When the Knicks acquired DeAndre Jordan two months ago as part of the seven-player trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, the veteran center appeared to be destined for the buyout market along with Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews.
However, the Knicks had other plans for Jordan, keeping him in the mix despite cutting back his role. With Jordan out of the lineup the last few games, Steve Popper of Newsday lauds the 30-year-old for accepting his new role without complaint.
“This is very strange for me,” Jordan said. “I’ve never done this before … At the same time, I know the development of these guys is very important. That’s something that I’m down for.
“We had a few conversations,” Jordan said of head coach David Fizdale. “There was definitely some back-and-forth. He knows how much I love to play and how much I want to compete. Overall, we came to the decision together. Everybody thought it was best for the young guys to, like I keep saying, see these guys play and play in bulk minutes.”
Jordan will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and while the Knicks will have the cap flexibility to bring him back, their pursuit of elite free agents may compromise their ability to do so.
Here’s more out of New York:
- While Knicks fans are hopeful of landing a draft pick that gives the team a chance at a player like Zion Williamson or Ja Morant, the odds favor that pick falling to No. 4 or 5 instead. In that scenario, a player like Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver could intrigue the franchise. Marc Berman of The New York Post takes an extended look at Culver, who remains alive in the Final Four and was scouted by the Knicks’ brass earlier in the NCAA tournament.
- Dennis Smith Jr. may not play again for the Knicks this season, Berman writes in a separate story for The New York Post. Smith recently re-aggravated a back issue and is uncertain if he’ll be able to return for any of the club’s final four games.
- While it’s certainly a positive that the Knicks will enter the offseason armed with cap room, there’s no guarantee that the front office will use that space wisely, Sean Deveney of Sporting News writes in his preview of New York’s offseason.