Doug McDermott

Knicks Notes: Perry, Kanter, McDermott, Hardaway

Knicks GM Scott Perry doesn’t want to try to duplicate “The Process” that has worked for the Sixers, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Philadelphia endured several years of on-court failure while collecting prime lottery picks and other assets. Perry said his franchise shouldn’t “institutionalize losing” and prefers to compete for a playoff spot.

“I think it’s very important if you’re playing meaningful basketball late in the season because of the culture you’re trying to build here,” he explained. “I’ll also say wherever we wind up in the draft, whether on the playoff side or lottery side, I have extreme confidence in the scouting and front-office staff we’re going to add some talented players to the mix here.”

The Knicks are off to a 12-13 start after finishing last season 31-51 and are tied with the Heat for ninth place in the East.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • The team’s early-season success is a result of “winning” the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, Berman writes in the same story. Enes Kanter immediately took over as the starting center and is averaging 13.6 and 10.5 rebounds per game. Doug McDermott has been productive off the bench, scoring 7.9 points in 23.5 minutes. New York also picked up Chicago’s second-round pick, which will be 31st overall if the Bulls continue to hold the league’s worst record. “Enes has come in and quickly become a crowd favorite,” Perry said. “He brings a toughness. He brings commitment to team. He’s complemented [Kristaps Porzingis] very well. He’s relentless on the boards and adds a little edge and toughness to our team. Doug is the consummate professional, can stretch the defense because he can shoot 3-point shots and done even better on the defensive end than most people thought. Both those guys have been about enhancing the culture we want to have here.”
  • Being around the .500 mark early in the season is nothing new for the Knicks, but Porzingis told Al Iannazzone of Newsday that there’s a different feeling this year. New York got off to a 14-10 start last season and was 22-22 in 2015/16 before collapsing both times. Porzingis believes the organization is in a better position now with the drama of the Phil Jackson era gone and endorses the team’s offseason moves. “That’s the right direction to go: rebuild, have young guys and play hard and build a new team,” he said. “But not at any moment in my mind has there been a thought that maybe we can lose this game so we can get a better draft pick. I’m not about that. I want to win every game.”
  • Injured guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who is sidelined with a stress injury to his left leg, was in a walking boot Saturday as he joined his teammates in Chicago, Berman tweets.

Bulls Notes: Payne, McDermott, Mirotic, Hoiberg

Doug McDermott‘s return to Chicago tonight as a member of the Knicks gave Bulls fans an unpleasant reminder of the Cameron Payne trade, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Payne appeared in just 11 games after being acquired from the Thunder in that five-player deal and hasn’t played at all this season as he recovers from offseason foot surgery.

Coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters tonight that an X-ray on Payne last week showed improvement, but he still isn’t able to run or cut and probably can’t play full-court games for at least six weeks. Cowley suggests it will take Payne at least a couple of weeks to get in shape after that, which pushes his return date back to sometime in mid-February.

“He came at a very difficult time last year with a veteran team, and just had his struggles,” Hoiberg said. “At the same time we’re competing for a playoff spot and it’s a tough time to come in and make an impact. For Cam, the big thing is to stay positive through this stretch, and to get him back and have some positive moments for us when we’re going down the stretch.’’

There’s more tonight from Chicago:

  • McDermott was surprised by the trade that sent him to Oklahoma City at last season’s deadline, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. He was in the middle of his most productive season, averaging 10.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, when the deal occurred. “It was hard leaving because of all the people I liked here,” he said. “But I wish them the best. It was a great organization to play for.”
  • Now that Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis have put aside hard feelings over their preseason altercation, they should expect to remain teammates for the rest the season, Johnson writes in a mailbag column. The Bulls found a “non-existent” trade market for both players after Mirotic threatened not to return to the team unless Portis was dealt. The Bulls also found no interest in Mirotic when they shopped him prior to last year’s deadline, and no other organization offered him a significant deal as a restricted free agent this summer.
  • Rumors about Hoiberg’s firing have persisted almost from the time he became the Bulls’ head coach, but he is safe for this season, Johnson adds in the same piece. The front office likes how he has handled a collection of young talent, and he has done better with assigning roles and holding players accountable for their performance. Hoiberg has two more seasons left on his contract.

