Knicks Notes: Burke, Kanter, Ntilikina, Trade Deadline

Trey Burke is back in the Knicks‘ rotation, but it looks like a temporary situation until he either gets traded or Emmanuel Mudiay returns from a strained shoulder, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Burke, who began the season as the starting point guard, poured in 25 points Friday, but doesn’t appear to have a long-term future in New York.

The Knicks have committed to a youth movement and are looking to trade veterans Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter as well. Burke has an expiring $1.795MM contract and likely won’t be around next season no matter what happens at the deadline. A source tells Berman that Burke prefers to be dealt, but he insists he’ll be fine either way.

“As a basketball player, you look at other scenarios,” Burke said. “How I’d fit in other scenarios, in that system, in that situation. But I think the direction of this organization, I want to be part of that. I know that there’s still a lot I have to prove. That’s fine with me.”

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Kanter continues to seethe about being about not being used, even after an injury to starting center Luke Kornet, Berman relays in a separate story. Kanter sat out back-to-back games after Fizdale promised him a return to the rotation, with the coach explaining that he’s trying a versatile, switching style of defense that doesn’t fit Kanter’s game. “I was talking to one of my teammates … and I said I could get 30 and 30 (points and rebounds) tonight,” Kanter said after Friday’s loss to the Nets. “But I guess they didn’t want me to get 30 and 30.”
  • Mudiay’s injury provides Frank Ntilikina with a new opportunity to impress Knicks management, but foul trouble is getting in his way, Berman notes in another story. Ntilikina made his seventh start of the year at point guard Friday, but played just 18 minutes before fouling out. “I have to be smarter to avoid these fouls and know what moment when the refs are going to call it,’’ he said. “Fouls are going to come by being aggressive, but I have to control it.’’
  • The Knicks are in a tear-down phase with almost everyone on the roster available for trades, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. However, an Eastern Conference executive told him that recent additions such as Burke, Mudiay, Noah Vonleh and Mario Hezonja don’t carry much trade value.
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40 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Burke, Kanter, Ntilikina, Trade Deadline

  1. LivingUnderDaBridge

    The dumpster fires (I mean knicks) are just hopeless. I want them to be good so badly but there is so little patience with players development and one or two bad games cause management to either bench you or seek a trade for you. Just a toxic place.

    • As long as they stay in the bottom three then they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing – getting a top pick with the chance at the number one. The only players that matter are Knox, KP, Williams. Other than that, trade, waive, etc. the rest of the team.

      Getting to two max contracts, KP, Knox, Williams and let’s say a top three pick in next year’s draft and now you’re looking at a very solid team.

  2. stubby66

    I wonder if the Knicks could flip Hardaway and Vonleh to the Bucks for maybe Thon Maker and Woods

    • hiflew

      No they cannot. Hardaway makes WAY too much money for that deal.

      And it is just Wood BTW, not plural.

  3. dust44

    Burke is a solid second team point guard on most teams. The only thing I really c that’s been a complete dumpster fire with the Knicks this year is the mixing of the rotation. Put these guys in the roles u c moving forward and if they don’t succeed in them then u know u can’t use them moving forward.

  4. Knicks’ FO and HC are amateurs at team building, individually, and they don’t have a unifying philosophy among them. I think they’re trying to build the team right. But they also want to accelerate the timeline, without a template for doing it. Maybe they’re learning along the with way. Next time maybe they’ll realize that intelligent rebuilding starts (even before tanking) with shedding guys like THJ, not signing them. Or that player development is supposed to be a means to an end, i.e., developed players for your team.

