Luke Kornet

Atlantic Notes: Fizdale, Butler, Raptors, Kornet

David Fizdale was asked to give his thoughts on Bulls players threatening to revolt against coach Jim Boylen after a series of harsh practices, and the new Knicks coach gave a response about his players that should bring confidence to fans in New York.

Since being hired as head coach, Fizdale has preached the importance of keeping a healthy culture. The Knicks’ poor culture before Fizdale’s arrival is well-documented and in the past, but it’s something he’ll vigorously work to keep his team away from. When asked if he’d ever consider running a Boylen-style practice, however, Fizdale laughed.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. “I wouldn’t rule it out. But at the end of the day, I can’t even think about what’s going on in Chicago. I’ve got a house full of young ’uns that I’ve got to take care of. But you know every coach has got to handle their situation the way that they see fit. I can only speak for my group. I feel like I’ve established a good trust with these guys so they know if I do pull something, it’s probably worthwhile and that they deserve it. So that’s how I view when I really want to crack down on them, I’m hoping that I’ve gotten to a place with these guys that they know it’s coming from the right place.”

Fizdale’s last job as an assistant was with the Heat, a team with one of the proudest, hard-working atmospheres in the NBA. He quickly learned the importance of keeping a team together both on the hardwood and off, and has brought those principles to his new job with the Knicks this season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Jimmy Butler has positively impacted the Sixers despite not playing in the past two games, Brian Seltzer of NBA.com writes. Butler has encouraged and assisted his teammates from the sidelines when needed, becoming a vocal leader for the team. “He just is an incredible example of professionalism to our guys,” coach Brett Brown said. “His resume speaks for itself, and that’s all under the fact that, as I see it, he loves his job. He loves basketball.”
  • The Raptors have their core for the future regardless of what Kawhi Leonard chooses to do in free agency, Shams Charania explains in a video for Stadium. Leonard will become a free agent on July 1, and could consider joining the Clippers if he leaves Toronto. Outside of Leonard, the Raptors currently sport a core group of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
  • Knicks center Luke Kornet has a golden opportunity to prove he deserves to be in New York past this season, Marc Berman of the New York post writes. Kornet is expected to receive more playing time in the coming games as Mitchell Robinson copes with an ankle injury. He recorded 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocks in the team’s overtime victory against the Hornets on Friday.

Knicks Notes: Baker, Kornet, Lee, Trier

It wasn’t easy for Knicks coach David Fizdale to part with Ron Baker, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Baker was waived yesterday to open a roster spot so that Allonzo Trier‘s two-way contract could be converted to a standard NBA deal.

“This was the hardest one I’ve ever been a part of,’’ Fizdale said. “Cutting Ron Baker was really rough. I talked to him today. He was fantastic. He’s Ron Baker. He’s a pro. He totally understood where we were. Obviously it goes without saying we’re resources to him. If anyone ever calls me on him I’ll have nothing but incredible things to say about him. I even joked to him a little bit when he’s finally done, spend some time with me and I may have a coach on my hands there.”

Baker spent more than two seasons in New York after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2016. When Steve Mills took over as Knicks president last year, his first move was to use the room exception to give Baker a two-year, $9MM deal, but despite the team’s confidence Baker never developed into a consistent rotation player. He was averaging just 1.3 points and 9.7 minutes in 11 games this season.

There’s more today from New York:

  • Luke Kornet not only kept his roster spot Thursday, he received a promise from Fizdale for more playing time, Berman relays in a separate story. Kornet was considered a possibility to be released, but the Knicks want to see if the second-year power forward can develop into a reliable shooter from the perimeter. That potential was part of the reason they traded Willy Hernangomez last year. “I kept my mind set on doing what I could do — playing in the G League, getting better there,” Kornet said of the rumors that he might be let go. “There’s nothing you can control other than what you do on the court. I was completely committed to letting whatever happened happen.”
  • Courtney Lee is back after one game in the G League and might see an increase in playing time while Damyean Dotson deals with a sore shoulder, Berman adds. The Knicks would like to boost Lee’s trade value and unload his $12.76MM salary for next season.
  • The new deal with Trier may have at least slightly improved the Knicks’ prospects to land Kevin Durant, Berman notes in another piece. Durant became somewhat of a mentor to Trier when he was in high school in Oklahoma City and they have remained friends. Trier’s two-year contract is non-guaranteed for next season — and it could take away valuable cap space New York will need to make a full max offer — but Berman states that the front office intends to keep Trier as long as he continues to perform at his current level.

Knicks Notes: Lee, Trier, Knox, Ntilikina

Courtney Lee will be getting more playing time, but not at the NBA level, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks are sending Lee, who has missed most of the season with a neck injury, to their G League affiliate in Westchester so he can rack up minutes in tomorrow night’s game against Lakeland.

