Kristaps Porzingis

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Marks, Irving, Ntilikina

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie added to his breakout season Saturday by winning the Skills Challenge, but it’s going to be a while before he can cash in on his success. Dinwiddie is making the league minimum of $1,524,305 this season with a team option for next season at the minimum of $1,656,092.

As detailed recently by Danny Leroux of Real GM, the three-year contract Dinwiddie signed in December of 2016 limits Brooklyn’s options. It can’t be renegotiated and extended under the latest CBA because it’s shorter than four years, and the Nets don’t want to decline the option and risk losing Dinwiddie in free agency. It would be possible to extend the deal without a renegotiation, which would get him to about $45MM over four seasons, but Dinwiddie may be able to do far better by waiting another year for free agency.

Brooklyn can offer Dinwiddie a larger extension on the second anniversary of his signing date, as the Sixers did with Robert Covington, but that wouldn’t change his salary for next season. It would also cut into the Nets’ cap ahead of 2019 free agency, when the team is hoping to be a major player.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Even though they’ll be one of the few teams with significant cap room, the Nets won’t feel compelled to make a splash in free agency this summer, GM Sean Marks tells Brooklyn isn’t committed to a repeat of last July when it made a $100MM offer to Otto Porter, only to see it matched by the Wizards. “So what’s next,” Marks asked. “It’s not ‘We didn’t get Otto Porter so let’s go spend a lot of money in this direction, in that direction,’ knowing these are the non-negotiables that we’ve put out there on why we’re signing guys, why we’re not signing guys, stick to that plan.”
  • Knicks fans may find some hope in comments that Celtics guard Kyrie Irving relayed Saturday about Kristaps Porzingis, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post“I told him I would love to play with a big like you, man, when we played them in the beginning of the season when he came to Boston,’’ Irving said. “He’s so versatile. So I wish him nothing but the best and hope he comes back even stronger.” Irving will be a free agent in the summer of 2019, which is the next time the Knicks will have a healthy amount of cap space. Porzingis is expected to be fully healed from ACL surgery by then and could give Irving, who grew up in West Orange, N.J., a reason to consider coming to New York.
  • Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina will spend most of the offseason in France and doesn’t plan to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, Berman reports in a separate story. The front office hasn’t discussed the offseason with Ntilikina and may send a developmental coach to France if that happens.

Atlantic Notes: Monroe, Nets, Porzingis, Injuries

Despite having an opportunity for more minutes and a chance to play in his hometown of New Orleans, newly-signed Celtics big man Greg Monroe chose Boston. Why? Because he wants to compete for a title, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Although still only 27 years old, Monroe, who got his first taste of the playoffs last season with Milwaukee – and averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game – is at a point in his career where being on a club with the potential to go deep into the playoffs is of the utmost importance. “It’s exciting,” Monroe said of being in the playoffs. “Last year I was able to play in it. The atmosphere was great. So, I’m looking forward to getting back there again.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have lost six games in a row and nine of their last 10, and are now only one game ahead of the last-place Hawks, who are tied with Dallas and Phoenix for the worst record in the NBA. Despite the losing streak, head coach Kenny Atkinson is working hard to build a winning culture in the locker room, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
  • According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis is ready to begin his rehab after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. “I’m attacking my rehab right away,” Porzingis wrote. “I truly believe that with consistent hard work, patience and positive attitude I’ll come back stronger, better, and sharper than ever.” And Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek took the enthusiasm one step further, telling Marc Berman of the New York Post that Porzingis will ultimately “be glad he went through it.”
  • Sixers role players Justin Anderson and Furkan Korkmaz have each suffered injuries this season, and Derek Bodner of The Athletic has updates on both players. Anderson, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Monday’s win over New York, will be out at least 7 to 10 days before being reevaluated, and Korkmaz, who has been out since December with a Lisfranc injury, has been cleared for controlled basketball activities.

Kristaps Porzingis Undergoes ACL Surgery

A week after suffering a torn left ACL that will end his 2017/18 season, Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis has undergone surgery to repair that ACL. The team confirmed today (via Twitter) that Porzingis’ procedure, which took place this morning, was a success.

