Archive for the ‘ New York Knicks Blog ’ Category

Expectations for the Knicks are… improving.

The New York Knicks should certainly be better this season than last. That’s our bold statement for today. Anyway, here’s the New York Post reporting:

Though he said Monday he held “no expectations at this time’’ for the 2015-16 Knicks, Carmelo Anthony amended the remark two days later, saying the title still is “our big-picture goal.’’ Maybe he’s seen something at West Point.

And Derek Fisher said just because they are the no-name Knicks other than Anthony, it doesn’t mean they are “rebuilding’’ and still expect to win. Fisher said he likes the notion the Knicks are filled with names not befitting the grand marquee.

“Based on the fact we don’t have a certain caliber of player on our roster other than Carmelo, people assume we’re rebuilding,’’ Fisher said after Wednesday’s second day of practices. “Was Atlanta rebuilding last year when they didn’t have quote-unquote [name] player on their roster. We think our group, as we figure it out, will be more competitive than people think. But rebuilding doesn’t mean we’re not trying to win right now.’’

It should be noted Atlanta placed four guys on the All-Star team last February — Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver.

Here’s the New York Post with a fun feature on 7-3 Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who took a stroll around NYC and joked to one young fan that he’ll “be 8-feet by the end of the season.”

“Since I’ve been like 15, I can’t really hide, you know?” Porzingis says. “I always stand out. At one point, you’re just like, ‘I can’t be hiding my whole life. I gotta get used to this.’ Now I’m enjoying it.”

He is wise beyond his 20 years and a 7-foot-3 cutup. As he stares straight ahead and smiles for a photo with a short young man named Adam Eliassof, he startles him by telling him, “I’m gonna be 8-feet by the end of the season.”

Before more stargazers and curiosity seekers can flood the Seventh Avenue entrance to his next basketball home, Porzingis, with his older brother Martin and Knicks staffer Gregg Schwartz and several security men in tow, begins walking through the 33rd Street Plaza, where a man shouts out: “Kristaps, I need you to put on some weight.”

Truth be told, Porzingis already has bulked up, to 240 pounds, likely on his way to 250. He sneers at the stereotypical perception of European players as soft and uses it to fuel the fire that burns within him to be great. He doesn’t intend to let stronger, meaner opponents bully him.

Knicks sign guard Travis Trice

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Travis Trice.

Trice, 6-0, 170-pounds, averaged 15.3 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds over 33.6 minutes in 39 games as a senior at Michigan State University. He averaged 19.0 points and 4.2 assists in leading the seventh-seeded Spartans to the Final Four of the 2015 NCAA Tournament and finished his career with 202 three-pointers, fifth best in school history. The Huber Heights, OH-native. appeared in seven 2015 Summer League games for Miami’s entry at Orlando and Las Vegas, averaging 4.4 points and 1.3 assists over 10.6 minutes.

Knicks sign DaJuan Summers

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward DaJuan Summers. 

Summers, 6-8, 240-pounds, holds career averages of 3.3 points and 1.0 rebounds over 9.9 minutes in 83 games (seven starts) over four seasons with Detroit, New Orleans and Los Angeles Clippers. He last played in the NBA for L.A. Clippers appearing in two games in 2012-13.

The Baltimore, MD-native, was originally selected by Detroit in the second round (35th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following three seasons at Georgetown University. He played overseas in each of the last two seasons for Gran Canaria in Spain (2014-15) and Budivelnyk Kyiv in Ukraine (2013-14). He has also played for Maine of the NBA Developmental League (2012-13) and in Italy for Siena (2011-12).

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Darion Atkins and guard/forward Wesley Saunders. The contracts are likely non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

Atkins, 6-8, 241-pounds, averaged 7.6 points and 6.0 rebounds over 23.9 minutes in 33 games as a senior at the University of Virginia and was named the winner of the 2015 Lefty Driesell National and ACC defensive player of the year awards. The Clinton, MD-native led the Portsmouth Invitational in scoring (20.0) and blocks (3.7) and appeared in nine Summer League games for San Antonio’s entries at Orlando and Las Vegas, averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds over 12.7 minutes.

