David Blatt’s connections to the Knicks front office could land the former Cavaliers head coach in New York during the upcoming season, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Blatt would like another NBA job and he’s close friends with team president Steve Mills and recently-hired front office executive Craig Robinson, both of whom were college teammates of Blatt’s, Isola points out. The Knicks’ schedule could also put current coach Jeff Hornacek on the hot seat before the All-Star break as they play 16 of 20 games on the road right after Christmas, including the Warriors and Spurs, Isola notes.
In other items regarding the Knicks:
- The club should not give up Kristaps Porzingis in order to acquire disgruntled Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News argues. Porzingis is a unique player who should be considered an untouchable, a 7’3” big man who protects the rim and stretches the floor, Bondy notes. Porzingis is not even eligible to become a restricted free agent for another two seasons, and even shedding the contract of Carmelo Anthony or Joakim Noah isn’t worth giving him up, Bondy continues. If Irving wants to play in New York, he can sign with the franchise as a free agent in two years, Bondy adds. Currently, the Knicks regard any attempt by the Cavs to acquire Porzingis as a non-starter in trade talks involving Irving.
- Frank Ntilikina has picked the brains of former NBA players in Europe and believes he’ll have to play more on instinct than he did overseas, he explained to Mike Vorkunov of the New York Times in an in-depth feature. Former Knick Mardy Collins and former Maverick Rodrigue Beaubois instructed him that talent and athleticism rule in the NBA, while the European game is more focused on basketball I.Q. and a cerebral approach. “They told me like when you go here, you don’t have to think too much, because I used to think a lot,” the Knicks lottery pick told Vorkunov. “I used to play the game as a chess game. So they told me when you go there, you just have to play your game and not think too much.” Ntilikina has been studying tapes of top NBA point guards in an effort to refine his game, Vorkunov adds.