While the Knicks’ latest update confirmed that Porzingis has undergone surgery and will begin his recovery process, the team didn’t announce a timetable for that recovery. ESPN’s Ian Begley had suggested over the weekend that the injury was likely to sideline Porzingis for 10 months, but cautioned that the team will set an official timeline at some point after the surgery.

Despite the lack of a specific timetable so far, we know that Porzingis’ torn ACL will keep him out of action until at least the start of the 2018/19 season. It will be interesting to see whether that knee injury complicates contract extension talks between his camp and the Knicks during the offseason. The 22-year-old will become eligible for a rookie scale extension on July 1, and he and the club will have until the start of the regular season to reach a new deal.

If Porzingis had finished this season healthy, I would have expected the Knicks to work quickly to finalize a lucrative new long-term extension with the former No. 4 pick after his eligibility window opens on July 1. However, the two sides may wait until closer to the deadline to engage in serious negotiations if the team wants to see how his recovery progresses.

With Porzingis at risk of missing the first couple months of the 2018/19 season, the Knicks appear unlikely to make any major win-now moves this offseason, opting to focus instead on the summer of 2019.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Jack, Noah, Perry

Star forward Kristaps Porzingis will have surgery to repair his torn left ACL on Tuesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. He is expected to be out of action for at least 10 months, though a more specific timetable for recovery will be set after the operation.

Begley points out that in addition to sinking the Knicks’ playoff hopes for this season, it takes away an entire summer where Porzingis could be improving his game. On the other hand, it increases New York’s chance to land a high lottery pick in this year’s draft and provide an elite prospect to pair with Porzingis for the future. The Knicks are targeting the summer of 2019 for a free agent push, with only about $50MM in committed salary for the following season.

“He’s of course really sad because he wanted to be out there so bad with us,” said Enes Kanter, who talked to Porzingis on Thursday. “But I think at the same time he’s staying really positive. Like, ‘Man I just want to get my surgery done early so I can just start getting my rehab and I can come back and play.’ I think he’s going to come back even stronger because he’s really hungry.”

There’s more today out of New York:

  • One player who can sympathize with Porzingis’ recovery process is teammate Jarrett Jack, who suffered the same injury two years ago, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Jack says it took 17 months for him to fully recover and warns Porzingis not to try to rush back into action. “Mentally it’s such a grind, as well as physically. Not letting the process deter you,” Jack said. “… I know you get antsy, as the process goes through, and you start feeling good, but just taking your time with the whole thing.” Of course, there’s no guarantee Jack will still be with the Knicks when Porzingis can play again. He has an expiring contract and could have his minutes reduced after the addition of Emmanuel Mudiay.
  • The trade deadline passed with Joakim Noah still on the roster, but he won’t be rejoining the Knicks any time soon, Bondy adds in the same piece. His paid leave of absence will continue as the front office considers its next move. “It’s a mutual decision,” GM Scott Perry said. “He’ll be away until further notice.” Noah, who still has two years and close to $38MM left on his contract, has been clashing with coach Jeff Hornacek over a lack of playing time.
  • Perry performed an important service by assuring Knicks fans that Porzingis will return better than ever after his surgery, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. It’s the type of public relations move that former team president Phil Jackson never viewed as important, Berman adds.

Atlantic Notes: Porzingis, Hornacek, Monroe, Fultz

The Knicks are still reeling after losing Kristaps Porzingis for the rest of the season and possibly longer, but GM Scott Perry told Brian Hayman of Newsday that a full recovery is expected. At a news conference today, Perry confirmed that Porzingis will need surgery for a torn ACL. The team doesn’t have a timetable for when it expects Porzingis to start playing again, but Perry did offer a bit of hope for Knicks fans.

“We have tremendous confidence in our medical group here that he’s going to make more than a full recovery,” Perry said. “And so whenever that time is, when he’s back on the court, we expect him to be back at full strength and better than ever. That was our message to him. And that’s his message to us.” 

