The Knicks‘ Summer League star hasn’t found success yet in the preseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Ignas Brazdeikis was held out of the team’s first game, then went scoreless in six and a half minutes Friday night.
“He’s a second-round pick and 19 years old,’’ coach David Fizdale said. “He’s definitely a work in progress. But again, every minute he plays is important for him. The kid will find his way as he takes his lumps.’’
Brazdeikis looked like a potential steal in July, averaging 15.4 PPG in Las Vegas, including a 30-point game. The Knicks made a significant investment in Michigan’s leading scorer from last season, sending $1MM to the Kings to move up eight spots and snag him with the 47th pick, then using a portion of their cap room to give Brazdeikis a three-year contract.
There’s more this morning from New York:
- Marcus Morris is the latest Knick to respond to Kevin Durant‘s comments on the team’s lack of coolness, relays Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Morris, who signed with New York this summer, said his decisions aren’t based on what is perceived as cool. “I get what he was saying. I actually have a good relationship with KD,” Morris said. “But the cool part about playing somewhere. Playing in all cities – playing in Utah. Is it cool to play in Utah? It’s cool to play in other places. It’s cool. I just never was a fan of the cool thing. Making a decision off of what’s cool.”
- Dennis Smith Jr. has two preseason games to make his case for the starting point guard role, Begley relays in the same story. Smith, who missed the first two games with a back strain, is battling for minutes with Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina. Smith concentrated on improving his outside shot during the offseason, but Fizdale wants to see how effective it can be under game conditions. “He put in so much work this summer and I don’t think it’s fair for him to keep the same eyes from last year on him. We want to get a fresh set of eyes,” Fizdale said. “He had a heck of a camp up to the point where he got sprained.”
- Free agent addition Julius Randle tells Steve Popper of Newsday that averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds is “easy,” but he wants to contribute to the team in other ways. “I want to bring everybody along,” Randle said. “Guys like Frank, RJ [Barrett] and Mitch [Robinson] and those guys and help them develop, because those guys are key parts to our team. The faster they develop, the better we’ll be, the faster we’ll be better. I wanna help them out.”