Miles McBride

Atlantic Notes: Udofia, Raptors, White, Porzingis, Knicks

The Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s NBA G League affiliate, have named Mfon Udofia as head coach, according to a league press release. Brooklyn’s intent to hire Udofia for the G League club was previously reported.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mfon to the Nets family,” Long Island Nets GM J.R. Holden said. “His passion for the game and dynamic coaching style have prepared him to lead our development team on Long Island. Our organization is excited to support Mfon and his staff as they lead the next generation of talent this upcoming season.”

Udofia spent last season as an assistant coach with the Ontario Clippers in the G League. He had prior stints with several other NBAGL franchises.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors may not be done dealing, but The Athletic’s Eric Koreen examines how the rotation might shake out if the roster remains unchanged. Koreen believes either Pascal Siakam or Scottie Barnes must be on the court at all times for play-making purposes and either OG Anunoby or Gary Trent Jr. need to be on the floor for shooting purposes. He also doesn’t see lottery pick Gradey Dick as a member of a nine-man rotation, given the team’s other commitments.
  • With Derrick White the undisputed starting point man with the Celtics, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss breaks down how a pick-and-roll partnership between White and Kristaps Porzingis can unlock the team’s full offensive potential.
  • Miles McBride, Jericho Sims or Isaiah Roby could force their way into the Knicks’ rotation, The Athletic’s Fred Katz writes, though if coach Tom Thibodeau goes with his usual nine-man rotation, minutes will be hard to come by for that trio. Katz looks at various lineup combinations and which starter might play with the second unit when the usual four reserves are on the floor.

Knicks Exercising Team Option On Miles McBride

The Knicks are exercising their $1.84MM team option on Miles McBride for 2023/24, league sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 36th pick of the 2021 draft after two years at West Virginia, McBride just finished his second NBA season, both with the Knicks. The 22-year-old point guard had a limited role in ’22/23, averaging 3.5 PPG on .358/.299/.667 shooting in 64 games (11.9 MPG).

However, McBride is an excellent defensive player who makes a real difference on that end of the court, so it’s not surprising that his minimum-salary option was exercised. As our team option tracker shows, the Knicks previously declined their option on Derrick Rose‘s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Knicks Rumors: Fournier, George, Toppin, DiVincenzo, McBride

Evan Fournier‘s representatives are working to find a trade involving their client, a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link). As Bondy notes, the news is hardly surprising, given that Fournier spoke after the Knicks‘ season ended about his expectation that he wouldn’t be back with the team in 2023/24, despite being owed a guaranteed salary of $18.9MM.

Finding a taker for Fournier won’t be easy for his reps, given that the veteran wing doesn’t have positive trade value even though he’s on a pseudo-expiring contract (his deal includes a 2024/25 team option). The Knicks will almost certainly have to package him with more valuable assets to get anything worthwhile in return.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • The Knicks and Clippers have been in touch about a possible Paul George trade, sources tell Ian Begley of (Twitter link). However, the star forward is unlikely to be moved, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says the Trail Blazers also expressed interest in building a deal around the No. 3 pick and George, and failed to gain any traction. The Clippers remain focused on building their roster around George and Kawhi Leonard, Fischer says.
  • Begley believes that the Knicks and Obi Toppin‘s camp may work together to find him a new home this offseason, unless the team makes other moves that open up more regular minutes for the former lottery pick (Twitter video link).
  • According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, Toppin and Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau had an “intense verbal altercation” following Game 4 of the club’s playoff series vs. Miami after the forward was held out of action for the entire second half. However, Katz clarifies that there doesn’t seem to be any lingering resentment related to that incident, and says the team didn’t show any interest in moving Toppin at the 2023 trade deadline. Katz also polled 15 executives about Toppin’s potential value on a rookie scale extension — 10 of those respondents suggested an annual salary between $10-15MM.
  • Several “influential” people within the Knicks organization are fans of swingman Donte DiVincenzo, who is expected to reach unrestricted free agency this offseason, per Begley.
  • Knicks guard Miles McBride has generated some interest from rival teams, according to Begley, who adds that McBride’s minimum-salary team option for 2023/24 looks like a lock to be exercised with or without a trade.

Knicks Notes: Hart, Randle, McBride, Grimes

Josh Hart has been raising his potential value in free agency throughout the postseason and will likely receive a new contract starting in the $15-18MM range, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto talked to four NBA executives to help gauge Hart’s next deal. They all believe he will turn down his $12.96MM player option for next season and sign a new contract with the Knicks.

The 27-year-old swingman has been a valuable addition since being acquired from the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline. He averaged 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25 regular season games, mostly off the bench, and his hustle and intensity have made him a favorite of head coach Tom Thibodeau. Hart has seen a different role in the playoffs, starting five of the team’s eight games and matching up with the Heat’s Jimmy Butler in their second-round series.

