New York Knicks – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-07T17:58:03Z WordPress Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Knicks Players Held Meeting Supporting Fizdale Hours Before Firing]]> 2019-12-07T17:58:03Z 2019-12-07T17:58:03Z Hours before the firing of fired head coach David Fizdale, Knicks players — led by veteran Marcus Morris — held a players-only meeting in support of their now former coach, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports.

Morris stressed accountability and unselfishness to the roster and singled out Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, sources told Bondy. The meeting occurred prior to Fizdale running practice on Friday, hours before his dismissal.

New York was coming off back-to-back blowout losses at the hands of the Bucks and Nuggets. The Knicks became the seventh team in NBA history to suffer losses of 35 points or more in back-to-back contests. Questions surrounding Fizdale’s job security lingered ever since team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry‘s impromptu press conference in mid-November.

At 4-18, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA and appear headed for another 50-loss season. The team named former G League coach Mike Miller the interim head coach. Now, questions surround not only who will be the Knicks’ next coach but also, Mills’ tenure as team president appears to be winding down.

All told, after missing out on marquee free agents this summer, the Knicks pivoted to signing several role players to fill out the roster. Thus far, it has resulted in the NBA’s worst record and the firing of their head coach 22 games into the season.

Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Knicks President Steve Mills On ‘Hot Seat’]]> 2019-12-07T15:30:57Z 2019-12-07T15:30:57Z After the firing of head coach David Fizdale on Friday, Knicks team president Steve Mills‘ days in his current role appear to be numbered, Frank Isola of The Athletic writes.

The Knicks’ recent whiffs, which include trading Kristaps Porzingis, failing to land a top tier free agent in the summer and the dismissal of Fizdale — which came at Mills’ recommendation — falls squarely on the president, Isola writes. New York is currently undergoing an overhaul and that means Mills will be reassigned within the organization or let go altogether, sources tell the longtime Knicks scribe.

Should Mills be relieved of his duties as team president, the Knicks are likely to pursue current Raptors president Masai Ujiri. We relayed earlier this week that New York intends to pursue Ujiri and there is real belief he may accept the role.

New York currently wields a 4-18 record, the worst in the NBA. Interim head coach Mike Miller is likely to finish the season as Knicks coach since any major hire would likely be made over the summer. However, given the team’s standing, most of the roster and front office are essentially auditioning for roles elsewhere for the remainder of 2019/20.

Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Fizdale Fallout, Potential Long-Term Replacements]]> 2019-12-07T00:53:18Z 2019-12-07T00:53:18Z The Knicks fired David Fizdale earlier today while also relieving Keith Smart of his duties as assistant coach. The move comes after a 4-18 start, which ties a record for worst in franchise history.

While Fizdale repeatedly told reporters that he had owner James Dolan’s backing, Jabari Young of hears from an agent who represents coaches around the league that the firing was “inevitable.” Assistant coach Mike Miller will now take over as the interim head coach with 60 games to go in the season.

Former Warriors coach and Knicks guard Mark Jackson has been linked to the team as a long-term candidate for the role (any major hire is likely to come in the offseason) and Young reports that Spurs assistant Becky Hammon would be interested in the job should the team be willing to offer her a long-term deal. Young mentions four or five years as the necessary length of the contract.

Young also mentions former Coach of the Year (2007) Sam Mitchell as a good candidate for the short-term, as Mitchell has a reputation of getting top effort out of players.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Jeff Van Gundy, Jason Kidd, and Tyronn Lue are among the former NBA coaches that Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic names as options for the Knicks. Vorkunov also lists several potential candidates without former head coaching experience, such as Jarron Collins, Stephen Silas, and Ettore Messina.
  • The firing of Fizdale won’t clean up the Knicks‘ issues, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today explains. The scribe believes that the front office should shoulder the blame for putting together this roster and simply expecting Fizdale to produce results with it.
  • Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post argues that the Knicks should fire team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry. The regime put together a plan of signing big-name free agents and failed to deliver.
Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Mike Miller To Become Knicks’ Interim Coach]]> 2019-12-06T23:34:31Z 2019-12-06T22:55:10Z In the wake of David Fizdale’s firing, the Knicks have made a decision on who will lead the team for the remainder of the season. Mike Miller will be promoted to interim coach, as Shams Charania of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

[RELATED: Knicks fire head coach David Fizdale]

Miller (not to be confused with former NBA player Mike Miller) was the G League Coach of the Year back in the 2017/18 season. He spent four seasons leading the Westchester Knicks before being promoted to the NBA’s bench as an assistant on Fizdale’s staff. Miller has 60 games left in the season to make his mark on the Knicks.

