free agency next summer include Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker.

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The Knicks are in a rebuilding phase. The squad is build around Kristaps Porzingis (injured), Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter. They’re hoping Frank Ntilikina can develop, and that new additions Mario Hezonja, Kevin Knox (rookie) and Mitchell Robinson (rookie) can be difference-makers. But another new team member, Noah Vonleh, has been in the NBA since 2014 and is still looking to get serious minutes in a rotation. One thing Vonleh is sure to bring to the Knicks is excellent rebounding ability. Here’s the New York post with more:

Noah Vonleh ready to bring rebounding skills to Knicks

Noah Vonleh may be regarded as another lottery-pick disappointment on the Knicks’ roster, but the 6-foot-9, 245-pound power forward has one exceptional attribute he will bring to the Garden — rebounding.

“To be in the NBA, you have to have an elite skill and do something really well,’’ Vonleh told The Post in his first comments since signing as a free agent July 24.

“Rebounding has always been the biggest thing for me. Since I was a young kid, I was always able to rebound. I got a good eye for what angle it’s coming off and just going after it. That’s my skill that got me in the NBA. That’s what I get myself going with.’’

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Knicks sign guard Kadeem Allen

Knicks sign guard Kadeem Allen

The New York Knicks signed Kadeem Allen today.

The signing may just be a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Allen to training camp.

A 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, Allen played for Boston and their G League affiliate Maine last season. In 34 games (33 starts) for the Red Claws, he averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, five assists and 2.2 steals over 34.5 minutes, and he received an honor for his efforts — being named to the G League All-Defensive Team. He also played in 18 games (one start) for the Celtics, totaling 19 points and 12 assists over 107 minutes.

The Wilmington, NC-native was originally selected by Boston in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft, following two seasons at the University of Arizona and two seasons at Hutchinson Community College (NC). As a senior at Arizona, he averaged 9.8 points, four rebounds, three assists and a team-leading 1.6 steals.

Knicks sign Noah Vonleh, who played last season with Blazers and Bulls

The New York Knicks signed free agent forward Noah Vonleh today.

Vonleh, 6-9, 245 pounds, spent last season with Portland and Chicago, averaging 4.9 points and 5.8 rebounds in 16.2 minutes over 54 total games (16 starts). The 22-year-old was selected by Charlotte with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Vonleh started last season with Portland where he averaged 3.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14.4 minutes over 33 games (12 starts). He was traded mid-season to the Bulls and appeared in 21 contests (four starts), recording 6.9 points and 6.9 rebounds over 19.0 minutes.

The Haverhill, MA-native holds career averages of 4.1 points and 4.7 rebounds over 15.5 minutes in 231 total games (113 starts) played with Charlotte, Portland and Chicago. He was traded from Charlotte to Portland on June 24, 2015.

Vonleh played one season for Indiana University where he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and third team All-Big Ten. In 30 games (29 starts) he averaged 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Knicks waive Troy Williams

The Knicks have waived Troy Williams.

A 6-foot-7, 220-pounds forward, Williams played in 17 Knicks games last season, and averaged 7.5 points on 49-percent shooting in 17.1 minutes per outing.

This summer, Williams participated in five games for the Knicks’ Vegas summer league team.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Williams originally signed two consecutive 10-day contracts with the Knicks, the first back in February, and then in mid March signed on for the remainder of the season.

The Knicks now have 17 players under contract — 15 regular contracts and two Two-Way players.

Knicks sign rookie Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks have signed rookie center Mitchell Robinson to a multi-year contract.

Per the New York Post, “according to a source, the deal is for three years at $4.8 million, but the third year is not fully guaranteed. The package also includes a fourth-year team option. The deal averages roughly $1.6 million per year, which is how much it would count against the salary cap for the key free agency of summer 2019.”

Robinson, 20, was selected in the second round with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 7-0, 225-pound center was named to the 2017 McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand All-American teams. Robinson averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana.