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • New York needs Julius Randle to snap out of his postseason slump to have a chance to get past Miami, writes Barbara Barker of Newsday. She points out that Randle, who is recovering from a sprained left ankle, has been held to 15 points or fewer in four of his seven playoff games. He was particularly bad on Saturday, shooting 4-of-15 from the field and committing four turnovers. “You take the emotions out of it,” he told reporters Sunday. “This (loss) is not one you can typically flush away. You learn from the game before, what you can do better. … One game is not going to determine how we feel for the next game or what we think the future’s going to be.”
  • With Immanuel Quickley listed as doubtful for Monday’s Game 4 due to a sprained left ankle, second-year guard Miles McBride could see his first significant playoff action, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Thibodeau also didn’t rule out turning to veterans Derrick Rose or Evan Fournier, even though neither has been part of the team’s rotation for months. “Everything’s on the table,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see how it unfolds.”
  • A Twitter user who identified himself as Quentin Grimes‘ business manager posted a message after New York’s Game 3 loss complaining about Grimes’ usage, per Jared Schwartz of The New York Post. The poster had the username Matthew Z. and handle @mattkeepgoing, and Schwartz notes that Grimes’ manager is Matt Evans, who he grew up with in the Houston area. Grimes started 66 games during the regular season, but he was moved to a reserve role after returning from an injured shoulder.

Knicks Notes: Towns, Randle, Grimes, Hart

The Knicks are expected to be aggressive in trying to add talent this summer and could be a leading contender if the Timberwolves decide to trade Karl-Anthony Towns, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. A league source told Deveney that Towns would have interest in going to New York and speculated that it’s just a matter of time before the Knicks try to make it happen.

Deveney points out that Towns already has ties to the organization in team president Leon Rose, who is his former agent, and head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Towns for two and a half seasons in Minnesota. The Wolves’ early playoff exit, combined with New York’s surge into the Eastern Conference semifinals, creates even more motivation for the move to happen, Deveney adds.

Towns has one more season before his four-year, $224MM super-max extension kicks in, which will place a tremendous strain on the Wolves’ finances. Trading him might be the best option for avoiding the strictest provisions of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“No matter the success this year, the Knicks are going to keep being aggressive,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “So you’d want to start with RJ Barrett there. But you can send (Obi) Toppin, you can send (Quentin) Grimes, (Miles) McBride. They do not want to trade (Immanuel) Quickley but if the target is Towns, maybe they would change that. You’d play Towns at the 5 if you were New York so they’d probably have Mitchell Robinson in the deal, and he could go to a third team. A lot of possibilities and Minnesota might be a better team by putting it all on (Anthony) Edwards and getting the right pieces from that mix.”

There’s more from New York:

  • No timetable has been set for a return by Julius Randle, who reinjured his left ankle in Wednesday’s game, tweets Ian Begley of Thibodeau said Randle was limited in Friday’s practice to shooting, lifting weights and doing cardio work in the pool. He’s considered day-to-day ahead of the start of New York’s second-round series with Miami on Sunday afternoon.
  • Grimes, who missed the past two games with a right shoulder contusion, is optimistic that he’ll be ready for the series opener (video link from
  • The Knicks and Heat have been through some legendary playoff battles, but Josh Hart said that won’t have any effect this year’s series (video link). “It was 23, 27 years ago,” Hart told reporters. “Most of our guys weren’t even born yet. For us, those are the war stories of the past. We’ve got our own path.”

Knicks Notes: Toppin, Rotation, McBride, Randle

Obi Toppin was part of an unusual closing lineup for the Knicks in Sunday’s Game 4 victory over the Cavaliers, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. With Julius Randle shooting just 3-of-10 from the field, coach Tom Thibodeau used Toppin as his power forward for virtually the entire fourth quarter. He delivered five points and eight rebounds in the game, and New York outscored Cleveland by 11 points in the 20 minutes he was on the court.

“I thought Obi was terrific,” Thibodeau said. “He gave us energy, but he also gave us rebounding.”

The Knicks finished out the contest with Toppin and Isaiah Hartenstein joining RJ Barrett, Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson. Thibodeau stuck with the unconventional lineup, which staged a late 15-6 run that put the game out of reach.

