Knicks Rumors

Nets Plan To Play Russell, Dinwiddie In Backcourt

The Knicks kicked off the second half with a 120-113 win over the Magic in Orlando. As planned, the trio of Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Trey Burke shared the backcourt duties with veteran Jarrett Jack taking a DNP. Burke contributed 26 points in 29 minutes while Ntilikina (29 minutes) and Mudiay (22 minutes) also tallied significant time.

While the acquisition of Mudiay at the deadline signaled the Knicks’ plan to acquire young talent, the 19-year-old Ntilikina should not worry about his standing with the team, Al Iannozzone of Newsday writes.

The Knicks have made it clear that the second half of the season will revolve around young players and essentially auditioning for the future. Ntilikina is as strong a part of that future as anybody on the roster.

  • A solid early start to the season fooled many into thinking the Knicks could make a run at the playoffs. With 22 games left, the postseason is all but ruled out and the team must now focus on the future, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes. Sloppy play on the road and numerous injuries stalled what looked to be a promising season in the first two months. “You still go back to, ‘It’s kind of a long-term plan.’ We got off to a good start, maybe changed everyone’s thoughts. But they were home games, we knew we had a long way to go,” Hornacek said.

Knicks Notes: Mudiay, Ntilikina, Williams, Draft

It looks like the Knicks will have a new starting point guard when the season resumes Thursday, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Emmanuel Mudiay, acquired from the Nuggets in a three-team deal at the deadline, appears ready to take the place of veteran Jarrett Jack, who has started 56 games this season.

“Definitely means something to me. I’m not going to take it for granted,” said Mudiay, who has been practicing with the Knicks’ starters. “I came in as a lottery pick so I was kind of handed the spot and stuff like that. So the fact that I’m in that position again, it’s a blessing. Thank God for it. I just have to take full advantage.”

New York’s front office has ordered coach Jeff Hornacek to give more minutes to young players for the rest of the season, Bondy adds. The coach has already made the decision to remove Jack from the starting lineup and has talked to the 34-year-old about cutting his playing time. Jack will be a free agent this summer.

There’s more news out of New York:

  • The Knicks were grooming rookie Frank Ntilikina to be the starting point guard going into January, but a decline in his performance and the acquisitions of Mudiay and Trey Burke changed those plans, Bondy adds in the same story. Ntilikina will still see increased playing time, but it may come at the two-guard spot. “I think he hit a little bit of a wall. The energy, and his knee [was hurting],” Hornacek said. “Hey, these kids come from another country. Now, all of a sudden, they’re having to travel every other day, play in games, and do all this stuff and he just looked exhausted at some times.”
  • Troy Williams, who signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks this morning, is looking forward to the opportunity, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. “Great opportunity, great fit,” Williams said. “Their interest level here was a little bit higher than everybody else’s.” Williams, who was waived by the Rockets last week, will concentrate on what he needs to do to extend his stay in New York beyond 10 days, adding, “Right now my main role is just being an extra athletic guy, run the court and defend.”
  • Begley examines the most important questions surrounding the Knicks for the rest of this season and beyond in an ESPN story. Topics include the future of Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, how Kristaps Porzingis‘ injury will affect the team in free agency and the Knicks’ plans for the draft, where they reportedly like Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges if they stay in the middle part of the lottery.

Community Shootaround: What Should Knicks Do With Noah?

Earlier today, we relayed the latest comments from Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek on exiled center Joakim Noah. Hornacek sounded like someone who doesn’t expect Noah to return to the team this season, suggesting that the Knicks have “moved on” and adding that the veteran big man may be ready to seek an opportunity elsewhere.

While those comments made it sound like Noah’s release may be imminent, Hornacek’s answers to other questions made it clear that’s not necessarily the case. The Knicks head coach didn’t rule out the possibility of Noah returning to the team, suggesting that decision would ultimately be up to president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry. Ian Begley of ESPN also heard from sources that the Knicks have shown no desire yet to waive Noah outright.