The injury complicates a huge offseason decision in New York as Porzingis becomes eligible for an extension to his rookie contract. He was in the middle of his most productive year, averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a league-leading 2.4 blocks per game, so a max offer seemed inevitable. However, the injury may change the equation as the Knicks may seek to work out a smaller deal or could let the Latvian star become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Porzingis’ misfortune affects numerous aspects of the Knicks‘ organization, including the future of coach Jeff Hornacek, according to James Herbert of CBS Sports. Hornacek has one more season left on his contract, but he was hired by former team president Phil Jackson and doesn’t have a strong connection to the current regime. Hornacek is 54-83 in a season and a half in New York and may be presiding over another second-half collapse.
  • Free agent center Greg Monroe will officially sign with the Celtics sometime before Thusday’s game, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Monroe announced his plans to join the team on Friday, but there has been a delay in case the Celtics need an open roster spot for a trade before tomorrow’s deadline.
  • Sixers guard Markelle Fultz did a brief interview with TNT Tuesday night, prompting a round of post-game questions for coach Brett Brown about the rookie’s condition, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer“He doesn’t go through everything — there are some drills that I take him out of — but he does go through a lot,” Brown said. “He does go through a large majority of the practice. It isn’t 100 percent yet, but it a very large majority of our practices.” The top pick in the 2017 draft, Fultz has appeared in just four games.

MRI Reveals Kristaps Porzingis Has Torn ACL

9:59pm: Results of an MRI have confirmed that Porzingis has torn his ACL, the team’s PR department tweets. He could be out for as long as 12 months, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets.

7:56pm: Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is scheduled to have an MRI on his left knee, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes. The 22-year-old needed to be helped off the court after a dunk in the first half of New York’s Tuesday night contest.

Porzingis remained on the court for a minute after his knee initially buckled but, as Frank Isola of The New York Daily News writes, he was able to put weight on it as he headed toward his MRI.

In his third year, Porzingis has upped his scoring averaged to 22.9 points per game, earning his first career All-Star Game nod in the process.

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Porzingis, Powell

The issue with the shooting shoulder of Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz has taken an interesting turn, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Fultz, who has missed all but four games this season, was apparently upset with his head coach Brett Brown after it was reported that Brown classified Fultz’s injury as “psychosomatic”.

Fultz took to social media to air his frustrations, while Brown insisted that he was misquoted, that he has never wavered from the narrative that Fultz’s shot is being affected by a shoulder injury, and that Fultz’s shoulder still hurts sometimes when he rises to shoot a jump shot.

Brown understands Fultz’s frustration, but believes Fultz will ultimately accept the misunderstanding. “Last night’s erroneous reporting was disappointing,” Brown said, “(but Markelle) knows the organization. He knows me. It doesn’t require much more to be said than that.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Kristaps Porzingis is planning to use his first All-Star game appearance as a recruiting opportunity, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. One of his first targets? Team LeBron teammate Kyrie Irving, who is from the New York area and listed the Knicks as a preferred destination before being traded to Boston.
  • After not playing in three of the team’s previous four games and having being relegated to mop-up duty lately, Raptors guard Norman Powell played well in a come-from-behind win against Minnesota last night, and his teammates weren’t surprised one bit, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, who reports that Powell is still a popular locker room figure.
  • The Nets have benched veteran center Tyler Zeller in favor of youngsters Jahlil Okafor and Jarrett Allen, reports Brian Lewis of the New York Post. While head coach Kenny Atkinson wouldn’t confirm the move as permanent, Allen started in Zeller’s place in last night’s loss to the Knicks after Zeller had started 33 of the last 34 games.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Bradley, Jack

The Knicks have fallen out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture thanks to a recent slide but star forward Kristaps Porzingis would still prefer the team to make a push to sneak back in, Ian Begley of ESPN writes.

Porzingis, averaging 23.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in his third season, says that he’s eager to gain playoff experience but concedes that the team’s decision is out of his control.

I don’t think it’s healthy for any player to have [tanking] in their minds,” Porzingis said. “Whatever happens, you give your all on the court and if it doesn’t work out and you can’t win games then something else good might happen and you have that. But as a player your mindset has to be going out and giving 110 percent and live with the results.

