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.”