Hornacek’s comments and Begley’s reporting raise several questions about what exactly the Knicks’ plan is for Noah. For starters, would the team would be willing to bring back Noah this season and get him some playing time down the stretch in an effort to at least slightly improve his trade value for the offseason?

With Willy Hernangomez out of the picture, getting Noah some minutes at the expense of veterans Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn wouldn’t be the worst thing for a tanking team. However, there may be lingering concern about Noah’s impact on the locker room. He was last seen getting into a practice altercation with Hornacek, so the club may not want to risk further incidents along those lines.

If Noah doesn’t return to the Knicks and he’s not interested in discussing a buyout, would the club be willing to just waive him? If so, when? As we outlined in December, if the Knicks don’t mind keeping Noah’s full $18MM+ cap hit for 2018/19 on their books, waiting until after August 31 to waive and stretch the veteran could make sense. Noah’s future cap hits in that scenario would be less expensive – and would end a year earlier – than if he’s waived and stretch before the end of August. Still, either approach would involve cutting into New York’s cap space until at least 2022.

What do you think? What’s the next step for the Knicks? Assuming Noah doesn’t suddenly show a willingness to give up money in a buyout, is there any path that doesn’t involve the Knicks compromising future cap flexibility or giving up important assets to part with him?

Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Hornacek On Noah: ‘We’ve Moved On’

With the NBA schedule set to resume on Thursday, Joakim Noah hasn’t rejoined the Knicks, and head coach Jeff Hornacek indicates there are no plans for the veteran center to return to the team anytime soon. Asked whether Noah will remain away from the club, Hornacek replied, “I think that is the plan,” Newsday’s Al Iannazzone writes.

“We’ve moved on,” Hornacek said on Tuesday, per Ian Begley of ESPN. “He’s ready to move on and maybe have an opportunity somewhere else.”

Hornacek and Noah were reportedly involved in an altercation during a January practice, which resulted in the team and the player mutually agreeing that Noah would take an indefinite leave of absence. If Noah is to return to the Knicks before the end of the season, that decision would come from president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, says Hornacek.

Despite having “moved on” from Noah, the Knicks have shown no desire to waive him outright, sources tell Begley. As of last week, the veteran had also shown no inclination to negotiate a buyout with the club, which isn’t surprising, given all the money he’s still owed. Noah has guaranteed salaries of $18.53MM in 2018/19 and $19.295MM in 2019/20.

After exploring trades before this month’s deadline, the Knicks could once again test the trade market for Noah this summer. Even with his contract one year closer to expiring though, he’ll be extremely difficult to move. New York would likely have to attach a first-round pick to get a team to take it on, an idea the front office has been unwilling to entertain.

As for whether or not the practice incident between Noah and Hornacek would stand in the way of the big man reporting back to the Knicks at some point, the head coach insists it wouldn’t be an issue.

“Things happen in practice, happen in meetings, happen in all kind of stuff,” Hornacek said. “We’ve dealt with that and that’s the end of it from us.”

Knicks Sign Troy Williams To 10-Day Contract

FEBRUARY 21: Williams’ 10-day deal with the Knicks is now official, according to the team (Twitter link). The contract will run through March 2, giving Williams four games with the Knicks.

FEBRUARY 19: Forward Troy Williams will sign a 10-day contract with the Knicks, a source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). Williams chose New York among several suitors for his services, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Ian Begley reported earlier in the evening that the Knicks were interested in Williams, who was cut loose by the Rockets last week.

New York has an open roster spot, so it can add Williams without cutting another player loose. Houston placed Williams on waivers when it decided to add veteran swingman Joe Johnson. Williams officially became a free agent on Friday.

Williams, 23, began his NBA career with the Grizzlies last season before being waived a little over a year ago. The 6’7” forward finished the 2016/17 campaign with the Rockets, then signed a new three-year contract with Houston but only the first year was fully guaranteed.

In 34 total NBA games, Williams has averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG.