Robinson is currently participating with the team’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Knicks sign Luke Kornet

The New York Knicks have signed center Luke Kornet, who first joined the team as a two-way player last July and played for the Knicks and Westchester (G-League) last season.

“Luke had a very successful first year playing across Westchester and the Knicks, displaying impressive growth throughout the season,” said Scott Perry, General Manager. “Luke is a versatile player who can play inside and away from the basket. He brings a relentless work ethic and commitment to the team that fits with Coach Fizdale’s system and style.”

Kornet, 7-1, 250-pounds, appeared in 20 games for the Knicks (one start), averaging 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds over 16.3 minutes. He recorded a season high 23 points in the season-finale on April 11 at Cleveland. He played in 36 games (35 starts) for Westchester (G-League), averaging 16.1 points and 6.2 rebounds over 32.4 minutes and was named to the 2017-18
All NBA G-League third team.

The 22-year old Lantana, TX-native, was one of two Knicks two-way players last season. He was originally signed by New York as an undrafted free-agent on July 3, 2017. He played collegiately for four seasons at Vanderbilt University.

Knicks sign Mario Hezonja

The New York Knicks signed free agent guard/forward Mario Hezonja.

According to the New York Post, the deal is a “one-year, $6.5 million contract with a portion of the Knicks’ mid-level exception.”

The 23-year old Croatia native, originally drafted fifth overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2015 NBA Draft, joins the Knicks following a career year where he nearly doubled his scoring average from the previous season (9.6) and averaged personal bests in rebounding (3.7), assists (1.4), steals (1.1), minutes (22.1) and games played (75).

“Mario is an extremely talented, multi-dimensional player who we’re excited to have join the Knicks,” said Scott Perry, General Manager. “With Mario, we’re adding another young, athletic and driven player. We’re confident he will further develop under this coaching staff and excel playing in New York.”

Hezonja is a 6-8, 215-pound guard/forward who appeared in 219 career NBA regular season games (41 starts), all with Orlando, averaging 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.4 minutes. Hezonja recorded a career-high 28 points on Dec. 17, 2017 at Detroit, connecting on 8-of-12 from three-point range, becoming just the ninth player in Magic history to make eight-or-more three-pointers in a game. Internationally, he played in 54 games during two-plus seasons with FC Barcelona of the Spanish ACB League. He also helped lead the Croatia men’s national basketball team to fifth place in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Knicks sign rookie Kevin Knox

The New York Knicks yesterday signed 2018 first-round draft selection Kevin Knox to his rookie contract.

Knox, 18, was drafted by New York out of the University of Kentucky with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21. The 6-9, 215-pound forward started all 37 games for the Wildcats averaging a team-high 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists over 32.4 minutes. He was named a 2017-18 AP All-America Honorable Mention and co-freshman of year in the SEC.

The Tampa, Fla. native scored in double figures in all but seven games, including a team-high 10 games with 20 or more. He erupted for a game-high 34 points in a 17-point comeback victory at No. 7 West Virginia on Jan. 27, 2018. He helped lead the Wildcats with 25 points and six rebounds in a victory over Davidson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Knox will wear No. 20 for the Knicks and is currently participating with the team’s entry in the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League.

Glance at 2018 Knicks free agency

Here’s NY Newsday with some insight on what 2018 Knicks free agency this July may look like:

Their plan is to not sign anyone to long-term deals and to shed contracts that have more than one-year remaining on it. That means Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah might not be Knicks for much longer.

Enes Kanter has an $18.6 million option that he needs to make a decision on by the end of the month. The Knicks are not expected to give him a multiyear deal if he opts out, so odds are Kanter, who loves New York, will pick up his option. The Knicks would be fine with that.

The Knicks’ resources will be limited this summer. Their goal is to have the money in 2019 when the likes of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and Kevin Love are free agents. There already are rumblings about Irving’s desire to join the Knicks. He listed them among his preferred destinations when he asked out of Cleveland.

The Knicks want to make New York a desirable location again for free agents.

