Tim Hardaway Jr.

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Dotson, Hardaway, Mudiay

Knicks center Enes Kanter sounded off on his reduced playing time following a miserable night in Utah, relays Marc Berman of the New York Post. Kanter was pulled from the starting lineup earlier this season to give a more prominent to rookie Mitchell Robinson. With Robinson injured, Kanter remains a reserve as the team tries out little-used Luke Kornet.

The frustration overflowed last night following an 0-for-6 performance in which Kanter didn’t enter the game until nine minutes had elapsed and the Knicks were already trailing by 14 points.

“I understand we want the young guys to get better, but it’s very painful to watch it out there,’’ Kanter said. “I’m essentially positive and try to help the young guys get better. It’s too early in the season to shut me down. My goal this year was to go out and be an All-Star, but now look at the situation.’’

Kanter stopped short of asking for a trade, but he fears his minutes will be cut even further once Robinson returns. After opting in last summer, Kanter has an $18.6MM expiring contract that could be attractive to a contender.

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • In addition to the on-court frustration, Kanter learned Saturday that the NBA won’t be taking action against Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham for his role in a fracas this week, Berman adds. Kanter had called on the league to fine Ham for allegedly pushing him from behind during an altercation with Giannis Antetokounmpo. An NBA source told Berman that Ham “acted as a peacemaker to separate the players.”
  • The Knicks envision Damyean Dotson as part of their future, Berman writes in a separate story. The team has until July 15 to guarantee his $1.6MM contract for next season and seems likely to do so. New York has received calls about him from other teams, including Detroit and Brooklyn, notes Berman, who speculates that having young wings like Dotson and Allonzo Trier could make the Knicks more willing to deal Tim Hardaway Jr. to help open cap space for a run at Kevin Durant.
  • As Emmanuel Mudiay prepares for Monday’s return to Denver, he tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that things got so bad late in his tenure there that he stopped talking to the media. Mudiay never developed into the player Nuggets hoped when they took him with the seventh pick in 2015, and he was benched prior to the February trade that brought him to New York. “It was just the best decision at the time for both of us,” Mudiay said of the deal. “So it’s not like, I want to prove y’all wrong or blah, blah, blah. It’s just certain things had to happen and it worked out best for both sides.”

New York Notes: Hardaway, Russell, Lin, Mudiay

After a strong start to the 2018/19 season, Knicks’ guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has seen his game go a little stagnant over the last month or so. And according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News, we now know why, as it has been reported that Hardaway is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and will have to manage the pain moving forward this season.

As Bondy notes, Hardaway missed the Knicks’ loss against the Suns on Monday to ease some inflammation he was having, but he returned tonight to score 27 points against the Sixers, albeit in a losing effort.

As numerous previous injuries have demonstrated, playing on plantar fasciitis prolongs the recovery because the only cure is rest. Knicks’ head coach David Fizdale says that Hardaway has been coping with the pain “for a while,” but Hardaway says the pain only began a few games ago, so it’s difficult to know when the pain actually started.

“I’ve never had (plantar fasciitis) before, just heard a lot of things about it, that if you keep playing on it, it could get worse,” Hardaway told Bondy. “So around this time last year (with the Knicks) I had an injury and I was out a month-and-a-half. Almost two months. So I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Hardaway’s status and pain tolerance will be something to keep an eye on as the Knicks’ season moves forward.

There’s more out of the Big Apple:

  • Nets’ point guard D’Angelo Russell is beginning to look like a player who was taken with the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA Draft, and his teammates and others within the organization are starting to take notice, per NetsDaily. Russell is embracing Brooklyn and becoming a team-first player as he looks to become a leader and cash in on a big payday this summer.
  • In a piece written by Brian Lewis of the New York Post, former Nets’ and current Hawks’ guard Jeremy Lin opens up about the pain he felt when he was traded to Atlanta from Brooklyn. Speaking on his meeting with head coach Kenny Atkinson after learning of the trade, Lin said he was hurt and that the trade was unexpected, but that he ultimately understood it was a business decision and he’s grateful for the time he spent in Brooklyn.
  • Since being promoted to the starting lineup about a month ago, Knicks’ point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has been a bright spot for an otherwise underwhelming team, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Mudiay has done a good job of improving his conditioning, but his defense is still a work in process. If he continues to get better this season, however, the Knicks could very well look at bringing him back next season and beyond.

