Derrick Williams could compete for a starting role if rookie Kristaps Porzingis isn’t ready, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Williams was widely considered a draft bust after being selected second overall in 2011, and many were surprised when the Knicks gave the free agent a two-year, $10MM offer in July. But team president Phil Jackson likes Williams’ versatility and said he and Carmelo Anthony may alternate between the small forward and power forward spots. Jackson said Williams possesses “the speed and activity to play with or for Carmelo in any situation.”
There’s more news as the Knicks near training camp:
- Jackson’s intentions to get more involved with the coaching staff could be ominous for head coach Derek Fisher, Berman writes in the same story. Jackson said he “stepped back too far” last season while the Knicks slid to a 17-65 record. Berman doesn’t think Fisher’s job is in immediate jeopardy, but calls it a “story that bears watching.”
- After spending $110MM over the summer on six free agents and two rookies, Jackson is staying away from predictions on his revamped team, writes Al Iannozzone of Newsday. Anthony, Jose Calderon and Cleanthony Early are the only members of last season’s opening-night roster who are still with the organization. “This does feel like a group that’s kind of been hand-picked,” Jackson said.
- Fisher tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com he doesn’t regret the two late-season wins that prevented the Knicks from finishing with the league’s worst overall record. New York slipped to fourth in the draft lottery, while the Timberwolves, who had the worst mark, landed the top pick. “How can you be disappointed that you’re going to get a top-5 pick in the NBA draft?” Fisher said. “There have been guys at every number who’ve proved to be great and who’ve proved to be not so great.”