Saunders, 6-5, 215-pounds, averaged 12.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals over 29.8 minutes in 120 games over four seasons at Harvard University. The three-time All-Ivy League first-team selection, averaged career-highs of 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a senior. The Los Angeles, CA-native, appeared in six 2015 Summer League games for the Jazz’ entry at Utah and Las Vegas, averaging 2.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 15.3 minutes.

Video: Jerian Grant highlights

New York Knicks rookie guard Jerian Grant did big things at Notre Dame last season, averaging 16.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game, shooting a very impressive 47.8 percent from the field. Enjoy this “DC Clips” highlight video:

Yes, the New York Knicks struggled in dramatic fashion last season, finishing with a 17-65 record. But over the course of an 82-game season, highlights happen. Enjoy the video:

No Knicks on 2015 Christmas day

Here’s the New York Post with a Knicks update. No surprise that the league isn’t showcasing the team on Christmas day, as the Post reports:

The Knicks will find out what they’re missing right away when they stage their season opener Oct. 28 in Milwaukee against new Bucks center Greg Monroe, according to an NBA source.

The Knicks’ home opener will be Oct. 29 against the Hawks, welcoming back former first-round pick Tim Hardaway Jr. after his Draft Night trade for the rights to rookie point guard Jerian Grant.

The Knicks were considered the front-runners for Monroe during free agency, but he chose the Bucks max deal because he deemed Jason Kidd’s club more playoff-ready. The Knicks settled for Robin Lopez.

It won’t be a Merry Knicksmas for Phil Jackson either. For the first time since 2008, the Knicks won’t be playing on Christmas, zapped from the annual nationally televised, five-game festival, according to a source.

Knicks sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

According to the New York Post, “Antetokounmpo passed up lucrative deals in Europe last summer to play for $25,000 in the D-League. He has been an enigma, with a boatload of energy, but low basketball IQ and an erratic jump shot.”

Antetokounmpo, 6-7, 215-pounds, averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.70 steals and 1.68 blocks over 32.9 minutes in 47 games (all starts) during the inaugural season of the NBA D- League’s Westchester Knicks. He earned NBA D-League All-Defensive Second Team honors last season after a Third Team selection in 2013-14 as a member of the Delaware 87ers. He ranked in the D-League’s Top-10 in steals (fifth, 80), free throw attempts (seventh, 251) and blocks (eighth, 79).

The Greece native, who was born to parents of Nigerian descent, was selected by New York in the second round (51st overall) of 2014 NBA Draft with a pick acquired from Dallas. He played for New York’s entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV each of the last two summers after playing for Delaware in 2013-14 and Filathlitikos (Greece) in 2012-13. He is the older brother of Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Knicks sign Sasha Vujacic

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Sasha Vujacic. He is expected to play limited minutes as a reserve. And he is very familiar with the triangle offense, which the Knicks will still apparently stick with.

Vujacic, 6-7, 193-pounds, holds career averages of 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 15.9 minutes in 478 games over eight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey and Los Angeles Clippers. A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers alongside Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher in 2009 and 2010, he last played in the NBA for the Clippers, appearing in two games during the 2013-14 season.

The Maribor, Slovenia-native played for Laborla Kutxa (Spain) and Istanbul BB (Turkey) last season and has also played in Italy. He was originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (27th overall) of 2004 NBA Draft.

New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis looks very tall, very thin and very promising. He gives NYK fans something to watch right away. Here are video highlights of his summer:

Knicks sign Kevin Seraphin

Knicks sign Kevin Seraphin

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward/center Kevin Seraphin.

Seraphin, 6-10, 278-pounds, holds career averages of 6.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 16.4 minutes in 326 games (31 starts) over five seasons with Washington. He appeared in 79 games for the Wizards last season, averaging 6.6 points, on 51.3-percent shooting, with 3.6 rebounds over 15.6 minutes.