O’Connor’s Latest: Ariza, Suns, Lakers, Love, Knicks

Earlier this morning, we relayed a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggesting that the Jazz are among the teams with interest in Bulls forward Jabari Parker. O’Connor’s full article for The Ringer includes a number of other interesting tidbits worth passing along, so we’ll round up some of the highlights in the space below…

  • Many NBA executives expect it to be a quiet trade season in 2018/19, since there will be a ton of buyers and the sellers don’t have all that many attractive trade assets, says O’Connor.
  • After Friday’s three-team Trevor Ariza trade fell apart, the Lakers jumped back in by offering Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a second-round pick, but the Suns wanted a young player – likely Josh Hart – instead of the draft pick, according to O’Connor. The Lakers, as previously reported, refused to include Hart or any of their other top prospects.
  • One of the other variations of an Ariza deal that was discussed before the Suns sent him to the Wizards featured the Rockets and Hawks, league sources tell O’Connor. In that scenario, Ariza would have gone to the Lakers and the Rockets would have acquired Caldwell-Pope. The Suns would have received Jeremy Lin and an additional asset, while the Hawks got Brandon Knight and a first-round pick.
  • Reports have suggested that the Cavaliers don’t plan to trade Kevin Love unless they’re blown away by an offer. Even if that stance changes, front office executives don’t expect Cleveland to receive any viable offers for Love unless the big man looks healthy and productive before the deadline, O’Connor writes.
  • The Knicks‘ clearest path to a maximum-salary slot for the 2019 offseason would involve trading Courtney Lee or Tim Hardaway Jr. However, according to O’Connor, front office sources believe New York would need to attach an asset in order to move either player without taking back multiyear salary.

New York Notes: Hardaway, Noah, LeVert, Hornacek

Tim Hardaway Jr. started 54 of the 57 games he played last season, but he doesn’t mind having to fight for a starting position in camp, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New coach David Fizdale has declared an open competition for all five starting roles, which means there are no guarantees even for a player like Hardaway, who has the third-highest salary on the team at $17.325MM.

“Everybody has to compete,’’ Hardaway said. “No spots are given. Everything is earned. So you’ve got to go out there and play with heart, play with passion. He’s going to make the right decision, put the five guys that he wants on the floor to start the game and we go on from there.”

Hardaway Jr. has a much longer relationship with Fizdale than any of his Knicks teammates. Hardaay’s father played for the Heat when Fizdale entered the league as a video coordinator in 1997/98 and served as a scout for Miami while Fizdale was an assistant coach.

“I just remember him being this little kid running around Miami Arena,” Fizdale said. “Now how my life’s come full circle with him. Now I’m his coach. It’s just fun for me. Because we have that connection with our families. … I really want to see him make it, but his deal is the same as everybody else’s: Earn it.’’

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Ongoing negotiations regarding a buyout for Joakim Noah are preventing the Knicks from making another roster move, Berman writes in a separate story. They want to sign former Columbia forward Jeff Coby for training camp, but already have 20 players and can’t make a move until the Noah situation is resolved.
  • The Nets aren’t considered serious suitors for Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler anymore and are happy with the wing players they have on their roster, according to Brian Lewis of The New York PostCaris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe should also see major minutes this season, along with Joe Harris, who re-signed over the summer. “First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of LeVert.
  • Former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is helping the Nets in an unofficial role during training camp and may continue to advise the team at times during the season, Lewis writes in another piece. Hornacek, who was dismissed by New York after last season ended, is a friend of Atkinson’s.

NYC Notes: Fizdale, Musa, Hardaway, Crabbe

The Knicks have not been a very good basketball team for years and new head coach David Fizdale knows it. So when a reporter asked him if his starting lineups will be dictated by anything other than “best player plays,” he had an adamant response, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.

 “Didn’t I answer that question already?” Knicks coach Fizdale said today. “No one is promised a starting position. I got freedom to do what I want to do from my bosses over there. So it’s open. Don’t matter if you make a lot of money or you make a little money. If you earn the spot you play. That’s it.”

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr., both starters last season, will make $18.6MM and $17.3MM this year, respectively, while Courtney Lee will make a cool $12.3MM in 2018/19. And while Kanter and Hardaway will likely start again this season for the Knicks, the other three positions remain open, especially with franchise player Kristaps Porzingis out with injury.

