This could be a make-or-break season for Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. and he has impressed coach Tom Thibodeau in the early days of camp, according to Greg Joyce of the New York Post. Smith could be a restricted or unrestricted free agent next offseason, depending upon the Knicks’ desire to extend him a qualifying offer. He’s also been subjected to trade rumors.
“I think he’s come into camp and he’s been very aggressive,” Thibodeau said. “I think each day, he’s gotten better and better. That’s what we’re asking him to do — to run his team, keep us organized, take advantage of what your strengths are, your ability to get downhill to force people to collapse, and then make the right play.”
We have more on the New York City teams:
- Nets veterans have been impressed with the work ethic of rookie big man Reggie Perry, Tom Dowd of the team’s website writes. Last season’s SEC’s Co-Player of the Year at Mississippi State is on a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract, which could be converted to a two-way deal. “He’s a young kid who works very, very hard, who knows the game of basketball,” forward Jeff Green said.
- Kyrie Irving and the Nets have been fined $25K apiece for failure to comply with media access rules, ESPN’s Malika Andrews relays. A defiant Irving called the media “pawns” unworthy of his attention on an Instagram post on Friday, according to NetsDaily.com. Irving has declined numerous requests to speak to reporters since the beginning of training camp on December 1.
- Nets guard Chris Chiozza declared that he had some two-way offers from other teams, but preferred to stay with Brooklyn, seeking an opportunity to win a championship, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Chiozza played on a two-way contract with Brooklyn last season but rolled the dice prior to camp this month, signing a one-year non-guaranteed deal.