Knicks Notes: Trier, Porzingis, Hezonja, Kyrie

The Knicks are currently carrying rookie guard Allonzo Trier using one of their two-way contract slots, but promoting him to the 15-man regular season squad isn’t out of the question, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Trier has made a good early impression on head coach David Fizdale, who called the former Arizona standout a “good player” and praised his effort on defense.

Berman suggests that the Knicks will have 15 guaranteed contracts on their books once they buy out Joakim Noah. By our count, only 13 of those would be fully guaranteed — Trey Burke and Noah Vonleh have modest partial guarantees. While Burke almost certainly isn’t going anywhere, it’s not clear whether Vonleh is a lock for the regular season roster.

If New York wants to keep both Burke and Vonleh and promote Trier to the 15-man squad, Ron Baker and his $4.54MM guaranteed salary could be the odd man out. For now though, it doesn’t appear that there’s any urgency to get Trier signed to a standard contract — the Knicks could do so later in the season, when he’s nearing his 45-day NBA limit.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • When asked about his ACL recovery earlier this week, Kristaps Porzingis suggested that his rehab protocol has been a little unusual, since there are few – if any – precedents for a 7’3″ player returning from the injury. However, two medical experts who spoke to Berman of The New York Post say that they don’t think Porzingis’ height should have any substantial impact on his recovery process.
  • Despite three up-and-down seasons in Orlando, new Knicks forward Mario Hezonja is confident in his ability to be a difference-making player going forward. “There is no ceiling for me. And you know that,” Hezonja told Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News with a smile. “I know that but I’m not going to be rushing, I’m not going to be skipping steps. I’m not going to be thinking about it. It’s going to come. I just have to go step-by-step. Practice-by-practice, game-by-game.”
  • Kyrie Irving‘s comments on Media Day about being able to envision a long-term future in Boston won’t halt speculation about him moving to New York as a free agent in 2019, but they were still a blow for the Knicks, says Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post.
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