Charania also reports that former NBA player Keith Bogans will become an assistant on Miller’s staff. Bogans had been on the team’s coaching staff in Westchester.

Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Knicks Fire Head Coach David Fizdale]]> 2019-12-06T23:57:22Z 2019-12-06T21:21:20Z After starting the season with a record of 4-18, the Knicks have fired coach David Fizdale, as Adrian Wojnarowski of reports. The team also fired assistant coach Keith Smart.

New York had another embarrassing loss on Thursday at home vs. the Nuggets, falling 129-92 to Denver and becoming only the seventh team in NBA history to lose back-to-back games by 35 points or more. Fizdale labeled the team’s effort “sickening” after the game, and was also asked by the media if the Knicks’ struggles would fall on him.

“I don’t care about all of that, I don’t even think about that really,” Fizdale said.

Back when he took the gig in 2018, Fizdale chose New York over other offers, such as positions in Charlotte, Phoenix, and Atlanta, Wojnarowski adds. Perhaps another franchise would have been more patient with Fizdale, but nevertheless, the coach finishes his New York stint with a record of 21-83.

According to Wojnarowski, Fizdale’s .202 winning percentage is the fifth-worst mark for a head coach with a single team (minimum 100 games) over the last 30 years.

Fizdale has appeared to be on the hot seat for much of the season, particularly after a November 10 postgame press conference in which executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry publicly discussed their disappointment in the club’s slow start to the season.

Fizdale becomes the first head coach to be fired during the 2019/20 NBA season, and will be replaced in the interim by Mike Miller (not the former NBA player), as we detail in a separate story. Since Fizdale was only in the second season of a four-year, $22MM deal, the Knicks will be on the hook for his remaining salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Arthur Hill <![CDATA[David Fizdale May Be Running Out Of Time]]> 2019-12-06T23:10:46Z 2019-12-06T15:07:32Z The Knicks may be out of patience with coach David Fizdale after their latest embarrassing loss, writes Steve Popper of Newsday.

Fizdale’s team was run out of Madison Square Garden early last night, trailing by as many as 43 points before losing by 37. That followed a 44-point loss Monday in Milwaukee and dropped New York’s record to 4-18, the worst in the Eastern Conference.

“I don’t care about all that,” Fizdale said after the game when asked about his future. “I don’t even think about that, really. I think about the next team we’re playing, I think about the guys in the locker room and how I can help them. At the end of the day, that’s all I care about.”

Knicks fans responded with loud boos to the latest effort, and a few “Fire Fizdale” chants were heard throughout the evening. None of the promise was evident from this summer when the team added seven veteran free agents, and any hope of a quick turnaround is distant memory.

Popper notes that the fans could have targeted their anger in a number of directions, from owner James Dolan to the management team of president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry to the on-court talent, who seem worn down by the continuous losing.

Taj Gibson, one of the veterans who signed this summer, came to Fizdale’s defense.

“You’ve got to continue to keep fighting, continue to keep pushing, because nobody in this league is going to feel sorry for you,” he said. “Fiz is doing a good job preaching and keeping guys in tune, but at the same time we have to do a better job, including myself. He can’t keep taking the bullets for us. We have to step up. We have to grow. We have to mature and mature quickly.”

Teammate Marcus Morris declined to comment on Fizdale’s future, responding to an inquiry with, “Next question.”

The path for Knicks won’t get any easier. They face a four-game road trip next week and still have the Pacers, Heat, Bucks and Nets left on their December schedule. Fizdale’s 21-83 record since taking over in New York could get even worse — if he keeps his job.

“I’m still coaching this team. I’m still pushing them,” he told reporters. “I’m still preparing them. We had a hell of a practice before this game, it was just a disappointing output.”

Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Community Shootaround: Knicks Chaos]]> 2019-12-06T23:10:05Z 2019-12-06T04:51:36Z Tonight, the Knicks suffered their second consecutive blowout defeat (and eighth straight loss overall), falling 129-92 to the Nuggets. Head coach David Fizdale‘s job appears to be in jeopardy.

In a postgame presser, Fizdale called the loss “sickening,” according to the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy. Soon after the loss, USA Today’s Chris Iseman and Newsday’s Steve Popper both commented on Fizdale’s increasingly shaky vocational security in separate pieces. Fizdale’s record as the Knicks’ head coach is 21-83.

But how much blame should really be allocated to Fizdale for the team’s lackluster 4-18 start to this 2019/20 season? Rookie RJ Barrett and second-year big man Mitchell Robinson have flashed significant promise under his tutelage. Fizdale remains respected across the league thanks to his time as an assistant coach on Erik Spoelstra‘s championship-winning Heat staff.

This summer, the Knicks whiffed on adding future Hall of Famers Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who opted to join New York’s crosstown rivals, the upstart Nets. Instead, the team issued a public apology and signed four replacement-level power forwards to exorbitant-but-short contracts, by the front office twosome of Scott Perry and Steve Mills. Yes, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis can play some center, and yes, Marcus Morris can log some time as a small forward, but ultimately, all three players are best served at the four, as is their fellow free agent addition Julius Randle.

Perry and Mills also traded All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis in a package to the Mavericks for disappointing point guard Dennis Smith Jr., a few middling months of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, and an underwhelming pair of future first-round picks that ought to be well clear of the lottery.

Owner James Dolan has stirred the pot plenty himself, rotating through a seemingly endless series of coaches (12, and counting) and front office heads (nine) since taking over the team in 1999. There’s no need to get into the bevy of on- and off-court disasters logged by Dolan and his Knicks associates in the intervening 20 years, but let’s just say… it’s not pretty.

Ultimately, the buck stops with Dolan. His conduct as Knicks owner has led to Durant noting that the Knicks have lost their cache in a recent interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden. “I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players [to view the Knicks the same way] who, in their lifetime, don’t remember the Knicks being good,” Durant told Darden.

The onus for the league’s first $4 billion team losing its sheen falls squarely at Dolan’s feet, in this writer’s opinion. Coaches and front office management may come and go, but until Dolan sells his team, basketball in the Mecca will remain a mess.

What do you think? Who should bear the brunt of the blame for this lost season — the players, Fizdale, management, or Dolan? Or just all of the above?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Knicks Recall Brazdeikis From G League]]> 2019-12-06T23:08:38Z 2019-12-06T03:27:17Z
  • The Knicks have recalled rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis from the Westchester Knicks, according to a tweet from the team’s PR department. The 6’6″ Michigan forward has appeared in six games for New York.
  • ]]>
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/4/19]]> 2019-12-05T02:35:08Z 2019-12-05T02:35:08Z Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

    • The Bucks assigned power forward Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd, the team’s PR department tweets. The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft has averaged 21 PPG and 10 RPG in five starts with the Herd.
    • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the Westchester Knicks, the team’s PR department tweets. He’s appeared in six games with the NBA Knicks, averaging 7.0 MPG in those outings.
    • The Cavaliers assigned rookie swingman Dylan Windler to the Canton Charge, the team’s PR department tweets. He has yet to make his NBA debut. The first-rounder is working his way back into basketball shape after recovering from a leg injury.
    • The Pacers recalled Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. They practiced with the Mad Ants as part of their injury rehabs. There is no timetable for their return, the team adds.
    • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. The rookie first-rounder out of Florida State has appeared in six NBA games, averaging 3.8 MPG in those outings.
    • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Bruno Fernando and guard Tyrone Wallace from the College Park Skyhawks, the team tweets. Fernando, a second-round pick, is averaging 4.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 12.7 MPG while playing 21 games with the NBA team. Wallace has averaged 3.1 PPG in 12.0 MPG in 13 games with Atlanta.
    • The Thunder recalled center Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. In eight games with the Blue, Patton is averaging 10.3 PPG and  7.5 RPG in 26.2 MPG.
    • The Hornets recalled Cody Martin from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. The rookie guard appeared in three games with the Swarm, where he averaged 14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.3 APG in 34.3 MPG.
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Fizdale May Be On Firing Line]]> 2019-12-05T23:15:10Z 2019-12-05T01:01:13Z A member of the Knicks organization expects management to fire coach David Fizdale soon, Ian Begley of SNY-TV reports. Though that source doesn’t have decision-making authority on those matters, it shows the uneasiness within the organization at the moment, Begley adds. The Knicks have the Eastern Conference’s worst record and have dropped seven straight despite adding several veteran free agents over the summer.

