Knicks Players Concerned About Minutes, Roles?

Knicks head coach David Fizdale will face a difficult challenge this season as he attempts to juggle a rotation that features a handful of young prospects who need playing time to develop and several veterans who are in de facto contract years.

As Ian Begley of writes, there will likely be nights when Knicks players who came into the season expecting to see regular minutes don’t play much, if at all. In fact, sources tell Begley that there has “already been some grumbling” about minutes and roles.

Begley cautions that complaints about minutes and roles are fairly common around the league and that all teams deal with the issue to some degree. Still, it might not be a great sign that the “grumbling” in New York has begun before the team has even played a single regular season game.

The Knicks’ young core includes RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr., all of whom should see regular minutes if the club is committed to player development. Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Damyean Dotson could also be part of that group, though New York may not be as heavily invested in those youngsters.

Meanwhile, veterans Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, and Elfrid Payton are all essentially on one-year deals, with non-guaranteed salaries or team options for 2020/21, so they’ll all expect to play. Reggie Bullock will fall into that boat too once he’s healthy. Julius Randle, who has a multiyear contract, also figures to play major minutes for the Knicks.

While it’s not clear which players are already grumbling about their playing time, it’s easy to see why there may not be enough minutes to go around.

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