One league source who spoke to Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com 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.
12 thoughts on “New York Notes: Knicks, Griffin, Simmons, Warren”
Players from the 1980’s are reading how 5 games in 7 days is now considered a huge workload and are now wondering what the world is coming to.
So? Who cares?
AJ Griffin is a really nice young player.
In retrospect, the NYK had a path to draft at #13 and still sign Brunson (or close). This assumes DET does the Burks/Noel trade without having previously done the deal for #13. The trades weren’t formally linked. They wouldn’t have been able to sign Hartenstein though, and wouldn’t have the MIL 1st in 2025. I have to think if they REALLY liked someone at #13 (Griffin or anyone else) they would have used the pick. PT might have been an issue as well. For the right player, they were prepared (anxious actually) to move up in the draft, which would have entirely squashed the cap space for Brunson scenario that unfolded.
When you think of the S**t show that is NYK
Despite being the worlds largest hoops market
It seems appropriate that Westbrook be their
Faulted , vane, dysfunctional pariah/hero/anti hero
As the vaudeville of New York requires
Brunson should have stayed in Dallas. But He from NY. But his signing changed the dynamic in the wrong way. Thibs is the next coach to be fired in the NBA then Doc “choke” rivers.
I think Dwane Casey goes first.
Next coach firings:
I think the issues are so obvious in NY.
To many guards, you have Brunson, DRose, IQ, McBride, Grimes and Fouriner.
Another issue is Juilius Randle and not adjusting to being an efficient second fiddle an role player. He was great as the go to guy but that’s not him anymore.
Then thirdly everyone not having faith in one another. Be in the fans calling out Thibs coaching. Be it RJ and his very inconsistent 3, be it Brunson adjusting to being the leader. It’s just not all there and no one is just owning the joint and sorting these problems out.
What I’d be doing is simply just swapping guys around to play a role and that will make a cohesive locker room.
To start I’d go for John Collins who is in trade rumours. Think he’s perfect as a 2nd/3rd option PF. Can space the floor, run in transition, finish at the rim, not hugely outspoken, not a big ego, just does his job well.
Secondly I’d look to remove a guard or two and add a starting SF. Particularly a vet that be the vocal leader, is physical, plays both ends of the court, will sort things out in the locker room but doesn’t need to be a big name guy. Perfect example is Jae Crowder.
Just off the top try something like this
Knicks: John Collins and Jae Crowder
Suns: Julius Randle, Cam Reddish, IQ and a first
Hawks: Cam Johnson and Landry Shamet
Knicks line up
Brunson Barrett Crowder Collins Robinson
DRose Grimes Toppin Hartenstein
Suns add a quality PF who can hopefully fit what they have going on. They get Cam Reddish aswell think he could be a good fit in Pheonix. IQ he’s someone they could develop into possibly the future PG after CP3 and I think he could fit really well with Book. Plus they get a first, they don’t have to try resign Johnson and they deal Crowder.
As for the Hawks they get Johnson who I think fits what they are trying to do really well and Shamet comes over as a back up guard. Bit of a sideways step than a step forward but I think it plays into how they want the team to play basketball.
Idk maybe you need to do two seperate trades or something but I think something like this goes along way to fixing the knicks. Crowder is the vet, local leader and a perfect Thibs guy. Collins comes in as the prefect 4, who won’t ask for the ball much but still give you 20-10. Brunson Barrett Collins Robinson all on a similar timeline. I’d look to move Fournier, I think DRose is great for the locker room and how that second unit was playing last year he was the leader for them.
Love it for NYK – don’t see the Suns taking a flier on Randle unless they start IDK losing 10 out of the next 12 or something
The Knicks primary issue is spacing. In that there is none.
– RJ is shooting 28% from 3, which, to put it in perspective, makes Westbrook look competent.
– Randle is shooting 32% which despite being 4 points above RJ is still about 4 points below league average.
– Then there’s Robinson who not only never shoots 3s, also almost never leaves the paint.
– Brunson is the sharpshooter at 34%, yet still below league average.
– Finally, Grimes who was supposed to be the floor spacer is actually the worst of all at 27% on low volume.
Grimes at least probably will revert to some kind of mean? But as of right now we’re starting 5 guys who are all subpar 3 point shooters in a league where arguably the most important offense factor is 3 point shooting.
If you absolutely HAD to go with a lineup like that then you better at the very least be a top 10 defense (this is LAL’s formula when they were/are actually competitive).
What Thibs is doing at this point is completely nonsensical. If you can’t get above average defense out of offensively horrendous lineups then you need to try and scrap together whatever offensive-first lineups (*cough* Obi) you can and try to make something work.
But to the league source’s point the roster is fundamentally broken at this point. I think Thibs should be canned, but in his (slight) defense he doesn’t have a ton to work with
By far the most concerning thing in NY this season is the complete lack of progress in RJ’s game. The fact that NY probably has the least spacing on any team in the league hasn’t helped him, but we knew this team wasn’t going to have spacing.
The thought coming in was playing with a “real” PG like Brunson – and taking possessions away from Randle – would expedite RJ’s development, even if we couldn’t play 5 out.
The fact he’s having his worst year since his rookie year, in year 4 when traditionally *something* is supposed to click in guys who become All Star caliber players, is pretty concerning.
I don’t think having both Randle and RJ in the starting lineup works. That much is obvious. But fat chance of either moving to the bench for the good of the team. RJ might be willing to do it but I doubt the Knicks want that kind of press. Also, Thibs seems too stubborn to even consider such a big change, content to shuffle around some of the more minor pieces.
The obvious yet totally untenable move is having Randle move to the bench in a “Russ-But-PF” 6th man role and allowing Obi to slide into the starting 4, then praying he and Grimes actually shoot 35%+ from 3
Only thing with that is Randle would probably stab someone if it happened.
But it would theoretically help the spacing in the S5 and also let Randle do his … iso thing in a bench unit without having to defer to Brunson or RJ