    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Trier, Payton, Ntilikina, Garnett]]> 2019-12-04T21:59:00Z 2019-12-04T21:59:00Z Allonzo Trier‘s future with the Knicks appears uncertain after being kept on the bench for eight of the past 10 games, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Trier saw his first game action outside of garbage time in nearly three weeks Monday in New York’s 44-point loss to the Bucks. He scored 10 points in 11 minutes in the first half, but wasn’t used at all after halftime.

    Coach David Fizdale hasn’t provided a public explanation for why Trier has been demoted, other than citing the team’s depth at shooting guard with RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington and Damyean Dotson. There are theories that Trier’s isolation-heavy game doesn’t fit with Fizdale’s emphasis on ball movement.

    “You take it head on,’’ Trier said. “Be prepared whenever that time is, continue to work and get better and help this team if I’m playing or not. I got to accept that. They tell me to stay ready.’’

    Opportunity could come later in the season if the Knicks start moving on from their veteran free agents. Ellington is among the players who could be moved by the February trade deadline or waived if a deal can’t be worked out.

    There’s more from New York:

    • Elfrid Payton, who has played just four games since signing with the team this summer, may be ready to return tomorrow against the Nuggets, Berman tweets. Payton, who was briefly installed as the team’s point guard, has been sidelined since October 28 with a strained right hamstring. That role has been taken over by Frank Ntilikina, who missed Monday’s game with a back injury, but may also be ready for Thursday.
    • Roster flexibility is all the Knicks have left from what could have been a historic offseason, observes Steve Popper of Newsday. With enough cap space to offer two max contracts, the team missed all its top targets and wound up with seven free agents, six on expiring deals. Management can start moving those contracts on December 15, when most newly signed free agents become eligible to be traded.
    • Former NBA star Kevin Garnett is calling out Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for choosing the Nets instead of the Knicks in free agency, relays Neil Best of Newsday. Speaking at a roundtable to promote a new film, Garnett claimed they passed on a chance to breathe life into a historic franchise. “I’m not a Knicks fan by far,” he said. “But if they come to the city and dominate, man, the first superstar to hit New York and be vibing is going to be bigger than life. Remember I said that. Any piece of hope in this city is going to [soar]. People are waiting.”
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Aren’t Ready To Fire Fizdale]]> 2019-12-05T23:00:39Z 2019-12-04T16:02:55Z Monday’s embarrassment in Milwaukee didn’t push Knicks head coach David Fizdale any closer to losing his job, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

    A league source tells Berman that management understands the conditions surrounding the 44-point defeat. The Knicks faced one of the league’s best teams and were on the second night of a back-to-back without two of their best defenders in Frank Ntilikina and Marcus Morris. Still, Fizdale will need to show some progress to keep his job through the end of the season.

    Fizdale has been on alert since team president Steve Mills conducted a rare post-game press conference following a 2-8 start. New York is 2-9 since then and is off to the franchise’s worst start ever through 21 games. This comes after management hinted that a playoff spot was possible after adding a crop of veteran free agents.

    Berman notes that the front office is reluctant to make a move with Fizdale because he has two guaranteed years left on his $22MM contract and because they don’t have an attractive alternative. Berman believes top assistant Keith Smart would depart along with Fizdale if there is a coaching change, leaving Jud Buechler, Caleb Kanales or former G League coach Mike Miller as the remaining choices to take over the team on an interim basis.

    Firing Fizdale so soon would leave management with a lot to explain, Berman adds. He was hired last year ahead of 10 other candidates, including reigning Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. The Knicks failed to interview Steve Clifford and Frank Vogel, who are both having success with their new teams.

    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Kanter, Player Development]]> 2019-12-02T22:24:39Z 2019-12-02T18:22:54Z The Knicks are in the midst of another dreadful season but one Western Conference scout tells Ian Begley of that the team has more talent than its 4-16 record indicates. So why does the team have a worse record than it did at this point last year? “Some of the blame [for the Knicks’ struggles] has to be put on [David] Fizdale,” the scout said.