      • formerlyz

        For constantly speaking out against the organization, his teammates, and his coach, and for being delusional of those abilities. I think they have been forthcoming with what they’re trying to do since Fizdale got hired. Kanter lives in a delusional world, and nobody would want him at his money. I still cant believe OKC was able to get anyone to take him

        Get better on defense or shut up about not playing. Kanter shouldn’t get more than 25 minutes off the bench in today’s NBA, and he fits better in that 2nd unit, so he can get his shots. Mitchell Robinson and Kornet have both played very well thos year, and its obviously more important for the Knicks to develop that than play Kanter. Vonleh is also an asset, so it makes sense to see how he does at the 5 while other guys are out…that doesnt even include Porzingis, who should be the starting 5 when he comes back

        • He has every right to speak out. He’s asked for a trade and hopefully they’ll grant him his request.

          • formerlyz

            Doesnt have to constantly keep saying the same things. First he comes out and says something along the lines of him understanding, and then.he complains later in the same day. He thinks he is being a good teammate? Rofl

            • If it impacts your ability to maximize your income, especially in your last year of a contract, yeah… I’m sure many would complain. And he’s better than the other centers in the team, so being a good teammate shouldn’t really be applied here.

              • emac22

                Yeah right.

                Playing team cancer is going to get him lots of money in free agency.

              • formerlyz

                He is not better than any of the other centers on the team, including the injured Porzingis

              • formerlyz

                How many times does he need to say it though? Situation is totally different from earlier this year when Minnesota wouldnt move Butler. People actually wanted Butler. You can ask for a trade, but it’s not the Knicks fault nobody wants him. Only reason he can probably even be moved right now is the expiring contract. But regardless, we get it. You want to play. So does everyone else in the league not getting that opportunity, and there are many guys better than Kanter sitting on the bench and being professional. We dont need to hear about it every few seconds, as if its some kind of revelation

                • x%sure

                  That’s how you force your way out. The Knicks could get something for him, but whoever it is, they prolly won’t be as good as Kanter. Tough. Consequences of decisions made. Keep at it Ennis.

    • I would think that you would want to live in world where there are no consequences for being delusional.

      You look at the NYK-OKC deal and think how on Earth did Knicks take Kanter? FYI: the rest of the world is still wondering how OKC took Melo. That includes the OKC ownership group which will have to pony up close to 100 mm due to that deal.

      Not that it matters (nothing requires a team or HC to be honest with its/his players), but if you followed the Knicks, you’d know that Fizdale’s position on Kanter has changed every few weeks, at least, and, in the last instance, in less than 12 hours. And no, it’s not a matter of opinion. There’s a verifiable timeline of statements and events, and it wouldn’t speak well of this Knicks’ FO or Fizdale if revealed. Fortunately, unlike with the contract situations they screwed up, this one can go away if they just trade Kanter or give him his release if they can’t. That’s what they should do. Not go for some bogus suspension so they can get slapped, laughed at and exposed. Particularly, after they never gave Noah the suspension they could has as of right, and released him on his terms.

      • formerlyz

        Maybe i just understand Fizdale’s philosophy and terminology differently. I do agree they should release him. He should give back some money in a buyout, and then he will see how green the grass is somewhere else when he is sitting on the bench somewhere in the same situation b/c he isnt nearly as good as he thinks he is, and b/c his attitude has a history of being garbage back to being in Utah, and the fact that I’m sure his teammates arent going to be so quick to be happy about a dude badmouthing them constantly, even when they have all played better than him

        • Perhaps, you have special insight into where Fiz is coming from. But he does hold his PC’s in English, and Kanter isn’t the only one that can’t reconcile what he says from week to week and/or the rationales behind his bloated musical chair rotations.

          I don’t know anything about his attitude in Utah, nor do I care. I do know that Kanter was popular with his teammates and the fans in OKC, and more so on both counts here in NYC. And for good reasons. He’s been terrific here. With the fans, the community and his teammates. Who cares if he thinks he’s better than he is? Don’t listen to him. But don’t create false narratives based on what you think of him as a player.

