Knicks fans have taken Enes Kanter‘s side in his dispute with coach David Fizdale over playing time, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Kanter has sat out the past four games despite reportedly being promised an expanded role in the wake of an injury to Luke Kornet. Fans at Madison Square Garden expressed their support by chanting Kanter’s name during Sunday’s loss to the Heat.
“[If] it was a road game, I understand,” Kanter said. “But it’s a home game, and the fans wanted to see me out here. And they were chanting. I felt bad I couldn’t go out there and help my teammates and the organization. You can’t go out there and help the fans because they’re paying so much money to come watch us. They want to see me out there.”
Fizdale can’t claim it’s because he’s giving more time to younger players, Berman notes, because 30-year-old Lance Thomas has moved into the starting lineup at power forward. Kanter is a prime candidate to be traded by next week’s deadline or bought out if nothing materializes.
“My agent is saying just keep your head up, stay strong and stay in shape and keep being a good teammate and I’ll handle the rest,” Kanter said. “I’m going to leave it to him.”
There’s more this morning out of New York:
- The Knicks are expected to be aggressive in their efforts to land Pelicans star Anthony Davis, but the front office isn’t clear on what New Orleans wants in a potential deal, Berman reports in a separate story. New York has a wealth of future assets to offer, including a high lottery pick in this year’s draft and rookie center Mitchell Robinson, a Louisiana native whom the Pelicans have “always liked,” a source tells Berman. New Orleans didn’t have a first-round pick last summer, and Robinson had already been taken before its first selection at No. 52. However, an NBA talent evaluator says the only things the Pelicans would be interested in from the Knicks are Kristaps Porzingis and draft picks.
- A trade of Davis to the Lakers could help the Knicks solve their problems at point guard, Berman adds in the same piece. Lonzo Ball reportedly doesn’t want to play in New Orleans and could be available if New York gets involved to make it a three-team deal. Berman states that the Knicks “loved” Ball coming out of college and might see him as a long-term answer. It’s also possible that the Pelicans could keep Ball and look to unload Elfrid Payton, whom New York GM Scott Perry drafted in Orlando and tried to acquire at last year’s trade deadline.
- Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic wonders if the Knicks would be willing to surrender their first-round pick and rookie Kevin Knox to the Pelicans to make a deal work for Davis. He also speculates on other players who may be involved in a potential offer.