Allonzo Trier

Knicks Notes: Hezonja, Burke, Robinson, Trier

A cutback in minutes could ruin Mario Hezonja‘s return to Orlando on Sunday, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hezonja, who spent three years with the Magic before signing with the Knicks over the summer, got his first DNP of the season last night in a loss to the Pelicans.

Hezonja has been the victim of an evolving rotation in New York, along with his own inconsistent play. He’s shooting just .397 from the field and a career-worst .280 from 3-point range.

“That’s just how the rotation is where it’s at,” coach David Fizdale said after the game.Trey [Burke] didn’t play [in two games] and he scored 24 for me tonight. I tell all the guys stay ready, it’s a revolving door. Everyone will get a chance to help our team. I think [Hezonja] will.’’

There’s more news out of New York:

  • Burke credits a change in attitude for Friday night’s scoring outburst, Berman relays in a separate story. He hadn’t shown the explosiveness that helped earn him a rotation spot after being signed from the G League last season, and says he wasn’t driving to the basket enough. “[I was] being conservative, letting the game come to me,’’ Burke said. “Not attacking immediately. Naturally I’m a scoring point guard. When I attack it’s not always for me to score, it creates for others to. I wasn’t doing that.”
  • Rookie center Mitchell Robinson showed off his shot-blocking prowess last night with seven rejections in 24 minutes, Berman adds in another piece. He ranks fourth in the league in blocks per 36 minutes at 3.7 and gets many of those with his left hand, a fact that his high school coach, Butch Stockton, takes credit for. “I taught him that,’’ Stockton said. “When he was in high school with us, I always stressed to him to block shots with his left hand. Most people you play against are right-handed. Mitchell can always spring better with his left hand up. His senior year he was the best shot-blocker in the country.’’
  • Two days after unveiling a new starting lineup, Fizdale changed it again in New Orleans, Berman tweets. The latest move involves rookie Allonzo Trier, who was inserted into the starting five in place of Noah Vonleh.

Atlantic Rumors: Rozier, Dudley, Chandler, Knicks

Unless Kyrie Irving has a change of heart about staying in Boston, the Knicks won’t have a shot at signing the Celtics’ starting point guard. They might have a chance at Boston’s other talent point man, Marc Berman of New York Post speculates. Terry Rozier would be a good fit for them, since they’re still trying to choose among Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson are some of the young players New York could dangle as trade bait for Rozier, Berman opines. Rozier will be a restricted free agent in July.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran forward Jared Dudley has been a pleasant surprise on and off the court for the Nets, Chris Milholen of Nets Daily writes. Dudley, acquired from the Suns in an offseason deal, has posted modest numbers but he’s started every game and he’s served as a mentor to the team’s younger players. “He’s doing it in the locker room and he’s also doing it with his play, because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Dudley’s $9.53MM salary comes off the books at the end of the season.
  • Sixers forward Wilson Chandler will remain on a minutes restriction as he works his way back from a hamstring injury, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Chandler will play approximately 15 minutes until coach Brett Brown is satisfied that he can handle a back-to-back situation. “I think the minute restriction won’t be long, a couple weeks or so, it’s not long term, I’m not worried about that at all,” Chandler told Todd.
  • The Knicks’ trio of president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale have put a plan into action designed for the long-term health of the franchise, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. They are focused on player development and building through the draft rather than the quick-fix solution that have dragged down the franchise for so long.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Knox, Trier, Kornet

Knicks center Enes Kanter hasn’t had much to say since being demoted to the second team, but he expressed his feelings about the move on social media last night, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Kanter’s tweet was just a period symbol, which is evidently his way of expressing his speechlessness over losing his starting job to second-round pick Mitchell Robinson.

Kanter had 18 points and 14 rebounds in about 24 minutes off the bench Sunday against the Wizards, but was still replaced by Robinson with 5:36 left to play and the Knicks down six points. Washington pulled away as the rookie committed multiple fouls and drew a technical.

