Knicks Notes: Early, Jennings, Conley

Knicks small forward Cleanthony Early was shot once in his right knee early this morning, Thomas Tracy of The New York Daily News reports. The injury occurred when a taxi Early was riding in was set upon by four to six armed men wearing ski masks, who then robbed the player, according to the Daily News’ report. Early was wounded during the course of the robbery and his injury is reportedly not life-threatening, though no prognosis has been released regarding its potential effect on his NBA career. The Knicks released an official statement on the matter which read, “We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation. We will not comment any further until we receive more information.”

Early is the second Knicks player to have allegedly been targeted by grifters in recent days, with combo forward Derrick Williams having reportedly been robbed of approximately $600K to $750K in jewelry by two unidentified women this past weekend, albeit not at gunpoint. Here’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks should seek to acquire Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings prior to this season’s trade deadline, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News opines. Though Jennings’ season debut on Tuesday night was merely average, Detroit coach/executive Stan Van Gundy still believes Jennings can make an impact in the league, Isola notes. “Oh yeah, I don’t think there is any doubt,” said Van Gundy. “Brandon is coming back well off of the injury and he’s a guy who just absolutely loves to play, loves to be in the gym. He’s still young, he’s still 26. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’ll be a starting point guard in this league again.
  • Acquiring Jennings could be problematic for New York, Isola adds. The Knicks don’t have much in the way of talent or draft picks to offer Detroit, and the team may want to hold off adding a playmaker since the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Daily News scribe notes. There is no guarantee that Conley will leave Memphis, but his talent level may warrant the Knicks taking a pass on Jennings, Isola writes. It should be noted that Jennings’ contract is set to expire at the end of this season, so there wouldn’t be any salary cap implications for 2016/17 if the Knicks acquired him, unless Detroit insisted on New York taking on a less than desirable contract as part of any trade.
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