“Those guys built the lead,” he said. “Obviously whatever you think gives the team the best chance to win, that’s what you’re gonna do.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Quentin Grimesshoulder injury is creating an opportunity for Miles McBride, Braziller adds. The second-year guard hit a three-pointer and did a solid job defending Donovan Mitchell during his five minutes of action Sunday. “The coaches are gonna be pretty transparent with me, so they were like, ‘be ready, games can flow in different ways,’ so I was always trying to stay ready,” McBride said. “My development coach has definitely been locked in with the film showing me a lot of things and making sure I was staying on it. And then just trust in my abilities.”
  • A left ankle injury that Randle suffered in late March is contributing to his struggles so far in the series, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. The All-Star forward was limited to 27 minutes Sunday and is shooting 21-of-65 through the first four games. “The thing is, he had to work around the clock to get back,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what I love about Julius. He gives you everything that he has. There’s 77 games, he sprains his ankle and then he works like crazy to get back, you know how important he is to the team, but to get back, to get ready to play — our medical people did a great job, but that’s all him. He was working around the clock on that, he still is. That’s the challenge that we have and that’s what I respect about him. And we just got to get ready for our next game.”
  • While Mitchell was misfiring with his shot on Sunday, going 5-of-18 from the field, the Knicks got major contributions from players who were rumored to be part of trade negotiations to acquire him from the Jazz last summer, notes Adam Zagoria of Toppin, Barrett and Mitchell Robinson all played a role in the Game 4 victory.

New York Notes: Finney-Smith, Harris, Hartenstein, Playoff Rotation

Following a lackluster offensive start to his Nets tenure, swingman Dorian Finney-Smith is finding his footing in Brooklyn, writes Jared Schwartz of The New York Post.

Smith had been scoring just 6.4 PPG on 31% field goal shooting across his first 22 games with the Nets prior to a 124-107 defeat of the Hawks. In that contest, he notched 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-6 from deep, and eight boards.

“It feels good, man,” Finney-Smith said of his best scoring night with his new team thus far. “Especially when the whole team is yelling at me when I turn down shots to stay aggressive. It feels good when you got guys who believe in you, so I appreciate them.”

Finney-Smith continues to make a big defensive impact for the Nets. Head coach Jacque Vaughn has even employed the 6’7″ forward as a center in small ball lineups.

There’s more out of The City That Never Sleeps:

  • Nets wing Joe Harris has been demoted since Brooklyn added an influx of three-point shooting perimeter players at the trade deadline, and that’s just fine by Harris, per Schwartz in another piece. “It’s definitely a luxury of this team,” Harris observed. “A lot of space on the floor for primary ball-handlers, facilitators.”
  • Knicks backup center Isaiah Hartenstein is the only New York player to have been available for all 78 of the team’s games thus far, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post.
  • Though they have just four games left in their 2022/23 regular season run, the 45-33 Knicks still need to finalize their postseason rotation, says Ian Begley of Begley notes that New York’s coaching staff is assessing both active rotation and deep-bench players with the playoffs looming. The Knicks seem to favor a nine-man rotation, Begley observes. Backup point guard Miles McBride became the team’s new ninth man with All-Star power forward Julius Randle out of the lineup for now.

Atlantic Notes: McBride, Noel, Pritchard, R. Williams

Miles McBride has been reinserted into the Knicks‘ rotation over the past six games with Jalen Brunson sidelined due to a foot injury. The second-year guard has been making an impact on both ends of the court as of late, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post.

During Sunday’s road victory over the Lakers, McBride recorded eight points (on 3-of-5 shooting) and three steals in 17 minutes, finishing plus-15 in the four-point win.

It’s huge. … But, honestly, if I didn’t score a point and we win, I’d still be happy. Just being able to impact the game however I can always is the number one thing,” McBride said. “I think the second unit knows that when we get in, our job is just look at the score, understand what we have to do as a unit and move the needle. And I think we came in and did that.”

The 22-year-old followed that strong performance with a career-high 18 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), three assists, two blocks and one steal in 25 minutes in Tuesday’s victory at Portland, Botte adds in another story. It remains to be seen if McBride will get minutes once Brunson returns, but he’s certainly building a strong case for himself.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Veteran center Nerlens Noel averaged 14.3 minutes in his three games with the Brooklyn, but a source tells Brian Lewis of The New York Post that the Nets will not bring him back for a second 10-day contract (Twitter link). Noel’s initial deal expires on Wednesday, Lewis notes. Head coach Jacque Vaughn previously suggested that he expected Noel to stick around.
  • Payton Pritchard has switched agents and will now be represented by CAA Sports, the agency announced on Instagram. “At the end of the day, it’s a business decision,” Pritchard told Souichi Terada of “I think when you’re going into making choices on your future and your business, you want somebody that you believe is going to represent you in the best way and really help you. I’m not dissing my previous agent or anything like that. At the end of the day, it’s a nerve-wrecking time so you want to go with somebody that you really believe.” The third-year Celtics guard, who is currently sidelined with a heel injury, will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason. Pritchard previously expressed disappointment that he wasn’t traded ahead of last month’s deadline, as he’s looking for more playing time.
  • Celtics big man Robert Williams could return to action “within the next week or so,” head coach Joe Mazzulla said prior to Wednesday’s matchup with Minnesota (Twitter video link via NBC Sports Boston). Williams has been dealing with a left hamstring strain, but has responded well to treatment and said he was “feeling good” over the weekend.

