New York Notes: Ntilikina, Point Guards, Stoudemire, Thibs

Ahead of the first game of the 2020/21 Knicks season, point guard Frank Ntilikina stated that the sore left Achilles that had limited his preseason availability had fully recovered, according to Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link). Ntilikina, the No. 8 pick in the 2017 draft, also noted that he and the Knicks did not discuss a potential contract extension ahead of Monday’s deadline, as we previously detailed.

The future of Ntilikina, the final lottery pick of former Knicks team president Phil Jackson, remains unclear, as Steve Popper of Newsday details. He will be eligible to become a restricted free agent in the 2021 offseason.

There’s more out of the City That Never Sleeps:

  • Reserve point guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Ntilikina would not have made the cut for the club’s 10-man rotation in the Knicks’ season opener, a 121-107 loss to the Pacers, had rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley not gotten injured in the second quarter with a hip pointer, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. Both guards are former top-10 2017 NBA draft picks. Head coach Tom Thibodeau opted to play shooting guard Alec Burks as his initial replacement before ultimately bringing in Ntilikina for five minutes of relatively ineffective play. “We wanted to keep as much shooting on the floor as we can to try to create the opportunities that we’re looking for factored into it,” Thibodeau explained.
  • New Nets player development assistant Amar’e Stoudemire was reticent to make the leap from player to coach this summer after another productive season with the Israeli Basketball Premier League club Maccabi Tel Aviv, per Marc Stein of the New York Times. A six-time All-Star with the Suns and Knicks, the 38-year-old Stoudemire is reuniting with former Phoenix running mate Steve Nash, now Brooklyn’s head coach, and former Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni, now another assistant on Nash’s bench. “We wanted him to come in and share all the things that he learned from his experiences — but also to learn about coaching, video analysis, analytics and the front office,” Nash said. “I get to learn from all departments,” Stoudemire said, “to see where I want my career to go.”
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is smartly prioritizing building good habits and player development rather than worrying about the club’s win-loss record, according to Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. “You either win,” Thibodeau said, “or you learn.”
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8 thoughts on “New York Notes: Ntilikina, Point Guards, Stoudemire, Thibs

    • Luckylefty2

      New school player coaches are coaching veteran teams(Nash, Kerr, nurse) while old school(Clifford, Thibs, Clifford) are coaching young teams.

    • He’s been in NY before, just not in this capacity. He has a connection, though…

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    A Pandemic no camp no preseason. You now have to babysit players. Knicks with youngest team in league. A team that’s been mismanaged by three coaches in three yrs. And now Thibs is suppose have the answers and fix this team in one game. This is a small sample of the insane media in NY. The story is not even about the sport anymore. We need a hard as to get control of this. The PG situation is a real issue. Thibs knows this. But more important is getting value for players we don’t keep. Knicks aren’t going to playoffs. So they will have to get long looks at Smith n Nttilikina. Or move them with other players, Like Randolph. It may take till deadline to move players. Unless they get in on the Harden trade as third team. You gotta give Thibs a yr to keep the players he wants. Don’t need to rush into anything and make it worse. This yr is about establishing a core. To find 7-9 players you will build on. 5 picks in next yrs draft. As much as I wanted Halliburton (who I wanted since he got hurt last yr). You can’t pass on Toppin. Trust in Thibs and stay the course. Let the media run the soap opera.

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