The Cayenne, French Guiana-native, was originally selected by Chicago with the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft before having his draft rights traded to Washington. He played professionally for Cholet Basket (France) from 2007-10 and Caja Laboral (Spain) for part of the 2011-12 season.

Knicks waive Ricky Ledo

Knicks waive Ricky Ledo

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has waived guard Ricky Ledo.

Ledo, 6-7, 195-pounds, averaged 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 19.4 minutes in 12 games with New York last season. He signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on Mar. 19 and then signed for the remainder of the season on Apr. 8.

Knicks re-sign Lou Amundson

Knicks re-sign Lou Amundson

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has re-signed forward Lou Amundson to a contract.

Amundson, 6-9, 225-pounds, was acquired this past season as part of a three-way deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 5, 2015 and signed his first 10-day contract with New York on Jan. 10, 2015. The Ventura, CA-native averaged 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 41 games for the Knicks in 2014-15. The nine-year NBA pro holds career averages of 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds over 399 games.

He’ll mostly provide frontcourt depth off the bench and will likely play fairly limited minutes.

Here’s the New York Post reporting that Carmelo Anthony still has interest in Team USA, which is not involved in international competition this summer but is sorting itself out for 2016:

Carmelo Anthony may join August Team USA mini-camp

Carmelo Anthony chose not to come to Las Vegas to catch a Knicks summer league game or attend the Players Choice Awards or union meetings, but he will be descending on Sin City next month for the red, white and blue.

According to a source, Anthony has informed U.S. Olympic Team officials he will attend the Aug. 11-13 minicamp as the team gears up for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Anthony is still rehabbing from February’s left-knee surgery so he will not be a fully active participant, according to a source. Team USA CEO Jerry Colangelo has encouraged roster members to come to the minicamp even if they can’t play due to injury.

Here’s the New York Post reporting some interesting insight on a talented rookie that isn’t taking his talents to the Big Apple:

Report: Emmanuel Mudiay happy to avoid Knicks triangle offense

Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told confidants after the draft he was, in retrospect, happy the Knicks passed on him at No. 4, as he was unsure he would have been a good fit for the triangle. Despite public comments to the contrary that he felt team president Phil Jackson could “make me a star,’’ Mudiay said he felt he was a better match in a more freewheeling Denver offense, according to sources.

On draft night, Knicks fans were upset Jackson passed on Mudiay at 4, and he became the best rookie point guard in the Las Vegas summer league, averaging 12 points and 5.8 assists in four games. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals. But Mudiay’s outside shooting was poor, as advertised, and that wouldn’t have served well in the triangle. In Vegas, Mudiay shot 14.3 percent from 3-point land.

Mudiay, who played in China last season, only worked out for the top four teams in the draft — the Timberwolves, Lakers, 76ers and Knicks, denying the Nuggets a look. Rumors are the Kings passed on Mudiay at No. 6 because he didn’t work out for them. During Mudiay’s Knicks workout, Jackson gave him a long triangle film session.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the hopes and dreams of the Knicks, rookie Kristaps Porzingis. And although the following reminder is not specific to the Knicks, Porzingis or this report, always remember, try to avoid leaping to wild conclusions about a rookie based on summer league play:

Kristaps Porzingis

The boos on draft night last month were resounding when the Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick. But the cheers were solid Saturday at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center for the 7-foot-3 Latvian rookie who did just fine in his summer-league debut in limited minutes as the Knicks beat San Antonio, 78-73.

Cheered heavily during pregame introductions and whenever he came off the bench to check into the game, Porzingis scored 12 points. Held to just 18 minutes because of a sore hip, Porzingis shot 3-of-5 from the field, made 6-of-7 free throws and had two blocks. Rebounding is definitely is an issue, however, as he grabbed just three boards.

Porzingis, who started at center though his natural position is power forward, played just nine minutes in the first half — on a minutes restriction as a precaution. But he looked like he belonged, was comfortable though wasn’t super aggressive.