The 33-year-year-old is averaging just 10.8 minutes in four games since returning to the lineup, stuck in a crowded backcourt on a team now committed to finding time for Frank Ntilikina. Lee admits he needs to work on conditioning and suggested the idea of spending time in the G League.

“It’s going to take a while to get reactivated to game-speed, game-like situations,” he said. “It’ll probably take couple of weeks to get back a rhythm and feel chemistry with the guys. I’ve been thrown out there with those guys and trying to play on the fly. Next couple of weeks, I’ll start to feel comfortable out there.”

Lee is scheduled to rejoin the Knicks following Wednesday night’s game. The team is hoping to build up his value in hopes of working out a deal before the February 7 deadline to get his $12.76MM salary for next season off the books.

There’s more news out of New York:

  • Rookie guard Allonzo Trier strained his left hamstring and won’t be re-evaluated until next week, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Trier, who is getting close to the 45-day NBA limit on his two-way contract, will remain with the team while he rehabs the injury, but the time won’t add to his service days. Berman notes that it will give the front office more time to decide what to do once he reaches the limit, whether it involves waiving Ron Baker or Luke Kornet or trying to work out a trade (Twitter link).
  • Coach David Fizdale has been using Kevin Knox at power forward more often to boost his rebounding numbers, which paid off Sunday as he collected 11 boards, notes Peter Botte of The New York Post. It marked the first double-digit rebounding night for Knox. “I’ve really been stressing to him rebounding and getting in the trench,” Fizdale said. “We do a lot of block-out drills, just trying to get him used to the physicality of the league, trying to fast-track him that way. And so he’s taken it to heart, and he’s going to get the ball.”
  • Ntilikina’s 18-point explosion in the second half Sunday night is a sign that he will eventually reward the Knicks’ patience, contends Shlomo Sprung of Forbes.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/1/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Hornets sent forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced on its website. This is the first G League assignment of the season for Bacon, who has appeared in 13 games for Charlotte and is averaging 6.4 points per night. It’s the third time for Graham, who has gotten into eight NBA games.
  • The Spurs assigned Chimezie Metu to their Austin affiliate, according to the team website. He has appeared in 12 games with San Antonio.
  • The Pistons have recalled Luke Kennard from Auburn Hills, the team announced in an email. Kennard is recovering from an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder that has sidelined him for the past 15 games.
  • The Pelicans sent rookie Kenrich Williams to the G League, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. New Orleans doesn’t have a direct affiliate, so Williams has been assigned to the Westchester Knicks.
  • The Knicks called up center Luke Kornet from Westchester and placed him on the active list for tonight’s game, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets recalled guard Brandon Knight from their Rio Grande affiliate, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/29/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Pistons assigned guard Luke Kennard to the Grand Rapids Drive as he continues his rehab from a shoulder injury, announcing the news in an email. Kennard will play with the Drive in the team’s game on Friday.
  • The Grizzlies recalled then later assigned Jevon Carter to the Memphis Hustle, according to a tweet from the team. The move was made so Carter could practice with the Grizzlies Thursday morning.
  • The Suns have recalled guard De’Anthony Melton from Northern Arizona, the team announced. Melton is averaging 17 points, 6.6 assists and seven rebounds in five G League games this season.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate, announcing the news on Twitter. Bates-Diop has seen action in two games with the Timberwolves this season.
  • The Celtics assigned guard Brad Wanamaker to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, according to a tweet from the team. Wanamaker has scored 16 points in five games with Boston on the season.
  • The Knicks recalled Luke Kornet from the Westchester Knicks, the team announced. Kornet has played in four games with the Knicks.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/5/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Suns assigned rookie guard De’Anthony Melton to the Northern Arizona Suns, according to a team press release. Melton has already played a game for Northern Arizona this season, posting 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 45 minutes. The second-round pick has appeared in two games with Phoenix.
  • The Knicks assigned big man Luke Kornet to the Westchester Knicks, the NBA team tweets. Kornet has appeared in four games with the Knicks this season, going scoreless in 13 minutes.
  • The Wizards recalled guard Chasson Randle from the Capital City Go-Go, according to a team press release. Randle will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip to Dallas, Orlando and Miami. Randle led all scorers in the Go-Go’s home opener on Saturday with 37 points.
  • The Pacers assigned center Ike Anigbogu to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to a team press release. The 2017 second-rounder has made one brief appearance with Indiana this season.
  • The Clippers recalled guard Jerome Robinson and guard Sindarius Thornwell from the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. Robinson, the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft, has made five appearances with the Clippers this season, averaging 2.4 PPG in 4.2 MPG. Thornwell, a 2017 second-round selection, has yet to make his season debut with the Clippers after appearing in 73 games last season.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Knox, Trier, Kornet

Knicks center Enes Kanter hasn’t had much to say since being demoted to the second team, but he expressed his feelings about the move on social media last night, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Kanter’s tweet was just a period symbol, which is evidently his way of expressing his speechlessness over losing his starting job to second-round pick Mitchell Robinson.

