New York Notes: Knicks, Griffin, Simmons, Warren

One league source who spoke to Steve Bulpett of referred to the Knicks‘ situation as a “depressing” one, arguing that their roster “just doesn’t work” and suggesting that even a positive addition like Jalen Brunson hasn’t helped all the pieces mesh.

“They’ve got some good players, but there’s no fit,” the source said to Bulpett. “The talent they have doesn’t help each other enough.”

The source identified forward Julius Randle as a player the Knicks should be looking to trade, contending that he’s too ball-dominant.

“They have to do something to shake it up there, because the mix they have isn’t working now and it’s not going to work,” he said. “They don’t guard like you’d expect with that coach (Tom Thibodeau). He’s a defensive guy, and their (defensive) rating is in, like, the bottom third or bottom quarter.”

The Knicks’ 112.9 defensive rating currently ranks 23rd in the NBA and 13th in the East.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • The Knicks will get a good look on Wednesday at Hawks forward AJ Griffin, who was under consideration for New York at No. 13 in this year’s draft before the team traded that pick, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Griffin ultimately went 16th to Atlanta, while the Knicks’ trade helped them clear cap room to sign Brunson. “I think AJ Griffin has added a lot to their team. He’s an elite shooter. (He) has really played well for them,” Thibodeau said. “You know, he was on the (Knicks’ draft) board. I think we looked at a number of players that we felt were good. You look at all the possibilities. I thought we were very thorough in our approach, and we decided on the path we went down and felt good about it.”
  • When he returns from his current injury absence, Ben Simmons may receive a lighter workload, according to Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post, who notes that the Nets swingman suffered his calf strain while playing a fifth game in seven days. “I think we’re definitely going to look at (the workload) a lot differently,” Simmons said on Tuesday. “Maybe not (playing) back-to-backs or whatever it is. I think that’s going to be a joint thing with the training staff and with myself.”
  • The Nets are also managing the playing time of forward T.J. Warren, who isn’t expected to be on the court for both games of the team’s back-to-back set this Friday and Saturday, so soon after returning from a two-year absence. “(The) goal is to (have him) playing for us at the end of the year in the playoffs,” Vaughn said, per Sanchez. “So we’ll probably … (be) more conservative this weekend with him.”
  • In case you missed it, we published stories earlier today on the Knicks’ trade talks and their efforts to move Cam Reddish.
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