Knicks Notes: Sessions, Porzingis, McDermott

The Knicks will have to make a roster move within the next few days, with Joakim Noah set to come off the suspended list, and that fact isn’t lost on Scott Perry. The Knicks general manager confirms that the club continues to explore its trade options with that roster deadline fast approaching, per Marc Berman of The New York Post.

“We know that is looming,” Perry said. “We’re going to have to address the roster. We’ve been working through the process for a few weeks. By Sunday at 5:00 pm., there’ll be a resolution one way or another. Whether it’s a trade or waive an individual.”

Perry referred to veteran point guard Ramon Sessions as a “true professional” who helps to set a “fine example” in the Knicks’ locker room, but it’s widely believed that the 11-year veteran would be on the chopping block if the team has to waive a player. As Berman details in a separate piece, Sessions is staying positive, but admits he hasn’t been in this position – fully removed from his team’s rotation – since entering the league. That doesn’t bode well for his spot on the roster.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Kristaps Porzingis‘s brother and co-agent Janis Porzingis recently made a few somewhat incendiary comments to an international outlet about his brother’s future in New York. However, Perry declined to go into detail on those comments when asked about them this week, as Berman relays in a piece for The New York Post. “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” Perry said. “The time to talk about contract extensions, that’s far. We’re living in today. KP is playing some very good basketball right now. He’s playing well and happy with this team. We’ll deal with all that stuff later. But no comment in terms of what was said because I really don’t know (what it meant).”
  • Perry also discussed the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, pointing out that the team wanted to find a deal that benefited both Anthony and the Knicks. “We made the trade because we believed in the two guys we got back in [Enes] Kanter and Doug McDermott,” Perry said. “Thus far those guys have proven to really come in and fit. They’re hard workers, they’re pros. They’re about the things that we want [for] this team.”
  • Of the players acquired in the Anthony trade, Kanter has been having the bigger impact early in 2017/18, but McDermott showed on Tuesday that he shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Doug’s a beast,” Lance Thomas said after the sharpshooting forward scored 20 points on just eight shots. “He was doing this in practice. We know what he’s capable of doing, and he’s doing it.” McDermott will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and a few more games like that one should improve his stock.

Knicks Rumors: Jack, Porzingis, McDermott

Knicks starting point guard Jarrett Jack feels pressure to remain productive because he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports. New York has won five of its last six, coinciding with Jack replacing Ramon Sessions in the lineup. Jack’s $2.33MM contract doesn’t become guaranteed until January 10th, so he can’t become complacent, as he told Bondy. “It keeps you on your toes, forces you to stay sharp – knowing you can’t take any day or any situation for granted,” Jack said. “I know a lot of the owners would love to have it that way in the collective bargaining agreement.” The Knicks will have to make a roster move when Joakim Noah‘s PED suspension ends on November 13th in order to retain Jack in the short run. Trading Kyle O’Quinn or Willy Hernangomez is a possibility, according to Bondy. They could also eat a guaranteed contract, with Sessions, Michael Beasley and Mindaugas Kuzminskas as the likely candidates in that scenario, Bondy adds.

In other news concerning the Knicks:

  • Kristaps Porzingis admits that former team president Phil Jackson’s comments about his readiness to be a franchise player motivates him, as he told ESPN’s Ian Begley and other media members. Jackson said in his postseason press conference last spring that Porzingis wasn’t ready for that role or to be the featured player on offense. Porzingis is currently the league’s second-leading scorer at 30.2 PPG. “The challenge is never too big for me,” Porzingis said. “I always accept the challenge and that’s why I knew coming into this season [if Carmelo Anthony] was not going to be here, then I’m going to have to be that guy and that’s why I was just [spending] 24 hours in the gym. I was preparing for this, preparing myself physically, and I’m just happy that I’m capable of playing at this level right now.”
  • Doug McDermott anticipated he would fit into coach Jeff Hornacek’s up-tempo offense when the team acquired him from the Thunder in the Anthony trade, Alex Squadron of the New York Post writes. McDermott has settled into his role as an offensive sparkplug, averaging 7.0 PPG and 1.6 APG in 20.0 MPG while shooting 49% from the field. “I’m just accepting it right now, coming off the bench,” McDermott told Squadron. “Playing that 20 minutes per game. Just coming in, being aggressive. They want me to be aggressive scoring the ball.”

