NYC Notes: Fizdale, Musa, Hardaway, Crabbe

The Knicks have not been a very good basketball team for years and new head coach David Fizdale knows it. So when a reporter asked him if his starting lineups will be dictated by anything other than “best player plays,” he had an adamant response, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.

 “Didn’t I answer that question already?” Knicks coach Fizdale said today. “No one is promised a starting position. I got freedom to do what I want to do from my bosses over there. So it’s open. Don’t matter if you make a lot of money or you make a little money. If you earn the spot you play. That’s it.”

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr., both starters last season, will make $18.6MM and $17.3MM this year, respectively, while Courtney Lee will make a cool $12.3MM in 2018/19. And while Kanter and Hardaway will likely start again this season for the Knicks, the other three positions remain open, especially with franchise player Kristaps Porzingis out with injury.

Fizdale has already been quoted as saying he prefers a bigger guy at the small forward slot, so it’s likely Knicks’ rookie lottery selection Kevin Knox or newcomer Mario Hezonja will start, but Fizdale still hasn’t decided on any lineups to start the season.

“Oh gosh, probably after the last preseason game,” Fizdale said when asked when he’ll make his decision on a Knicks’ lineup. “Because a guy might play great or do a great job the first game then not show up the next three or four, but another guy plays awful early and he starts revving it up late. (So) I don’t think it’s fair for me to start making decisions until we get out of training camp. Training camp for me is all the way up until the end.”

There’s more out of the Big Apple this evening:

  • Nets rookie forward Dzanan Musa told reporters at media day (per Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily) that the Nets were one of the last teams he spoke with during the pre-draft process. Musa met with the team the day before the draft, but did not participate in a workout. Per Fonseca, the Nets scouted Musa extensively when he played overseas.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday reports that Hardaway Jr. and his teammates are happy with the Knicks‘ apparent decision to pass on a trade for Jimmy Butler, saying that the players now feel a lot better as a team.
  • Speaking of Butler’ trade buzz, Nets guard Allen Crabbe says he’s heard the rumors come up with his name, but he’s not letting it become a distraction, telling Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily that he’s concentrated on continuing to get better and work hard.

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