          • formerlyz

            He was a problem In OKC for how bad he was on the court for them, and what his contract did to them, but they still haven’t figured out their real issue is their coaching, after finally moving from Scott Brooks to Scott Brooks 2.0. So I’ll give the fans a pass for liking him b/c they’ve had enough frustration with other stupidity keeping them from being the elite organization they should have been the last 7 years

            His counting stats are good, and I wont deny that he has improved a little on defense, after losing 40 pounds. Still doesnt mean anything on that bad team, and the defense is still enough of an issue, while improved. Its b/c he improved from arguably being the worst defender of all time to still pretty bad…I dont understand why you care so much about him playing over 3 young pieces that are better, and more important to the organization. I dont see how you dont see a problem with how he has been acting. Even if you have a problem with Fizdale, who is trying to finally install a real identity in that organization, that doesnt mean you should incessantly insult your teammates and talk about how terrible everything is, especially when you are making $20+ million…b/c you dont play for a couple of games. As I said, there are better players in worse situations, and you dont see them acting that way.

            • x%sure

              Maybe those others don’t want out. Anyway I don’t recall him being a problem person in Utah or OKC… just a lousy defender, and stuck behind the similar Steven Adams.

              • formerlyz

                He complained a lot in Utah. I didnt say anything about him as a person in OKC. Just his contract and the fact he was awful on defense…although it wasnt as bad for them b/c they were good defensively otherwise, and had the exponentially better Steven Adams playing most of those minutes. Their issue was just the cap space and the coaching, as I mentioned

          • formerlyz

            And at the end of the day, not that this should have to be said, Fizdale has a right to coach his team the way he sees it for certain matchups. If he changes his mind on something, he should be allowed to change his rotation if he wants to. He is trying to put guys in different situations that they’re going to face in the league. He is trying to develop winning players. He isnt out to randomly do whatever with some kind of personal vendetta. He told Kanter his minutes would be reduced, and there is an obvious reason he didnt play against Houston. How many times have we seen these conversations in the media? If Kanter keeps saying he understands, why is he then complaining later? The Knicks might be able to move him.b/c of the expiring salary, but it’s more likely that they will have to release him, as you mentioned. So if that’s the case, he should agree to give back some money in a buyout, or learn to be a team player and join in his teammates success, and then when his number is called, be ready to leave everything on the floor and dominate his minutes

      • kahnkobra

        Kanter should have opted out if he wanted to get more playing time. but that $18 mil was too good to pass up, he needs to shut his trap and enjoy his money

        • Except the Knicks encouraged him to opt in. Maybe they felt pressured because of the year he had, but, when he approached them about a possible LT contract, that’s what they told him – opt in, build on last year, and they’d talk about a LTC after the year. If they had said hey, we’re rebuilding, so you may or may not play much if you opt in, but no hard feelings if you do, then I’d agree with you.

          He’s not seeking out platforms to complain. He’s a good interview / showman and gets lots attention from the media, as he is (or was) a leader on the team and statistically their star after KP went down. His loss of a starting spot and now benching is mysterious to everyone watching the team, including the media, and he’s being constantly asked about it after each game. For months, he’s said no comment in his own way. But he’s finally had it. Fizdale keeps commenting on what Kanter can and can’t do, but Kanter can’t defend himself?

  5. DuffManCometh

    I think the Knicks should trade a 1st round pick to Milwaukee for Maker. And then Trade Kanter to the Kings for Willie Caulie-Stein.

  6. Guest617

    since starbury’s days the knicks have been in tear-down mode. just b/c you rebuild by drafting young doesn’t mean they’ll be good

    • No, they haven’t been. Until the last year and a half, the exact opposite – trading every future asset they could find to go into win now mode. They’ve drafted well above par with the picks they actually made vs traded.

      • Guest617

        a smart gm would call those signs of desperation or taking an org backwards in tear-down mode

        • You can call it “desperation” perhaps, but nobody (other than you) would call trading all your draft picks “rebuilding by the draft” – or tear down mode for that matter. You’re thinking of a different franchise, perhaps.

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