Knicks Notes: Portis, Randle, Smith Jr., Westbrook

The way free agency played out came as no surprise to newly acquired Knicks big man Bobby Portis, relays Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Portis said was certain in February that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were planning to team up in Brooklyn for the Nets.

“We all knew that. Everybody knew that,” he said. “I just don’t think the media knew that. Us basketball players, we all knew that. … I’m not going to leak my source. But we all know where they were going.”

That decision eliminated one possibility for Portis, who wanted to play in New York. He said the Bucks, Wizards, Clippers and Lakers were among the teams that expressed interest, but his first choice was the Knicks, who needed help in their frontcourt. Portis was primarily a power forward in Chicago and a center in Washington and feels comfortable at either position.

“I’m (gonna) be playing in a beautiful city for the New York Knicks,” he said. “That’s a dream come true. … Being able to have a chance to play in Madison Square Garden for 41-plus nights, it’s a thrill. It’s what everybody dreams of as a kid. I’m ecstatic.”

There’s more today from New York City:

  • A “dream come true” is also how Julius Randle described his opportunity with the Knicks to Marc Berman of The New York Post. With a three-year, $61MM deal, Randle is the only one of New York’s six free agent additions to get a contract guaranteed beyond one season. “I had a lot of options,” Randle said. “I felt this opportunity for me was the greatest opportunity. The whole fan base that’s staving and hungry to win more than (any team) in the NBA.”
  • The Knicks are coming off a 17-win season and didn’t make the splash in free agency that fans were hoping for, but Dennis Smith Jr. expressed confidence to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that they can be a playoff team. He cites not only an upgraded roster, but his own improved jump shot. Bondy notes that Smith is going to be challenged for the starting point guard role by the newly signed Elfrid Payton, who was drafted in Orlando by Knicks GM Scott Perry.
  • Russell Westbrook‘s age, salary and lack of efficiency make him too much of a risk for the Knicks, argues Tommy Beer of Forbes. New York has been among the teams rumored to have interest in Westbrook since news of the Paul George trade broke yesterday, but its free agents signings will make it difficult to put together a deal until they’re all eligible to be traded on December 15.
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23 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Portis, Randle, Smith Jr., Westbrook

  1. JonnyLucas

    Russ is a first ballot hall of famer… and he’s also going to be nearly impossible to trade.

    • afsooner02


      It’s a star driven league and teams on the fringe (Detroit, minn, Miami) that are needing another star will figure out a way to get it done.

      I’m betting he is not a Thunder come October.

      • L Lawliet

        Absolutely. I am really not understanding this minimization of a perrenial mvp candidate and legitimate superstar/hall of famer. If detroit or miami adds him they become finals contender. Minnesota becomes a legit playoff threat. People act like just because he is not a big time shooter then he is worthless. The guy has averaged nearly 25/10/10 for 3 seasons now. Come on!

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      …only because of salary matching. Don’t get it twisted. RW is one of the best ten players in the NBA. His contract isn’t great, but it’s nowhere near “bad”.

      There are a couple teams that are kicking themselves for spending like drunken sailors in the first 24 hours of free agency.

      The Knicks screwed themselves. What you’re hearing now is spin. Plain and simple. They’ve put themselves in a position where they can’t trade for a star. If they had held off on those trash contracts, and had any flexibility, they’d be offering the ranch for Russell Westbrook right now.

      • Michael Saunders

        Huh, to be saddled with that contract for a 30 something that depends on athleticism?

        • thareignman

          … because nobody has ever been een athletic after the age of 30 before?

        • L Lawliet

          He does not depend on athleticism itis a part of his game sure. Byt dependending is the wrong choice of word i think.

        • Z-A

          Every contract is going to look this bad eventually. The salary cap isn’t going to adjust as fast as the supermax imo. You already see the bad ones.. CP3, Wall, Westbrook. An injury to Dame, Harden or Curry and those will be very bad too. I mean ppl were looking at Lowrys n Conleys sideways too. It’s either paid way too much or way too little in the NBA. Everyone is tradeable tho.

          Heat get Westbrook
          Thunder get Winslow n Dragic n JR Smith, Heat 2025 1st
          Cavs get 1 or 2 2nds

          Thunder cut JR.

          • L Lawliet

            STOP!!!! Why would okc take a broken down pg on the verge of being the next jose calderon and a fringe starter for one of the best players in the leage and a perrinial MVP candidate???? STOPIT STOP IT LOL!!!!!!!!!

            • SuperSinker

              Because they’re expiring contracts. Dragic is also really good at basketball himself. Doesn’t mind sharing the ball either, something OKC fans haven’t seen in a while out of their PG

              • L Lawliet

                But they traded for a young pg and have schroeder. Where does he fit in? I dont seeit.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          But where not talking about a slob who doesn’t take care of himself. His body and skill set should age well. He’s not taking as much abuse as , let’s say a big?

      • x%sure

        The Knicks now have salaries to match after signing those FAs. They had to sign them anyway to get to the salary floor, but now they can trade more easily with those pieces.
        They wanted a max player, here is Russ on the loose!

      • kahnkobra

        because everyone saw the paul george trade coming and westbrook being made available

    • ColossusOfClout

      First ballot stat padder. Watching him steal rebounds away from Adams etc just so he can get another triple double or whatever, he only cares about his own numbers.

  2. Buckman

    Westbrook’s PER has been dropping rapidly the past two seasons. Some of that is due to George but he is know north of age 30 with a GIANT contract. I’m passing unless OKC is sweetening the pot with some of those #1 draft picks they just acquired.

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      The idea that they would have to trade assets to move a MVP caliber player in his prime is laughable. Al Horford just signed for 4/$109 and he”s nor nearly as much of an athlete and is several years older. If he was a FA I don’t think teams would shy away with giving him a max deal.

      • SuperSinker

        Horford is an excellent defender and doesn’t need the ball to contribute to his team. Westbrook is an inefficient volume shooter who needs the ball at all times.

  3. Westbrook, Adams to minny for teague, dieng, Covington.
    Thunder dump two contracts, teague comes off the books at the end of the season, dieng could be a stretch candidate or rotation piece, covington is one of your 3 and d wings.
    Minny gets a starting 5 of Westbrook wiggins culver towns adams makes them a 4 to 6 seed in the west.

  4. nunzio1749

    Westbrook’s is a great player but he doesn’t fit into the knicks now I would rather see the kids play and please develop and step forward and I’m thinking unfortunately another lottery pick but let’s build something not trade everything away for 1 star. he’s a better fit with Butler in Miami for sure.

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