New coach David Fizdale has said the team is not “chasing wins” and will prioritize player development over its record. Kanter had been a locker room leader, but Berman notes that he has become more detached since the lineup change. He suggests it may be an ongoing “soap opera” as long as Robinson remains the starter.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Fizdale promised a five-game run for his current starting lineup and doesn’t plan any changes now that the trial period is up, Berman adds in the same piece. Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh have joined Robinson as starters, and Fizdale likes the energy that group brings. Rookie Allonzo Trier has been helping to close out games because of his ability to create his own shots.
  • Kevin Knox, who is expected to eventually join that starting unit, is listed as a “game-time decision” tonight against the Bulls, Berman relays in a separate story. Knox has missed seven games with a sprained left ankle and Fizdale would like to see him in a five-on-five scrimmage before he returns to the lineup. Knox went through a three-on-three session with contact on Saturday. “My 19-year-old pro right now,” Fizdale said. “We’ll see how it goes. I told you I wanted him to play five-on-five. I know he feels great. At the same time, we have to make sure with that deal.”
  • The decision to assign Luke Kornet to the G League today could lead to an eventual roster move, Berman tweets. There’s speculation that Trier, a two-way player, will have his contract converted to a standard NBA deal when his 45 days are used up in December, while Kornet will be waived and re-signed to a two-way contract.

Knicks Notes: Rookies, Lee, Rebuild

The Knicks are sticking to their plan so far this season, focusing on player development over wins as they continue to rebuild ahead of Kristaps Porzingis‘ return and 2019 free agency. As Marc Berman writes for The New York Post, the Knicks may have found some diamonds from the 2018 NBA Draft, as Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier have all had their fair share of standout moments this season.

As Berman points out, the Knicks’ 2018 rookie class has grabbed a lot of attention for their highlight plays and impressive performances. Trier went undrafted out of the University of Arizona and is averaging nearly 11 points per game on 53.1% shooting from the field. Meanwhile, second-round pick Mitchell Robinson is averaging 5.4 points and 4 rebounds per game while hitting 66.7% of his shots.

Before going down with an injury, Knox was averaging 9.3 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from beyond the arc as he projects to be a go-to scorer for years to come.

Having a successful rookie class is a key step in the Knicks’ plan to rebuild around Porzingis and a potential marquee free agency signing in 2019. So far, the 2018 rookies have been as good, if not better than advertised.

There’s more from the Knicks:

Eastern Notes: Howard, Trier, Collins, Nance Jr., Taylor

Dwight Howard has been shut down since Oct. 6 after he received a second opinion on a buttocks injury, but he could return to the court for light training on Monday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes.

Howard, 32, has yet to practice with his new team as the injury has kept him sidelined for all of training camp the preseason. Given that the Wizards‘ regular season begins on Thursday, it’s highly unlikely their center will be ready to go by then. However, Washington’s plan is to make sure the veteran is healthy and ready before he returns to game action, per head coach Scott Brooks.

“We’re in no rush. It’s a long season and we would love to have him,” Brooks said.

Howard averaged 16.6 PPG and 12.5 RPG for the Hornets last season as he appeared in 80-plus games for the first time since 2009/10.

Check out more Eastern Conference notes below:

  • The Knicks will let Allonzo Trier use up all 45 NBA days on his two-way deal in lieu of waiving someone to create room on the 15-man roster, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “We have 45 days of him working with us to figure out what’s the next move,’’  head coach David Fizdale said of the undrafted guard. “We are in the process of working with that and finding the best way to stretch that out. Obviously the kid has shown he’s an NBA basketball player.”
  • The Knicks’ preseason schedule is wrapped up but New York will enter the regular without a defined point guard, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and even the aforementioned Trier are all possibilities. “I am definitely undecided going into the first game,” Fizdale said. “I don’t feel a deadline for game one like everybody else does.”
  • Hawks big man John Collins underwent a non-surgical procedure on his injured left ankle on Monday and is scheduled for a re-evaluation on Oct. 22, the team announced. In addition to Collins, the Hawks will likely be without Dewayne Dedmon, Justin Anderson and Daniel Hamilton for the regular-season opener, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Cavaliers swingman Larry Nance Jr. suffered a right ankle sprain on Thursday and will undergo treatment before being re-evaluated, the team announced. Also, Isaiah Taylor received additional imaging on his left leg that revealed a stress fracture. Taylor could miss upwards of a month, putting his hope of making Cleveland’s roster in jeopardy, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes.