Fizdale has already been quoted as saying he prefers a bigger guy at the small forward slot, so it’s likely Knicks’ rookie lottery selection Kevin Knox or newcomer Mario Hezonja will start, but Fizdale still hasn’t decided on any lineups to start the season.

“Oh gosh, probably after the last preseason game,” Fizdale said when asked when he’ll make his decision on a Knicks’ lineup. “Because a guy might play great or do a great job the first game then not show up the next three or four, but another guy plays awful early and he starts revving it up late. (So) I don’t think it’s fair for me to start making decisions until we get out of training camp. Training camp for me is all the way up until the end.”

There’s more out of the Big Apple this evening:

  • Nets rookie forward Dzanan Musa told reporters at media day (per Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily) that the Nets were one of the last teams he spoke with during the pre-draft process. Musa met with the team the day before the draft, but did not participate in a workout. Per Fonseca, the Nets scouted Musa extensively when he played overseas.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday reports that Hardaway Jr. and his teammates are happy with the Knicks‘ apparent decision to pass on a trade for Jimmy Butler, saying that the players now feel a lot better as a team.
  • Speaking of Butler’ trade buzz, Nets guard Allen Crabbe says he’s heard the rumors come up with his name, but he’s not letting it become a distraction, telling Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily that he’s concentrated on continuing to get better and work hard.

Knicks Looking To Trade Up For Mohamed Bamba?

Likely lottery selection Mohamed Bamba attended an in-person meeting in New York today with members of the Knicks’ organization, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. Begley seems to opine that the meeting is an indication that the Knicks are considering trading up from the No. 9 pick in order to draft Bamba.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN has endorsed Begley’s report, adding that the Knicks are specifically exploring the option of trading up to the No. 4 spot in the draft, currently owned by the Grizzlies, with Memphis eager to shed the expensive contract of Chandler Parsons.

Despite the reports, it’s also certainly possible that the Knicks are simply conducting due diligence in the event that Bamba slips to them at No. 9, with Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders indicating yesterday that Bamba is a candidate to slip a little further than expected in tomorrow night’s draft.

In addition to the ninth selection, the Knicks enter the 2018 NBA draft with only one other pick – No. 36 overall – and the team doesn’t seem to have many other assets with whom they’d be willing to part, with both Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. unlikely to be moved for the opportunity to move a few spots higher in the draft to select an unknown, albeit gifted prospect.

Givony’s report seems to imply that the Grizzlies may be willing to trade the No. 4 pick for the No. 9 pick if it means ridding itself of Parsons’ contract, but that would be quite the indictment of Parsons given the breadth of talent at the top of this year’s draft.

Moreover, even if Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn both opt out of their contracts, the Knicks would still likely need to return some salary to the Grizzlies in order to match the value of Parsons’ contract, since they’ll almost assuredly be operating over the cap upon the commencement of the new salary cap year absent any other moves.

Knicks Notes: LeBron, Jack, Hardaway Jr.

J.R. Smith, who spent three and half seasons with New York, can’t envision LeBron James ever joining the Knicks.

“Nah, don’t think so. Can’t see it [happening],” Smith said of LBJ playing home games in Madison Square Garden (via Peter Botte of The New York Daily News). “But that’s cool, though, man. A lot of cities have tried that already with [a billboard]. But we’ll see what happens.”

James can become a free agent this offseason and he’s seen several billboards recruiting him to cities that Cavs are visiting, including one reading “King of New York? Prove it.” that was put up last week in the Big Apple.

Dwyane Wade was also recently asked about LBJ’s chances of coming to the Knicks, responding simply with “good luck.”

Here’s more from New York:

  • Jarrett Jack deserves credit for showcasing professionalism with the Knicks and being a mentor to the team’s younger players, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. The veteran has been helping the team’s stable of young point guards while trying to refrain from being overbearing. “If somebody kept the training wheels on your bike the whole time you would never know what it’s like when they take them off,” Jack said. “Sometimes you got to let them balance on their own, push them down the hill a little bit and see what happens.”
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s contract has been a topic of debate since his four-year, $72MM deal last summer. However, he’s had a solid season and one anonymous scout tells Fred Kerber of the New York Post that he doesn’t believe the financials are hindering the Knicks. “Forget the name,” the scout said. “If I said you could sign a young, athletic wing who averaged 15 points on a playoff team [Atlanta], would you?”
  • As we relayed earlier today, current Knicks point guard Trey Burke finished third in voting for the G League’s 2017/18 MVP award.