Extension Rumors: Randle, Smart, McDermott, LaVine

As I detailed this morning, Monday isn’t just the last day of 2017 for fourth-year players to sign rookie scale extensions — it’s also the final day that extension-eligible veterans can sign new deals if they have more than one year remaining on their current contracts. That’s why veteran players like Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge are engaged in talks about possible extensions.

Here are a few more of the latest updates on extension-eligible players:

  • The Lakers and Julius Randle had “cordial conversations” about a new deal, but everyone understands the club’s salary cap situation, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. With L.A. looking to preserve 2018 cap room, no extension is expected for Randle.
  • Barring a sudden change, Marcus Smart and the Celtics are set to let today’s deadline pass without a new deal in place, a league source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald tweets a similar sentiment, citing a source who says there’s “a pulse but not much else” in the Smart negotiations.
  • The Knicks are “highly unlikey” to sign newly-acquired sharpshooter Doug McDermott to a new deal today, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. As Begley observes, there’s no rush for the Knicks, who will have all season to see how McDermott fits in New York.
  • K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune suggested over the weekend that it’s a matter of when – not if – the Bulls lock up Zach LaVine to a new contract. It appears the “when” won’t be today though. Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link) hears from a source that a rookie scale extension for LaVine is “not likely.”

Knicks Notes: Cap Space, Lee, Noah, Porzingis

The Knicks need to concentrate their rebuilding efforts on the draft rather than free agency, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. If Enes Kanter, Ron Baker and Kyle O’Quinn all exercise player options for next season, New York will have about $10MM available and almost all of that will be consumed by a $9.8MM cap hold for Doug McDermott. The Knicks have a Monday deadline to reach a rookie-scale extension with McDermott, but sources tell Begley that’s unlikely to happen. New York also has to factor in the cost of what is expected to be a high draft pick. Frank Ntilikina, who was the eighth overall selection this year, has a starting salary of $3.5MM.

The outlook is somewhat brighter for 2019, as the Knicks will enter that summer with about $50MM in guaranteed salaries. The team could give Kristaps Porzingis a rookie extension by then, which would add about $27MM, but with the Latvian star having a $17.1MM cap hold, it may make more sense to work out a deal in 2019. Add in a $4.8MM option that is expected to be picked up on Ntilikina, plus $1.6MM options on Damyean Dotson and Willy Hernangomez in addition to another draft pick, and Begley estimates about $19.5MM in available cap space, which isn’t nearly enough to compete for an elite free agent.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • One way to open cap space is through trades, and the Knicks’ front office seems willing to deal Courtney Lee, Begley notes in the same story. With three years and $55MM left on his contract, Joakim Noah is considered virtually untradable, but former team president Phil Jackson tried to include him when he talked to teams about Porzingis deals earlier this year.
  • Teams have contacted the Knicks about O’Quinn and Lance Thomas during the preseason, Begley adds. New York has a surplus of big men after acquiring Kanter from the Thunder in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
  • The Knicks aren’t making much effort to hide their desire to tank this season, with coach Jeff Hornacek comparing himself to Sixers coach Brett Brown, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. There is some concern that rebuilding will take its toll on Porzingis and may affect his desire to sign an extension in New York. “We’re building something and want to move forward as a team. We’re far from a championship right now,” Porzingis said. “We need to have a progression and move forward as a team and get better every year. I don’t know how long, if we do all the right things and grow, we’ll be there one day.’’
  • The Knicks unveiled Squarespace this morning as the new team sponsor, according to The New York Daily News. They are the 17th NBA team to add an official sponsor, and the uniform patches will debut in Friday’s game.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Raptors, McDermott

The Nets‘ two best players may very well play the same position so preseason will serve as a good indication of how head coach Kenny Atkinson plans to utilize the tandem. Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes that hoops fans could see the pair of point guards employed together at the beginning and end of halves.

