The Knicks’ success could largely hinge on whether David Fizdale crafts a rotation that keeps both his veterans and rising stars happy this season, Steve Popper of Newsday writes.
New York shifted to Plan B in free agency this summer after superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant opted to sign with the Nets, inking new players Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris and Reggie Bullock to contracts.
The team also drafted Duke standout RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in June, giving Fizdale and his staff plenty of competitive options to sort through as training camp nears.
“That’s going to be great for us,” Knicks forward Kevin Knox said. “To be able to compete, I don’t think anybody’s guaranteed no starting lineup, no minutes, none of that . . . Everyone is gonna have to earn their minutes, earn their position. I think that’s going to be great for us going into training camp and competing. Nobody’s got a starting spot. Everyone’s got to fight to earn their minutes and earn their position.”
New York has missed the playoffs in each of their past six seasons. The team finished at 17-65 last season, good for the worst record in the league.
- Lauren Rosen of NBA.com crafts a preseason profile on Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz, who spent most of last season sidelined due to injury. “I think next year is going to be the most important year of my career,” Korkmaz said of the upcoming season. Korkmaz holds per-game averages of 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 12.2 minutes in 62 contests with Philadelphia through two seasons.
- Spencer Dinwiddie is confident that the Nets could win a championship this season, led by the star he believes is the top player in the league today: Durant, as relayed by Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He asked if I think the Brooklyn Nets will win a championship,” Dinwiddie said, explaining what question he was asked by one of the kids at a recent team-related event. “Now, listen here: I don’t make guarantees. But of course I do. … KD is the best player in the league, right?” Once Durant returns from injury, the Nets are set to sport one of the league’s most formidable cores: Durant, Irving, Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Jordan, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Dinwiddie and more.
- Former Sixers star Charles Barkley praised the team’s top-two young stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, in a recent interview with Michael Lee of The Athletic. “I’m a big Ben Simmons fan,” Barkley said. “And I want him to do like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Keep working on his game, become a very good shooter, because if he keeps working on his jump shot, he’s going to be one of the best to ever do it. Joel, I expect him to be in the MVP conversation. I think he got mad at me because I suggested his conditioning wasn’t up to par, which it wasn’t. I know they try to be careful with him, because he is injury-prone, and that is why I think swimming would be great for him.”