Knicks Notes: McBride, Roster Flexibility, Randle, Barrett, Rose

Injuries have left the Knicks thin at point guard, but they’ve been reluctant to turn to second-round pick Miles McBride, who has been putting up big numbers in the G League, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. McBride is averaging 29.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game for the team’s Westchester affiliate. He seems like a natural alternative with Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose both sidelined, but has only played 22 NBA games so far, logging 7.0 minutes per night.

“It’s definitely been challenging,” McBride said. “Obviously growing up, never had to deal with sitting a lot. But it’s the NBA. It should be challenging. The task they’re giving me, being able to play in the G League and being able to come back to the team, it’s been fun. So just trying to enjoy every day and taking the challenge head on.”

McBride appeared to have a breakthrough game December 16 in Houston when he started the second half after Rose was injured and wound up with 15 points, nine assists and four steals. However, he tested positive for COVID-19 the next day and has barely played since. He said the coaching staff is urging him to be patient.

“The feedback is, ‘you’re young, you’re a rookie, the opportunities you get, take them,’” McBride said. “And some things happen along with it.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Despite their troubles this season, the Knicks may have hope for the future because they’ve prioritized roster flexibility and stockpiled draft picks, notes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Five of the six contracts they handed out last summer included a team option, and although they sent a protected Hornets’ pick to the Hawks in exchange for Cam Reddish, they still have a generous supply of draft choices remaining. Even so, rival executives are skeptical that the Knicks can turn things around quickly because they don’t have a star player already on the roster. “If they are going to give up their picks and swaps to get someone, it doesn’t matter who they are trading,” a Western Conference executive said. “But if their hope was to turn these guys into good players by themselves, I’d be hard-pressed to see a team thinking they’ll take that for a star.”
  • Among the Knicks’ concerns for the future is that their two best players, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, haven’t played well together, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. In the 1,418 minutes they’ve shared the court this season, New York has a minus-6.8 net rating, and that number has fallen to minus-9.9 over the past 11 games, Bondy states.
  • It could be more than a week before the Knicks have an update on Rose, who had a surgical procedure last week for a skin infection on his right ankle, tweets Ian Begley of
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