In 24.5 minutes per game for the Nets last season, Lin emerged as a top offensive priority before an injury cut his campaign short. This year, however, the 29-year-old will share backcourt duties with Russell, the 2015 No. 2 overall pick, and the chief haul in general manager Sean Marks‘ deal to take on Timofey Mozgov‘s contract.

I’d like to have one of those guys at the point the whole game. That’d be pretty nice,” Atkinson said when asked how he’ll divvy minutes between the two. “I’m not going to say definitely that’s how it’s going to play out, but that’s in my mind, keeping D’Angelo or Jeremy at the point the whole game.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, McDermott, Crabbe, Fultz

The last remnants of the Phil JacksonCarmelo Anthony feud were removed from New York with Anthony’s trade to Oklahoma City, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. Coach Jeff Hornacek calls the atmosphere “a new beginning,” and others expressed relief that the Anthony situation was resolved before the start of training camp. “Part of my job is to try to add some sense of calmness to what had been a little bit of a crazy environment that we’ve been going through,” said team president Steve Mills.

Now that the chaos that hung over the organization last season is gone, the Knicks must work to establish a new team identity. That figures to be built around third-year center Kristaps Porzingis, and Mills expressed confidence that the team can “make him feel good about being a Knick and make him feel good about the environment here.” That needs to happen quickly as Porzingis will be eligible for a long-term extension next summer.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Doug McDermott, who was acquired from the Thunder in the Anthony deal, will welcome a fresh opportunity in New York, his father, Creighton coach Greg McDermott, told Marc Berman of The New York Post. The 11th pick in the 2014 draft, the younger McDermott developed into a reliable reserve in Chicago, but saw his playing time cut after a deadline-day trade sent him to Oklahoma City. Greg McDermott said the adjustment wasn’t easy for his son. “It was difficult going into situation where you have to learn things on the fly,” he said. “Not only does the player have to learn the system and style, the coach has to learn about a player’s strengths and how best be utilized. It’s a hard to do at the end of February.”
  • The Nets plan to give Allen Crabbe whatever time he needs to recover from a sprained ankle, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Crabbe was in a walking boot Thursday, but X-rays on the ankle turned out negative. With a revamped roster, Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson wants all of his players on the court to start building chemistry, but he understands the need to be cautious. “You’ve got to think 82 games. Honestly this is a setback,’’ Atkinson said. “Again, lack of continuity. You want to see him with different lineups … especially with a new player. So we’ll do the best we can showing him stuff. But it’s not the same.
  • Sixers rookie point guard Markelle Fultz won’t have to take on as much responsibility right away as Michael Carter-Williams did four seasons ago, according to Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia has more talent and experience on its roster now to support Fultz as he gets accustomed to the rigors of NBA life.

Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony To Thunder

SEPTEMBER 25: The Knicks have officially traded Anthony to the Thunder for the package detailed below, the team announced today in a press release. In a separate announcement, the Knicks also confirmed they’ve waived Chasson Randleas expected – in order to create room on their roster to accommodate the incoming players from Oklahoma City.CarmeloAnthony vertical

SEPTEMBER 23: The Knicks have reached an agreement with the Thunder that will send Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, reports Adrian Wojanrowski of ESPN (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, New York will receive Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter in the deal, along with a draft pick. Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link) indicates that pick will be the Bulls’ 2018 second-rounder.

The trade call will officially take place Monday, Wojnarowski adds, as Russell Westbrook and Paul George were successful in their lobbying efforts to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause for the Thunder (Twitter link). Carmelo also has a relationship with top Thunder executive Troy Weaver, who recruited him to Syracuse a decade and a half ago.

Anthony has agreed to waive his $8.1MM trade kicker, since the deal wouldn’t have worked otherwise, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Anthony will retain his no-trade clause with the Thunder (Twitter link). Taking on his $26,243,760 salary will increase OKC’s projected luxury tax payment by $12.4MM, up to a total of $27.8MM (Twitter link).

The Knicks were at the maximum of 20 players before the trade, so a roster move will have to be made by Monday in order to make room for the extra incoming player. New York has five non-guaranteed players coming to camp, so one of them will likely be waived.