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Here’s the New York Post reporting on Kevin Knox, selected 9th in the first round of the 2018 Draft last night by the New York Knicks:

Go ahead, Knicks fans. Dream about Kevin Knox’s upside. John Calipari thinks the Knicks hit a home run with his former player.

“It’s a futures league. He’s 18 years old. You’re trying to project who of these guys can be special, and when you look at what they were having at that pick, if that kid is a year or two older, he’s the one, two or three pick,” the Kentucky coach said shortly after the Knicks took the 6-foot-9 wing in the first round (ninth overall) in Thursday’s NBA draft at Barclays Center. “Physically, he’ll come into his own quicker than everybody thinks he will, and the league is moving to 6-foot-9 shooters, [being] able to play multiple positions, and he can do that.”

The former McDonald’s All-American from Florida with a 7-foot wingspan averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 34.1 percent from 3-point range, and led Kentucky to the Sweet 16. Calipari has compared him to Celtics phenom Jayson Tatum, a comparison the Kentucky coach didn’t back down from on Thursday. As a rookie, Tatum did things with Boston that Calipari didn’t see from him in college, as a long defender capable of scoring on the perimeter and in the paint.

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And per Knox, 6-9, 215-pounds spent one season at Kentucky with averages of 15.6 points and 32.4 minutes over 37 games (37 starts). He led the Wildcats in scoring, 3-pointers made and recorded the eighth-most points (576) in school history as a freshman. Knox was a 2017-18 AP Honorable Mention All-America selection, 2017-18 SEC co-Freshman of the Year and named to the 2017-18 All-SEC First Team. As a freshman, he scored in double figures in all but seven games, including a team-high 10 games with 20 or more. He erupted for a game-high 34 points in a 17-point comeback victory at No. 7 West Virginia on January 27, 2018. In a victory over Davidson, he posted 25 points and six rebounds in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

David Fizdale now has a coaching staff. The New York Knicks have hired Keith Smart, Jud Buechler, Pat Sullivan and Royal Ivey as assistant coaches.

“We’re thrilled to have this diverse group of high character coaches join the Knicks,” said Fizdale, who was recently named new Knicks head coach. “They are highly motivated and bring a wealth of basketball experience that will be a great fit in developing and building this team. All four coaches are tireless workers, reliable teammates and share the same intense passion to win.”

Smart most recently was an assistant coach in Memphis (2016-18) on Fizdale’s staff (later J.B. Bickerstaff). He also worked as an assistant coach in Cleveland (2000-03), Golden State (2003-11), Sacramento (2011-12) and Miami (2014-16).

Also, Smart served as head coach for Cleveland (2002-03), Golden State (2010-11) and Sacramento (2011-13), posting a 93-170 (.354) record.

Previously, he was the head coach of Fort Wayne (CBA) from 1997-99, following a professional playing career in San Antonio (two games), the Philippines, World Basketball League, CBA, Venezuela and France. He was originally selected by Golden State in the second round (41st overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft following a two-year collegiate career at Indiana University. As a Hoosier, he earned the Most Outstanding Player of the 1987 Final Four after hitting the game-winning shot against Syracuse in the National Championship Game.

Buechler spent the past two seasons as a player development coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and was also the head coach of their 2017 Summer League team that won the championship in Las Vegas. A three-time NBA Champion (1996-98) with the Bulls, Buechler was originally selected by Seattle in the second round (38th overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft, following a four-year career at University of Arizona. He posted career averages of 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 720 games over 12 seasons with New Jersey, San Antonio, Golden State, Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix and Orlando.

Ivey spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Oklahoma City after beginning his coaching career as a player development coach with their G League affiliate, Oklahoma City Blue (2014-16). Born in Harlem, NY he was originally selected by Atlanta in the second round (37th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft after a four-year career at University of Texas. He appeared in 492 games, recording averages of 3.3 points and 1.1 rebounds over 10 seasons with Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. He played his high school basketball at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School (Queens) and Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ).

