The Knicks have granted Dennis Smith Jr.‘s request to be sent to the G League bubble, announcing today (via Twitter) that the former lottery pick is among the players being assigned to the Westchester Knicks. Smith reportedly asked to be sent to Westchester in order to get some regular minutes, since he hasn’t been part of the rotation in New York this season.
In addition to Smith, the Knicks have assigned second-year forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the G League and transferred two-way player Jared Harper there as well. Those three members of New York’s 17-man NBA roster will join a Westchester squad that also features former NBA first-round picks like Skal Labissiere and James Young.
Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams:
- Unlike Harper, Theo Pinson – the Knicks‘ other two-way player – will remain with the NBA team rather than heading to the G League. As Marc Berman of The New York Post explains (via Twitter), Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, who formerly represented Pinson at CAA, loves the 25-year-old as a locker-room presence.
- James Harden missed Sunday’s game vs. Washington due to a left thigh contusion, but it’s not expected to be an injury that lingers or keeps the Nets star sidelined for much longer, according to head coach Steve Nash. “I think it’s pretty manageable, but just a precautionary measure not to get it banged again and make it severe,” Nash said on Sunday, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “… Hopefully, it’s just this game.”
- In a separate story for The New York Post, Lewis examines how offseason acquisition Bruce Brown has established himself as a regular part of the Nets‘ rotation.
- Barring a setback in the health and safety protocols, Iman Shumpert – who signed with the Nets over the weekend – should be available by Saturday’s game vs. Philadelphia, says Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. As Schiffer notes, besides playing for the Nets last season, Shumpert has also played alongside Harden and for Mike D’Antoni in the past, giving him a level of comfort in Brooklyn.