The Knicks will incur Kanter’s 15% trade bonus of $2.68MM, which pushes his cap hit for this season to $20.56MM (Twitter link). Kanter also has an $18.6MM player option for 2018/19 — his kicker doesn’t apply to that salary since trade bonuses don’t affect team or player option years. As for McDermott, he’s making $3.3MM in the final year of his rookie contract and is eligible to receive an extension until October 16. He’ll be on track to become a restricted free agent next summer if no agreement can be reached this year.

The Thunder obviously made the move with an eye toward winning this season, but it creates a fascinating scenario for the future of the franchise. Anthony, Westbrook and George are all currently eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer, so this could be a one-year experiment.

Of course, the Thunder currently have an extension offer on the table for Westbrook, and Anthony has a lucrative player option for 2018/19, so there’s no guarantee there will be a mass exodus out of OKC after this season. Still, it would be difficult financially to retain all three players — Marks estimates the cost of keeping all three would bring the Oklahoma City payroll to $157MM with an additional $143MM in taxes (Twitter link).

For the Knicks, it closes a long chapter in their troubled relationship with Anthony, who was hailed as a franchise savior when he was acquired from the Nuggets in 2011. He never delivered the playoff success that was expected and became the target of public criticism from former team president Phil Jackson. Having expressed a desire to go to the Rockets for most of the 2017 offseason, Anthony expanded his list of preferred teams this week, adding Cleveland and Oklahoma City, which allowed the Knicks to get something done.

New York has now fully committed to the rebuilding project that the new management team outlined when it took over. The Knicks were reluctant to trade Anthony to the Cavaliers because they wanted him out of the Eastern Conference, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link), although it’s hard to understand why, giving the team’s remote playoff chances. Even though Jackson was dismissed this summer, hard feelings with Carmelo remained and the organization wanted a fresh start (Twitter link).

The trade of Anthony represents the culmination of an eventful offseason that saw many of the East’s best players join new clubs. Anthony is the sixth player from 2017’s Eastern Conference All-Star squad to change teams, following in the footsteps of George, Jimmy Butler, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas, and Kyrie Irving. Anthony, George, Butler, and Millsap all moved over to the Western Conference.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Knicks Notes: Noah, Ntilikina, Anthony, McDermott

The addition of Enes Kanter in Saturday’s Carmelo Anthony trade makes center Joakim Noah a stronger candidate for the stretch provision, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72MM free agent deal last summer, and he is owed $55MM over the next three seasons. Kanter will make $20.5MM+ this season and has a player option worth more than $18.6MM for 2018/19, so that’s a lot to pay two centers when Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn are also on the roster.

Noah had a nightmarish first season in New York marked by disappointing performance, shoulder surgery and a drug suspension that will carry through the first 11 games of this year. Knicks management may want to get him off the roster, but the deadline to stretch this season’s salary passed on August 31, so the team is stuck with his $17.765MM and the accompanying cap hit. It could use the stretch provision on the $37.825MM Noah is owed over the final two years of his contract, paying $7.565MM a year over the next five seasons.

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The Knicks view Frank Ntilikina as their point guard of the future, but veterans Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack will probably compete to be the opening-night starter, Berman adds in the same piece. A bruised knee forced the rookie to miss summer league, and the Knicks want to let him grow into the job, which GM Scott Perry believes is as difficult as being an NFL quarterback. Ron Baker, who re-signed this offseason, will spend more time at shooting guard.
  • Anthony was popular in the locker room, but was never seen by his teammates as a leader, Berman writes in a separate piece. Two of his former coaches, Mike D’Antoni and George Karl, thought he valued individual achievements and his personal agenda more than winning. Berman also wonders how much of Anthony’s prime is still left at age 33.
  • The Knicks hope Doug McDermott, who was also acquired in the Anthony deal, will give them a three-point threat who can handle both forward positions, Berman adds. One scout calls him a taller version of Kyle Korver.
  • If Kanter opts in for next season and McDermott isn’t re-signed, the Knicks will have saved about $8MM by trading Anthony, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
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