Kanter had 18 points and 14 rebounds in about 24 minutes off the bench Sunday against the Wizards, but was still replaced by Robinson with 5:36 left to play and the Knicks down six points. Washington pulled away as the rookie committed multiple fouls and drew a technical.

New coach David Fizdale has said the team is not “chasing wins” and will prioritize player development over its record. Kanter had been a locker room leader, but Berman notes that he has become more detached since the lineup change. He suggests it may be an ongoing “soap opera” as long as Robinson remains the starter.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Fizdale promised a five-game run for his current starting lineup and doesn’t plan any changes now that the trial period is up, Berman adds in the same piece. Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh have joined Robinson as starters, and Fizdale likes the energy that group brings. Rookie Allonzo Trier has been helping to close out games because of his ability to create his own shots.
  • Kevin Knox, who is expected to eventually join that starting unit, is listed as a “game-time decision” tonight against the Bulls, Berman relays in a separate story. Knox has missed seven games with a sprained left ankle and Fizdale would like to see him in a five-on-five scrimmage before he returns to the lineup. Knox went through a three-on-three session with contact on Saturday. “My 19-year-old pro right now,” Fizdale said. “We’ll see how it goes. I told you I wanted him to play five-on-five. I know he feels great. At the same time, we have to make sure with that deal.”
  • The decision to assign Luke Kornet to the G League today could lead to an eventual roster move, Berman tweets. There’s speculation that Trier, a two-way player, will have his contract converted to a standard NBA deal when his 45 days are used up in December, while Kornet will be waived and re-signed to a two-way contract.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Sixers, Fizdale

The Celtics extended their $6MM qualifying offer to Marcus Smart in the days leading up to free agency but haven’t been in touch since, Mark Murphy of The Boston Heralds writes. That’s left the 24-year-old guard feeling “hurt” and “disgusted.”

While the comments originating from a source close to Smart’s camp could be ripped straight from a Pre-MBA Negotiations 101 textbook, there could be truth to them considering that Smart just watched his significantly less accomplished draftmate Dante Exum net a three-year deal with the Jazz.

He’s just hurt and frustrated that Danny Ainge hasn’t reached out. That’s the most discouraging part of this whole thing. The last contact was a few days before free agency started,” the source said.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Sixers will be flush with cap space next summer, when a number of players signed to one-year deals come off their books. But, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes, they may not get a large window to use that $42MM of projected space. In 2020, the club will be forced to pay up for restricted free agents Ben Simmons and Dario Saric.
  • While he’s always been one to play footloose and fancy free with the concept of traditional player positions, a vision Knicks boss David Fizdale shared with Marc Berman of The New York Post could be one of the most innovative yet. The head coach talked about playing Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet – both seven footers – together, with Kristaps Porzingis at the three and 6’9″ rookie Kevin Knox at the two. “Obviously, I have a crush on wingspan,” Fizdale said.
  • It’s official, Jonah Bolden, a 2017 draft-and-stash Sixers prospect, is officially on Philadelphia’s summer league roster, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets.

Knicks Sign Allonzo Trier To Two-Way Deal

JULY 3: The Knicks have officially signed Trier to his two-way deal, the team announced in a press release. He’ll join Hicks in New York’s two-way slots, with Kornet getting a promotion to a standard NBA contract.

JUNE 21: Arizona’s Allonzo Trier will join the Knicks on a two-way contract, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

New York is currently at its allotment of two-way players with Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks, but both are on one-year deals, so Trier can be added when they expire at the end of June.

Trier, 22, missed part of his junior season after testing positive for a banned substance. He was second on the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game, trailing only tonight’s No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton.

Knicks Re-Sign Luke Kornet

JULY 6th, 6:31pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

JULY 1st, 10:17am: The Knicks have agreed to terms on a new one-year contract for center Luke Kornet, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Berman reports that the deal will be worth approximately $1.6MM.

Kornet, who will turn 23 in two weeks, spent the 2017/18 season on a two-way contract with the Knicks. He appeared in 20 games for the NBA club, averaging 6.7 PPG and 3.2 RPG with a .392/.354/.727 shooting line. The big man also played well in 36 games for the G League’s Westchester Knicks, posting 16.0 PPG on .489/.440/.812 shooting.

Having received a qualifying offer from the Knicks, Kornet was a restricted free agent, so New York could have matched any offer sheet he signed. While the seven-footer was said to be receiving some interest from a couple other clubs, he instead negotiated directly with the Knicks. Kornets’ new deal should be worth around $1.62MM, as his Non-Bird rights allow for a deal worth up to 120% of his minimum salary.

With Kornet getting an NBA deal from the Knicks, a two-way slot opens up for Allonzo Trier, who reportedly reached an agreement on a two-way deal with the club. Isaiah Hicks, New York’s other two-way player in 2017/18, remains a restricted free agent for now.