Knicks will reportedly keep Lou Amundson

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who recognize that Lou Amundson is a good value for the money:

Knicks will reportedly keep Lou Amundson

In continuing to build their new lunchpail, defense-first identity, the Knicks have finally used the last of their cap space in re-signing center Lou Amundson to a one-year, $1.65 million deal, his agent Mark Bartlestein said.

Amundson, the ponytailed journeyman center who has played for 10 teams, became a surprisingly solid addition last January when he was obtained from Cleveland in the 3-team J.R. Smith/Iman Shumpert firesale.

Amundson’s grinding game earned him starting status when he arrived. He played in 41 games, making 35 starts and averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds. On this team, Amundson will be a depth played and not expected to get steady minutes.

Knicks re-sign Lance Thomas

Knicks re-sign Lance Thomas

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced yesterday that the team has re-signed forward Lance Thomas to a contract.

Thomas, 6-8, 225-pounds, was acquired this past season as part of a three-way deal with Cleveland and Oklahoma City on Jan. 5, 2015 and signed his first 10-day contract with New York on Jan. 10, 2015. The Brooklyn, NY-native averaged 8.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 40 games for the Knicks this past season. The four-year NBA professional holds career averages of 2.6 points and 4.5 rebounds over 168 games.

Knicks sign Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez and Derrick Williams

robin lopez

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Arron Afflalo, center Robin Lopez and forward Derrick Williams and acquired forward/center Kyle O’Quinn via sign-and-trade from Orlando.

“We are fortunate to add these four new players to our roster. They bring to the team veteran leadership, talent and youth,” Jackson said. “These men, in addition to our rookies from the NBA Draft, will make for a very competitive team this coming year. We are all looking forward to the season, as we welcome them to the New York Knicks 2015-16 roster.”

“We addressed our primary needs this offseason by adding size and versatility – players who complement each other and those that are returning from last year’s roster,” Knicks General Manager Steve Mills said. “We are all looking forward for these new players to mesh together to form our team.”

arron afflalo

Afflalo, 6-5, 215-pounds, averaged 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 32.1 minutes in 78 games (72 starts) for Portland and Denver last season. Holding career averages of 11.4 points, on 45.3-percent shooting, including 38.5-percent from three-point range, in 577 games over eight seasons with Detroit, Denver, Orlando and Portland, he finished in the Top 10 in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage three times (most recently sixth in 2013-14). The Los Angeles, CA-native was originally selected by Detroit with the 27th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft following three seasons at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Lopez, 7-0, 255-pounds, averaged 9.6 points, on 53.5-percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds and 1.42 blocks over 27.8 minutes in 59 games (all starts) for Portland last season. Holding career averages of 8.2 points, on 53.2-percent shooting, 5.0 rebounds and 1.18 blocks over 21.2 minutes in 465 games over seven seasons with Phoenix, New Orleans and Portland, he set the Trail Blazers’ single-season franchise record 326 offensive rebounds during 2013-14. The Fresno, CA-native was originally selected by Phoenix with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Stanford University.

Williams, 6-8, 241-pounds, averaged 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds over 19.8 minutes in 74 games (six starts) for Sacramento last season. He holds career averages of 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 22.4 minutes in 296 games (92 starts) over four seasons with Minnesota and Sacramento. The Bellflower, CA-native was originally selected by Minnesota with the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft following two seasons at the University of Arizona and was an NBA All-Rookie second-team selection in 2011-12.

O’Quinn, 6-10, 240-pounds, was acquired, via sign-and-trade, from Orlando for the right to exchange 2019 second-round draft selections and cash considerations. He averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds over 16.2 minutes in 51 games (17 starts) during his third season for the Magic in 2014-15. The Queens, NY-native was originally selected by Orlando in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft following four seasons at Norfolk State University. He played his high school basketball at Campus Magnet HS in Queens, NY.

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