Sullivan spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers after serving in the same capacity with Washington (2013-16), Detroit (2008-11) and New Jersey (2005-08). He began his NBA coaching career in 2004-05 as an assistant coach/video coordinator for the Pistons, who went on to win the NBA Championship that season. Previously, he worked in the college ranks as an assistant coach for North Carolina-Wilmington’s women’s team (2001-03) and at his alma matter University of North Carolina (1997-2000). The Bogota, NJ-native played four seasons for the Tar Heels, reaching the Final Four three times (1991, 93, 95).

David Fizdale and the Knicks came to a head coaching job agreement around a week or so ago, and the hiring became official a few days ago. Fizdale of course has head coaching experience, but spent years learning the ropes under Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. Naturally, Spo remains a Fizdale supporter. Here’s New York Newsday with more:

Fizdale, the new Knicks coach, spent eight years working for Spoelstra as an assistant or associate head coach. Fizdale was a part of the Heat teams that reached four straight NBA Finals and won two titles. But their relationship goes back 21 years when Spoelstra and Fizdale worked together in the Heat’s video department.

Spoelstra said Fizdale isn’t much different. He just has more money now, but the Knicks are richer to have him as their coach.

“You’re going to have an incredibly passionate coach and teacher and motivator,” Spoelstra said. “I think Fiz is one of the best basketball minds out there. He’s extremely creative. He’s got a terrific work ethic to match. He’s a versatile coach. He can show that he’s effective in all the different levels, player development, coaching, player management, Xs and Os, all of those things.

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Courtney Lee is always worth listening to. He’s got a great perspective on all things basketball. Here’s New York Newsday reporting his opinion on David Fizdale, who will soon be named new head coach of the Knicks:

Courtney Lee didn’t play under David Fizdale in Memphis, but he looks forward to getting that chance with the Knicks.

Lee spent parts of three seasons in Memphis and remains close with some players there. He knows of the fallout that Fizdale had with center Marc Gasol that ultimately cost him his job this past season. But Lee also has heard nothing but good things about the Knicks’ new coach. Lee believes holding your best player accountable shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.

“I just know that he’s a great players’ coach,” Lee said during a phone interview Friday.

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The Knicks need a new head coach. They also need help in the roster department, but let’s not focus on that right now. Here’s ESPN NY with the latest on the coach interview front:

Knicks reportedly will interview Juwan Howard for coaching job

Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard will interview with the New York Knicks for their coaching vacancy, league sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The interview is expected to take place on Saturday, per sources.

Team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry are looking for the club’s next head coach after they fired Jeff Hornacek following the Knicks’ 29-win regular season.

Mills and Perry also interviewed former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt in Europe earlier this week, per league sources.

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And here’s the Palm Beach Post with more:

The list of candidates since Jeff Hornacek was fired after compiling a 60-104 record in two seasons is long. President Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry reportedly have spoken with former Cavs coach David Blatt, Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga, former Heat assistant and Memphis coach David Fizdale, G League coach Jerry Stackhouse, former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, former Hawks and Knicks coach Mike Woodson, analyst Kenny Smith and analyst and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson. And they plan to meet with Spurs assistant James Borrego.

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Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga acknowledged Thursday that he interviewed with the Knicks for their coaching vacancy last week.

Larranaga, who is Brad Stevens’ lead assistant, said the interview with the Knicks took place in Milwaukee between Games 3 and 4 of the Celtics’ first-round series with the Bucks.

“They’re in the middle of their process. We’re in the middle of our process,” Larranaga told reporters at the morning shootaround in Milwaukee before Thursday night’s Game 6.

NY Newsday

“Obviously they’re in the middle of their process,’’ Larranaga said. “We’re in the middle of our process. I appreciated them coming out here. Obviously all my focus is on the Milwaukee Bucks.’’

Knicks President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry announced today that Jeff Hornacek has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Mills and Perry stated: “Jeff is a true professional who has worked tirelessly for this organization the last two seasons. We sincerely appreciate his efforts and considerable contributions to the team and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

In addition, Associate Head Coach Kurt Rambis has been relieved of his coaching duties.