New York Notes: Jack, Noah, Knicks, Nets

In the view of Marc Berman of The New York Post, it may be time for the Knicks to cut ties with Jarrett Jack. The veteran point guard has been solid this season, but he’s expected to cede playing time to Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, and Trey Burke down the stretch. So if his agents sense that there would any interest in Jack from playoff teams, cutting him by March 1 and letting him catch on with another team would be the right thing to do, Berman says.

Among Berman’s other late-season tips for the Knicks? Reduce Kyle O’Quinn‘s minutes and explore bringing Joakim Noah back into the fold. Even if Noah isn’t part of the team’s long-term plans, getting him some playing time and showing other teams that he still has something left in the tank could improve the Knicks’ chances of eventually moving him in a trade.

Here are a few more notes out of New York:

Klay Thompson Wants Warm Weather

  • The Knicks are an unlikely destination for Klay Thompson during free agency in 2019, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News relays though an Adrian Wojnarowski podcast. The Warriors shooting guard wants to continue to play in a warm weather city, he told Wojnarowski. “It’d be weird leaving the Bay Area. I believe I’m going to be there for a very long time.,” he said. “I can say that truthfully. But a lot can happen the next two years. It’s going to be hard to leave California when it’s sunny like this.”

Knicks Interested In Signing Troy Williams

The Knicks are interested in signing forward Troy Williams, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets. They are one of several teams looking at the former Rockets forward and he’s expected to make a decision soon, Begley adds.

New York has an open roster spot, so it wouldn’t have to shed a contract to add Williams. He was the odd man out when Houston decided to add veteran swingman Joe Johnson during its stretch run.

Williams, 23, began his NBA career with the Grizzlies last season before being waived a little over a year ago. The 6’7” forward finished the 2016/17 campaign with the Rockets, then signed a new three-year contract with Houston but only the first year was fully guaranteed.

In 34 total NBA games, Williams has averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG. He was placed on waivers on February 14th and officially became a free agent on February 16th, according to RealGM.com’s transactions list.

Noah, Hornacek Altercation Turned Physical?

FEBRUARY 19: There are conflicting reports on the exact details of the altercation, with sources telling Marc Berman of The New York Post that Hornacek never pushed Noah. Berman reports that the two men did engage in a shouting match, adding that Noah had to be restrained.

FEBRUARY 17: Knicks center Joakim Noah got into a physical altercation with coach Jeff Hornacek that led to his leave of absence, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Their long-running disagreement over playing time became heated at a practice following a January 23 game against the Warriors in which Noah logged just five minutes. They had to be separated after Hornacek shoved Noah, Bondy reports.

Noah is currently on a leave of absence, which Knicks officials describe as mutual. The team tried to trade him before the February 8 deadline, but there were no takers because of his hefty contract, which still has two more seasons and nearly $38MM remaining.

Trying to reach a buyout agreement is another option, but it’s one the Knicks have been opposed to. If Noah does become a free agent, the Timberwolves are an obvious potential destination with Noah’s former coach Tom Thibodeau running the team.

Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, a teammate of Noah for five seasons in Chicago, spoke to the veteran center recently and said he just wants an opportunity to play.

“He wants to help win. He’s a great dude,” Butler said. “I talked to him a little bit, not a lot. All in all, I want him to be happy. Because you can’t go to work every day, being with the same people every day, if you’re not happy. That’s not good for anybody.”

Joakim Noah Makes First Public Appearance In Several Weeks

Joakim Noah is currently away from the Knicks, but he made his first public appearance in weeks during the All-Star break. The former Defensive Player of the Year was spotted at a party hosted by NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein. Marc Berman of the New York Post spoke to Goldstein about Noah’s rare appearance.

We noted on Saturday that a confrontation in late January between Noah and head coach Jeff Hornacek allegedly turned physical. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Hornacek shoved Noah and the two men had to be separated, though Berman’s sources dispute that Hornacek pushed Noah. The veteran center has not been back with the team since then as the Knicks have tried him and the remainder of his near-$38MM salary for the next two seasons.

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