The Knicks are wasting an opportunity to develop their young players as they string together losses with veteran journeymen, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. After whiffing on the big names in the free agent market last summer, New York signed seven players, with only Julius Randle having a fully guaranteed salary beyond this season. Those additions make up the core of a team that is 10-29 with five straight losses.
Affected most by not being on the court is Kevin Knox, a lottery pick from 2018, Popper adds. When Marcus Morris was hurt earlier this week, interim coach Mike Miller inserted Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup and continued to give limited minutes to Knox, who has regressed in his second NBA season.
“My Pops always just tells to go out there and just play every single possession as hard as I can, because you never know how long you’re going to be on the floor,” Knox said. “So just go out there and give it your all. So that’s the approach. The six minutes I had (January 5 against the Clippers), I thought I played really well; went out there and played hard. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back in the game. But like I said, you never know when your number is going to get called. So you always got to stay prepared, stay ready.”
There’s more from New York this morning:
- The Knicks have an important decision to make this week on G League standout Kenny Wooten, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Wednesday is the final day that two-way contracts can be offered this season, and several teams are watching Wooten, who is among the G League leaders in blocks per game. New York doesn’t have a roster opening, so either Kadeem Allen or Ivan Rabb would have to be waived to create a two-way slot for Wooten.
- Tommy Beer of Forbes examines why it would be a mistake for the Knicks to give up future assets in a trade for Andre Drummond. Not only would they be committing to re-signing Drummond to a massive contract once he opts out this summer, they already have a promising young center in Mitchell Robinson.
- The Knicks would still be on shaky ground even if they had achieved their dream scenario of signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and drafting Zion Williamson, observes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Williamson’s knee issue, Irving’s shoulder problem and Durant’s uncertain future after a ruptured Achilles tendon would all be giving nightmares to Knicks fans if they were on the roster.