Mills and Perry continued: “Kurt has been a big part of the Knicks over these last four seasons, as both an associate head coach and interim head coach. We thank him for his dedication to New York and wish him the best moving forward.”

Per the New York Post, “Hornacek had one season left on his contract and the writing was on the wall — with the president stone silent virtually the entire season regarding his head coach. Mills and Perry now will embark on finding the Knicks their 11th coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in 2001. Mills is expected to meet the media Thursday afternoon to discuss the firing. Sources indicate the Knicks are expected to interview, among others, Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Kidd and David Blatt. Doc Rivers will be a candidate if he doesn’t return to the Clippers.”

Hornacek joined the Knicks as the 28th head coach in franchise history on June 2, 2016 and posted an overall 60-104 (.366) record over two seasons.

Per the New York Daily News, “Before Wednesday’s game, Hornacek made a pitch to return for the final year of his three-year contract, expressing belief that the foundation he helped build will soon “blossom.” Knicks brass evidently did not agree, as Hornacek, who was hired by Mills and Phil Jackson in the summer of 2016, helmed the team to his second straight disappointing season.”

The Knicks came into the season with a fairly limited roster. Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr, and a supporting cast. Then Porzingis suffered a season-ending injury. So it was bound to be a fairly lost season. Making it tough to judge the job a head coach does. So what’s Jeff Hornacek’s future in NYC look like? Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Hornacek will take the sidelines Wednesday with a 59-104 Knicks coaching record to face the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Then, Hornacek will likely face the firing line.

Lacking a vote of confidence from president Steve Mills or contract-extension talks, Hornacek looks like he is being set up as the fall guy for another depressing campaign that in some ways couldn’t have gone worse.

And the irony is the 28-53 record — already two games worse than last season’s final 31-51 mark — isn’t the coach’s fault. The Knicks could do worse — and possibly will — than Hornacek.

“John Wooden couldn’t win with this team,” one NBA scout told The Post. “But he’s just an OK coach — nothing special. A good person and smart basketball man, but there is more to the job. Both places [including Phoenix], there’s been some lack of discipline — whether that’s his fault or not.”

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Knicks sign Troy Williams

Knicks sign Troy Williams

The New York Knicks yesterday (Tuesday) signed forward Troy Williams. The team had previously signed Williams to consecutive 10-day contracts.

Williams, 6-7 and 220-pounds, is averaging 8.1 points and 2.9 rebounds over 13.9 minutes in eight games with the Knicks. He first signed a 10-day contract with the team on Feb. 21, 2018.

Williams previously averaged 5.6 points and 2.1 rebounds over 16.9 minutes in 34 games (16 starts) over two seasons with Memphis and Houston. He appeared in four games for the Rockets this season before being waived on Feb. 14.

The Hampton, Va. native also appeared in 19 games for Rio Grande (G League) during the 2017-18 season, averaging 19.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 steals over 29.1 minutes. He won the 2017 D-League Dunk contest and played in 33 games for Rio Grande and Iowa last season. He was originally signed by Memphis as an undrafted rookie free agent in Oct. 2016 after two collegiate seasons at Indiana University.

The Knicks have barely used well-paid center Joakim Noah this season. Currently, the two sides are taking a break from each other. Which isn’t really an ideal situation. How will it resolve? Tough to say, because Noah has a lot more Knicks money coming to him. Here’s NY Newsday with the latest:

Jeff Hornacek wouldn’t comment on reports that he pushed Joakim Noah during their heated exchange last month in Denver. But Hornacek gave the strongest indications yet that Noah won’t be back with the Knicks.

“I think that is the plan,” Hornacek said following practice Tuesday night.

That was the expected outcome when the Knicks sent Noah away after he and Hornacek got into it at a practice Jan. 24 in Denver. Noah was upset that he played less than five minutes the night before in a lopsided loss to the Warriors when the Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn.

“That’s something that happened three weeks ago, four weeks ago,” Hornacek said. “We handled that thing with Jo. It’s not finalized because he’s still on the roster. We’ve dealt with that situation.

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