Knicks Notes: Mudiay, Ntilikina, Williams, Draft

It looks like the Knicks will have a new starting point guard when the season resumes Thursday, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Emmanuel Mudiay, acquired from the Nuggets in a three-team deal at the deadline, appears ready to take the place of veteran Jarrett Jack, who has started 56 games this season.

“Definitely means something to me. I’m not going to take it for granted,” said Mudiay, who has been practicing with the Knicks’ starters. “I came in as a lottery pick so I was kind of handed the spot and stuff like that. So the fact that I’m in that position again, it’s a blessing. Thank God for it. I just have to take full advantage.”

New York’s front office has ordered coach Jeff Hornacek to give more minutes to young players for the rest of the season, Bondy adds. The coach has already made the decision to remove Jack from the starting lineup and has talked to the 34-year-old about cutting his playing time. Jack will be a free agent this summer.

There’s more news out of New York:

  • The Knicks were grooming rookie Frank Ntilikina to be the starting point guard going into January, but a decline in his performance and the acquisitions of Mudiay and Trey Burke changed those plans, Bondy adds in the same story. Ntilikina will still see increased playing time, but it may come at the two-guard spot. “I think he hit a little bit of a wall. The energy, and his knee [was hurting],” Hornacek said. “Hey, these kids come from another country. Now, all of a sudden, they’re having to travel every other day, play in games, and do all this stuff and he just looked exhausted at some times.”
  • Troy Williams, who signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks this morning, is looking forward to the opportunity, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. “Great opportunity, great fit,” Williams said. “Their interest level here was a little bit higher than everybody else’s.” Williams, who was waived by the Rockets last week, will concentrate on what he needs to do to extend his stay in New York beyond 10 days, adding, “Right now my main role is just being an extra athletic guy, run the court and defend.”
  • Begley examines the most important questions surrounding the Knicks for the rest of this season and beyond in an ESPN story. Topics include the future of Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, how Kristaps Porzingis‘ injury will affect the team in free agency and the Knicks’ plans for the draft, where they reportedly like Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges if they stay in the middle part of the lottery.
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