Allonzo Trier showed promise as a scorer for the Knicks, and early in the season, the franchise converted his deal from a two-way contract to a two-year pact with a team option for the 2019/20 campaign. It’s unclear how the Knicks will approach his option, with rumblings that his stay in New York was problematic.
“His play on the court was cancerous,” a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. “A lot of guys didn’t like the way he didn’t play team ball. He cared about himself too much. He looked guys off who were open.’’
The 23-year-old shooting guard, who was in the running for our 2018/19 two-way contract MVP, played 64 games for New York and recorded just 1.9 assists per contest. Trier’s 17.1 shots per 100 possessions ranked fourth on the team behind Emmanuel Mudiay, Kevin Knox and Mario Hezonja, per Basketball-Reference. The results weren’t bad, as Trier (44.8%) only trailed Kadeem Allen (46.1%) in field goal percentage among all non-bigs on the team. Still, his iso-centric game apparently may have rubbed veteran teammates the wrong way, with Berman relaying that Trier was often picked last in team pickup games.
Where he ranks with current teammates may not ultimately matter, as New York could see a slew of new additions this offseason. Coach David Fizdale hinted that Mudiay won’t be back. The team will attempt to shop Frank Ntilikina, and while Hezonja would like to return to New York, there’s no word that mutual interest exists — especially if the former lottery pick sees his stock rise after his promising late-season point guard stint. New faces on the team could make Trier adapt his game.
Kevin Durant adamantly denies that he’s made a decision on his future, though those declarations won’t silence the Knicks rumors. Durant mentored Trier during Trier’s time in high school and the shooting guard previously said he’s “absolutely” hoping that Durant signs with the franchise.
The Knicks have a clear path to two-max level contract openings and Trier alluded that he won’t find out about any potential July news in the same way that most of the basketball world will.
“I don’t have to watch social media,’’ Trier previously said. “I’ll speak to [Durant] directly. Whatever he decides to do, it’s on him.”
Berman writes that when Trier was recently speaking with reporters, a member of the Knicks’ PR reminded him to be careful of crossing the tampering line. Trier said that he doesn’t bother Durant during the season but that KD sometimes sends words of encouragement via text.
“When we talk he says if I ever need advice, I should talk to him. He’s grown. I’m not a young man [any more,] I don’t want to be a burden. He’s a good family friend to have. He’s like a brother to me,” Trier said.
The University of Arizona product admits that he has to work on his game. He may get that chance to improve with the Knicks next season, or the team could look to decline his option with an eye on maximizing cap space.
“We’ll see how, I guess,’’ Trier said about improving his game. “Everything pointed toward me being here.”