There’s more out of the Big Apple today:

  • It appears as though the Knicks contacted the Pistons about Avery Bradley prior to his being sent to the Clippers, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes.
  • There’s a case to be made for the Knicks offering Jarrett Jack to a contender at the deadline but the veteran point guard would rather remain with New York, a team he thinks can possibly claw back into the postseason picture, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes.
  • The Knicks are looking for a way to clear their books of Joakim Noah‘s contract, especially after a heated exchange between the player and head coach Jeff Hornacek. Ian Begley and Bobby Marks of ESPN recently wrote about the options that New York actually has available to them.

Latest On Joakim Noah

After a Friday report indicated that the Knicks were increasing their efforts to trade Joakim Noah, more details on the rift between Noah and the Knicks – as well as his absence from the team – surfaced today, with Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reporting that the front office is “exploring avenues” to part with the veteran center.

According to various reports, including one from Marc Stein of The New York Times, Noah expressed displeasure with his playing time and his role when he was removed from last Tuesday’s game against the Warriors, then had another heated exchange with head coach Jeff Hornacek during Wednesday’s practice in Denver. At that point, the Knicks granted Noah time away from the team for what was essentially meant to be a “cooling-off period,” writes Stein.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, Noah is currently working out and is awaiting word from the Knicks on the next steps for rejoining the team. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News suggests that Noah is waiting to hear if he should report back to the club at all, though there’s an expectation he’ll return — his contract will be very difficult to trade, and there’s little upside to waiving him at this point.

Here’s more on Noah:

  • There have been no discussions between Noah and the Knicks so far about a buyout, according to Begley, who hears from sources that the 32-year-old isn’t inclined to give up significant money to accommodate a buyout.
  • A source tells Bondy that the Cavaliers entertained the possibility of taking on Noah during the 2017 offseason as part of a Kyrie Irving trade. The kicker? Kristaps Porzingis would have needed to be included. The Knicks weren’t interested at the time, according to Bondy, and there’s no indication that the club would have any interest now in moving Noah by attaching him to Porzingis or another prime asset.
  • Noah’s frustration with his role (or lack thereof) isn’t new. According to Steve Aschburner of (Twitter link), Noah told a confidante over a month ago that his playing time situation was stressful.
  • There’s a belief that there would still be a market for Noah if he’s eventually waived or bought out, writes Charania. I imagine the big man would have to settle for a minimum salary contract in that scenario.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Hornacek, Porzingis, Trade Deadline Plans

Enes Kanter has been a bright spot for the Knicks this season, but his ongoing dispute with the Turkish government has generated more headlines than anything he has done on the court. While his future — both with the Knicks and his native country — is unclear, Kanter knows he wants to retire in New York.

In an in-depth interview with ESPN’s Ian Begley, Kanter addressed his perception of the Knicks before he joined the team as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade last September and his current view of the organization.

“I remember during the draft I went to see a lot of organizations. But after you play in New York, you don’t really want to go anywhere else,” Kanter said. “The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, ‘This place is so cool, I want to retire here.’ I remember one of the media guys was asking me, ‘Is it too early to decide because you’ve been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?’ I was like, ‘This is the place I want to be.’ You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I’m really cool with Ben Stiller.”

Kanter, 25, has averaged 13.5 PPG and 9.9 RPG through 43 games this season while holding down the center position. In addition to his Knicks future, Kanter also discussed his view of Turkey, his current relationship with his family, and his spat with LeBron James.

Check out other Knicks news below:

  • There have been some rumblings of head coach Jeff Hornacek‘s future with the team given the team’s recent rough patch, which was addressed by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Amid the chatter, however, Hornacek responded by stating that he has the support of the organization and moving forward with the plan of developing young talent, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
  • Kristaps Porzingis was voted an All-Star starter by his fellow players, but lost the overall vote to Sixers big man Joel Embiid. Per ESPN, the Latvian sharpshooter addressed the news with confidence. “Players know,” Porzingis said. “That’s all I’m going to say.
  • The Knicks’ issues with their point guards, defensive capabilities, and ability to win were evident in a recent loss to the Grizzlies. Marc Berman of the New York Post examined how the recent losses — the rough patch that has left the team at 21-25 — could lead to a fire sale ahead of the February 8 trade deadline.
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