Knicks Notes: Lee, Trier, Robinson, Ntilikina

An injury is hampering Courtney Lee’s efforts to earn a spot in the Knicks’ rotation, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Lee sat out his second straight preseason game Wednesday while recovering from a neck strain he suffered while being fouled on a layup last week in training camp.

“I’m losing my conditioning — I was in top shape,’’ Lee said. “With the conditioning drill and how we are playing fast, I was in elite shape. That’s the main thing I’m missing now is my wind. All the things they are putting in with plays and sets I’m picking up. It’s about building the chemistry that I’m missing right now.’’

Lee, who calls it “a little whiplash,” is receiving treatment and hopes to return soon. However, he’s falling behind in the competition for playing time as new coach David Fizdale has declared an open competition at all positions. The Knicks explored trade offers for the 33-year-old Lee this summer, and he doesn’t seem to be in their long-range plans.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Rookie Allonzo Trier put on a show with 20 points in the first half of Wednesday’s game, Berman adds in a separate story. Trier finished with 25 points in 26 minutes, causing Fizdale to say afterward that he’s “got a chance” to make the 15-man roster. Trier signed a two-way contract with the Knicks in July after being passed over in the draft. New York probably would have taken him with the 36th pick if Mitchell Robinson hadn’t been available, according to Berman.
  • Fizdale is defending Robinson after a clash with Markieff Morris that resulted in the Wizards’ forward being ejected, Berman writes in another piece. Morris made derogatory remarks about Robinson after the game, but Fizdale liked the way his rookie center handled the situation. “I’m always going to protect my guy,” he said. “… I like the fact he didn’t back down. But I felt like he was the one who kept his composure — the one who showed the maturity.”
  • The Knicks are still searching for the best role for second-year guard Frank Ntilikina, notes Steve Popper of Newsday. He has been used off the bench in three-guard lineups in each of the first two preseason games and has been assigned to guard small forwards. Trey Burke, who was picked up from the G League last year and has an expiring contract, has been getting the starting nod at point guard.

Knicks Notes: Trier, Porzingis, Hezonja, Kyrie

The Knicks are currently carrying rookie guard Allonzo Trier using one of their two-way contract slots, but promoting him to the 15-man regular season squad isn’t out of the question, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Trier has made a good early impression on head coach David Fizdale, who called the former Arizona standout a “good player” and praised his effort on defense.

Berman suggests that the Knicks will have 15 guaranteed contracts on their books once they buy out Joakim Noah. By our count, only 13 of those would be fully guaranteed — Trey Burke and Noah Vonleh have modest partial guarantees. While Burke almost certainly isn’t going anywhere, it’s not clear whether Vonleh is a lock for the regular season roster.

If New York wants to keep both Burke and Vonleh and promote Trier to the 15-man squad, Ron Baker and his $4.54MM guaranteed salary could be the odd man out. For now though, it doesn’t appear that there’s any urgency to get Trier signed to a standard contract — the Knicks could do so later in the season, when he’s nearing his 45-day NBA limit.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • When asked about his ACL recovery earlier this week, Kristaps Porzingis suggested that his rehab protocol has been a little unusual, since there are few – if any – precedents for a 7’3″ player returning from the injury. However, two medical experts who spoke to Berman of The New York Post say that they don’t think Porzingis’ height should have any substantial impact on his recovery process.
  • Despite three up-and-down seasons in Orlando, new Knicks forward Mario Hezonja is confident in his ability to be a difference-making player going forward. “There is no ceiling for me. And you know that,” Hezonja told Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News with a smile. “I know that but I’m not going to be rushing, I’m not going to be skipping steps. I’m not going to be thinking about it. It’s going to come. I just have to go step-by-step. Practice-by-practice, game-by-game.”
  • Kyrie Irving‘s comments on Media Day about being able to envision a long-term future in Boston won’t halt speculation about him moving to New York as a free agent in 2019, but they were still a blow for the Knicks, says Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Raptors’ Tax, Trier, Scariolo

Guard Marcus Smart seriously considered signing his $6.1MM qualifying offer from the Celtics and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets“I went back and forth internally, but it’s a problem a lot of people would like to have.” Smart said. “I definitely thought about taking the qualifying offer, but all my options were open.”