Knicks Notes: Hart, McBride, Grimes, Brunson

Josh Hart‘s competitive fire was on display Saturday night in his first game with the Knicks, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Calling himself “a dog” in post-game interviews, Hart brought the defensive intensity the team was counting on when it acquired him Thursday in a four-team trade.

Hart delivered 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals in 26 minutes. He played the entire fourth quarter, sinking a late three-pointer to help stave off a Jazz rally, and appears to be a new fan favorite at Madison Square Garden.

“I’m a guy that’s gonna bring it every night,” he said. “I’m a guy that’s gonna be physical. I’m a guy that’s gonna do the dirty work. Going to rebound, going to defend. Get on the floor for a loose ball and do those kind of things. I feel like that style fits every team, especially a New York team. That’s what this city is about and what the city builds off of. I take that with pride. I’m just a blue-collar guy; I think that’s really going to work well here.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Hart is expected to turn down his $13MM player option and become a free agent this summer, Bondy adds in a separate story. The Knicks have a few months to decide whether to make a long-term commitment to the 27-year-old guard, but with team president Leon Rose having served as Hart’s agent at CAA, a strong connection is already in place. “It’s definitely somewhere that I would definitely like to be,” Hart said of New York. “It’s my third time getting traded, sixth year in the league, fourth team, sixth head coach. It’s been a whirlwind. I didn’t think that was how my first six years were going to be, but I’m looking for a home, and I think this could be it.”
  • Hart’s arrival may mean reduced roles for Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes, observes Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. McBride didn’t play at all Saturday, while Grimes was limited to 22 minutes and wasn’t used in the fourth quarter. McBride had played in the last 35 games and had been part of the rotation since early December. “Those things are tough, but you always have to do what’s best for the team,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “What makes the team function best, and we’ll go from there.”
  • Jalen Brunson turned in his latest huge scoring performance since being snubbed for the All-Star Game, Sanchez notes in a separate piece. Brunson has averaged 31 PPG in the five games since the All-Star reserves were announced.

Knicks Notes: Reddish, Quickley, McBride, D. Rose, More

There have been multiple reports on the Knicks‘ asking price for Cam Reddish in recent weeks, with at least one story indicating the team wants two second-round picks while another suggested that just one would do the trick.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks have expressed to certain teams that they want a pair of second-rounders for Reddish, but sources from rival clubs believe New York would be amenable to accepting just one.

As Katz observes, the deal the Lakers and Wizards made for Rui Hachimura might actually hurt the Knicks’ market for Reddish, even though Hachimura is also a restricted free-agent-to-be and netted Washington three second-rounders.

Hachimura was a regular contributor in Washington, whereas Reddish hasn’t played for nearly two months. Additionally, the Lakers were viewed as a prime suitor for Reddish, but no longer seem like a probable landing spot for the fourth-year forward, reducing the Knicks’ leverage in trade discussions.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Elsewhere in his story on the Knicks’ trade deadline considerations, Katz confirms that the team has become increasingly resistant to the idea of trading Immanuel Quickley after having been open to moving him earlier in the season and cites league sources who say New York has “decisively” turned down inquiries on reserve guard Miles McBride. McBride isn’t currently a major part of the Knicks’ rotation, but the team likes him “for the long haul,” Katz explains.
  • If Derrick Rose remains on the roster through the trade deadline, buying him out and allowing him to sign with a contender is a possibility, according to Katz. But the Knicks have also discussed the idea of hanging onto the point guard into the offseason in case his $15.6MM team option for 2023/24 becomes a useful salary-matching asset in a trade for an impact player.
  • Reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein was happy to be able to contribute to the Knicks’ win over Cleveland on Tuesday with some key defensive plays in crunch time, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. “It’s big. It’s kind of what I came here for,” Hartenstein said. “I know for myself if I’m not playing as good as I’m supposed to be playing I feel like I’m kind of letting the fans down, the city down a little bit. But I’m just going to keep getting better because I know I can do it. So keep getting better and keep representing for New York.”
  • Head coach Tom Thibodeau likes what he’s seeing from a second unit that features Hartenstein, McBride, Quickley, and Obi Toppin playing alongside starter RJ Barrett, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “Huge. I mentioned it earlier that the bench was playing really well prior to RJ getting hurt, then Obi got hurt and we haven’t found our rhythm,” Thibodeau said. “Now I think we’re starting to find that rhythm again.”