    The Knicks have trailed by at least 20 points in seven of the team’s 16 losses and Fizdale’s future with the club is far from certain, with reports last month suggesting that the front office was laying the groundwork for his dismissal.

    As of this writing, Fizdale remains the coach of the Knicks, so let’s take a look at more notes from New York:

    • Despite the struggles this season, Knicks players are still supporting Fizdale. “He can’t go out there and play for us. Obviously, everybody points at the head coach with that. But it’s on us to go out there and perform well,” Bobby Portis said (via Begley in that same piece).
    • Former Knick Enes Kanter recently said that he and owner James Dolan are “text buddies” and reiterated that Dolan gets too much criticism for the team’s struggles and lack of free-agent signings, as Begley relays in the same piece. “I got no problems with him. Some other people have problems with him, but I have no problem with him,” Kanter said. “And I will say this: it’s terrible they blame it on this guy every time. I feel like he has done nothing to do with it.” Kanter said in September that he believed a negative perception of ownership is a factor in free agents not considering the Knicks, but has suggested he doesn’t necessarily share that perception.
    • Fizdale will not be judged solely on the team’s win-loss record but also by the progress he makes with the team’s young talent. Marc Berman of the New York Post ranks the importance of each young player on the team in terms of player development goals.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Knox, Ntilikina, Porzingis, Ujiri]]> 2019-12-01T22:11:01Z 2019-12-01T15:24:11Z Knicks head coach David Fizdale is using the term “tough love” to describe his decision to bench second-year forward Kevin Knox, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Knox was held out of Friday’s loss to the Sixers and had only been averaging 12.1 minutes per night in the previous four games. It’s been a trend for the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, whose minutes have fallen from 28.8 per game in 2018/19 to 19.8 this season.

    “Sometimes they’ve got to go through some tough love to find themselves and watch the game from 25,000 feet, see it, and see the things that I’m emphasizing,” Fizdale said after Saturday’s practice. “I was tough on Frank (Ntilikina) last year and I just feel like Frank has come back with a whole different mindset about how he’s going to go about this season. I’ve been so happy with the way he’s played and produced. But I do think a little bit of tough love on some of these young guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

    Knox will be “a consideration, for sure” to return to the lineup today, Fizdale added. Marcus Morris is listed as questionable for the game because of cervical spasms in his neck.

    There’s more from New York this morning:

    • Ntilikina tells Botte that he benefited from last year’s experience and encourages Knox to find ways to help the team when he’s not on the court. Ntilikina began this season out of the rotation, but has made 14 consecutive starts at point guard. He said an offseason meeting with Fizdale gave him a new perspective. “There’s a lot of noise with this team, a lot of expectations,” Ntilikina explained. “Around this city, a lot of expectations. Obviously, those expectations are for us to get better. But what we have to understand, too, is we have expectations, and [Fizdale] wants us to get better, and he wants us to be the best team possible. He wants us to be the best possible, that’s the same for every player.”
    • Former Knicks guard Trey Burke, who was part of the package sent to Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, offered some insight into Porzingis’ perspective on the deal and his falling out with management in New York, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. “A lot of things the press said, he felt like wasn’t true,’’ Burke said. “He feels like there was a narrative that got out about him, he couldn’t defend himself. I don’t know if (Dallas) told him not to talk that much, but he wasn’t talking. I do think he has his side.’’
    • The Knicks may try to lure Raptors executive Masai Ujiri after the season ends, and there are fears in Toronto that he might accept their offer, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Ujiri may view New York City as a larger platform to help expand his Giants of Africa foundation, which aids children in his home continent.
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Newcomers Aren't Ready To Give Up]]> 2019-11-28T01:14:17Z 2019-11-28T01:14:17Z Many of the Knicks free agent signees this summer can be dealt after December 15th but those players still believe New York can get into the playoff picture, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “You got to look at the circumstances we’re in,’’ said big man Taj Gibson, one of those free agent additions. “We’re in the East. Nobody’s running away. Maybe the top four teams. We’re still optimistic. If we get three wins in a row, you’re right back in the hunt.”