Smart wound up staying in Boston on a four-year, $52MM deal. “To be honest, I didn’t know where I was gonna end up. I was just enjoying this whole process,” he told The Associated Press. “It is a business, so things aren’t perfect. That’s why it’s called negotiations. You guys come together and you finally agree on something. We both agreed. Boston loves me and I love Boston.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors continue to explore moves to shed salary and get under the luxury-tax line, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. The Raptors still have over $137MM in salary commitments following the Kawhi Leonard deal and are nearly $14MM over the tax threshold.
  • Allonzo Trier has an outside chance to gain a spot on the 15-man Knicks roster after a solid showing in summer-league action, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Trier, an undrafted guard out of Arizona, has a two-way contract but if he makes a strong impression in training camp, it could be converted to a standard contract. The Knicks waived forward Troy Williams this week, trimming their 15-man roster to the league limit, and could open up another spot if they waive Joakim Noah and utilize the stretch provision for the remaining money on his bloated deal.
  • Italian head coach Sergio Scariolo is close to joining Nick Nurse‘s Raptors staff, according to a Sportando report. Scariolo, who is also the Spanish national team coach, has been offered a position but needs to work out a settlement with the Spanish federation, since he has a contract with it until 2020. The situation is expected to be resolved, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun relays. The Hornets were also interested in hiring Scariolo, Wolstat adds.

Knicks Sign Allonzo Trier To Two-Way Deal

JULY 3: The Knicks have officially signed Trier to his two-way deal, the team announced in a press release. He’ll join Hicks in New York’s two-way slots, with Kornet getting a promotion to a standard NBA contract.

JUNE 21: Arizona’s Allonzo Trier will join the Knicks on a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

New York is currently at its allotment of two-way players with Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks, but both are on one-year deals, so Trier can be added when they expire at the end of June.

Trier, 22, missed part of his junior season after testing positive for a banned substance. He was second on the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game, trailing only tonight’s No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton.

Knicks Notes: Robinson, Kornet, Hicks, Trier

The Knicks’ decision to draft Mitchell Robinson in the second round Thursday night could signal an end to Luke Kornet‘s time in New York, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team extended a qualifying offer to Kornet, who was on a two-way contract last season, but if he receives even a minimum contract offer [$1.2MM for a second-year player] from another organization, the Knicks may refuse to match it.

A source tells Berman that a handful of teams have interest in Kornet, who displayed an effective shooting touch during his 20 games at the NBA level. Kornet, who went undrafted out of Vanderbilt in 2017, averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 35% from 3-point range. His performance contributed to the decision to trade Willy Hernangomez, but Berman states that management may view him as a leftover from the Phil Jackson years.

The decision on Kornet will be impacted by how Robinson performs during summer league, Berman adds. The 20-year-old 7-footer is an unknown quantity after opting to leave Western Kentucky without playing a game.

There’s more tonight from New York:

  • Isaiah Hicks, the Knicks’ other two-way player last season, also received a qualifying offer, but the team isn’t likely to bring both Hicks and Kornet back, Berman writes in the same story. New York will likely withdraw one of those QOs in favor of signing Arizona’s Allonzo Trier, who reportedly reached agreement on a two-way deal on draft night. Hicks got into 18 NBA games last season and averaged 4.4 points per night.
  • Robinson may have trouble adjusting to the summer league after not playing a five-on-five game in 14 months, Berman adds in a separate story. However, his high school coach, Butch Stockton, believes the 36th pick will eventually make an impact with his all-around talents. “I see him stepping in and helping right away,” said Stockton, who attended Friday’s introductory press conference. “When he starts playing, the Knicks fans, they’re going to see what kind of talent he is. The media people say he’s not ready physically or basketball-wise, but he runs the floor extremely well, protects the rim and finishes around the rim.”
  • Emmanuel Mudiay, who hosted a youth camp today in New York, expressed confidence that new coach David Fizdale will be able to turn the Knicks around, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now“We’re all kind of starting from scratch,” Mudiay said. “But it’s a positive scratch. It’s big to see that people are actually loving what the front office is doing, loving what the coaching staff is doing. Everybody’s supportive. So that’s a good thing.”