Atlantic Notes: Hardaway Jr., Hornacek, Harris, Larkin, DeRozan

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek allowed Tim Hardaway Jr. to draw up a play against the Hornets this past Monday. Hornacek’s trust in Hardaway to man the clipboard — even for one play — was a boost to their relationship, Marc Berman of the New York Post relays.

Berman notes that Hardaway is believed to have interest in coaching after his playing days. In the interim, Hardaway appreciated having Hornacek’s trust and the effort he has put into developing the team.

“He’s doing a great job in a tough situation,’’ Hardaway said. “Coaches are in a tough situation too. It’s easy for him to fold as well. He’s continuing to develop us as ballplayers, continuing to encourage us on both ends of the floor, especially in practice, continuing to have that killer instinct and mentality to instill in the ball club. We appreciate that and we’ll keep on fighting for him.’’

Check out more Atlantic Division notes down below:

  • As the Knicks tried to lure free agents to New York City, the messy breakup with Phil Jackson and the triangle offense was likely a hindrance to that goal, Hornacek told reporters, including ESPN’s Ian Begley. “I think it probably was,” Hornacek said. “I think we truly believed that we could blend it [into Hornacek’s preferred offense]. And we found out that probably wasn’t great.” Hornacek added that a healthy Kristaps Porzingis and a young core of talent will be the Knicks’ strongest recruiting pitch.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe looked at 10 things he likes and dislikes around the league and Nets‘ sharpshooter Joe Harris is one thing he likes. Harris’ journey from being released by the Cavaliers to becoming a scoring machine in Brooklyn has him lined up to sign a “fat contract” soon, Lowe writes.
  • In a wide-ranging interview with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy, Celtics guard Shane Larkin discussed his impending free agency, past injuries, and his current stint in Boston. Larkin noted that if possible, he would love to remain in Celtics green. “Obviously going into free agency, you can’t say, “Yeah, this is what’s going to happen.” I love being in Boston and if Boston is the right place for me to be next season, I would be happy to come back and have no hesitation because I love the fans, I love the city and I love everything about it,” he said.
  • DeMar DeRozan has not been scoring as much as he’s accustomed to recently but he and the team are far from concerned, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. DeRozan, instead, has focused on other aspects of the game, such as defense and playmaking. DeRozan joked that he reserves his scoring for emergency situations as he can help the Raptors in other ways.

Knicks Notes: Beasley, Hardaway, Porzingis, Hornacek

Michael Beasley has carried an off-the-court reputation that outweighs his on-court NBA career but he seems to have found a niche with the Knicks. ESPN’s Ian Begley profiled the eccentric former second overall pick, whose personality and performance have become a favorite with his teammates.

Beasley wanted to prove himself so badly this offseason, he left $10MM in guaranteed money from a Chinese basketball team to accept a one-year, $2.1MM deal with the Knicks.

“Yeah, I want a lot of [money]. But I want to prove that I’m the best. The ball will tell you who the best players are, not the contracts, not the media,” Beasley said.

Everyone from childhood friend Kevin Durant to Knicks general manager Scott Perry to opposing coaches speaks glowingly of Beasley and his scoring ability. Conversely, his former and current teammates describe a fun and quirky — sometimes misunderstood — player who memorizes phone numbers and wears wristwatches on his ankle.

“He spends a majority of his time talking to his kids on the phone. He’s a good dude,” Knicks guard Courtney Lee said. “He gets a reputation from stuff that happened in the past, and it still follows him to this day. But he’s not that guy that everybody perceives him to be.”

Check out other Knicks news and notes below:

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. took one step closer to immortality earlier this season when Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo jumped over him for a posterizing dunk. The Bucks started selling a shirt of the dunk and Hardaway is ready to move on from the moment, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “That’s back in the past,’’ Hardaway said. “We’re moving on.’’
  • Bucks forward Jabari Parker has suffered a torn ACL twice in his career and he offered up some words of advice to Knicks superstar Kristaps Porzingis, Berman writes in a separate story.  “For himself, to think about his journey, think about who he is and not thinking about comparisons and looking far outside what’s out of his control,’’ Parker said. “Because then you face doubt on top of the doubt you face with yourself. You never want to seek outside advice for either your confidence or your doubt. I want him to stay in tune, taking it real slow and try to train his body to push himself forward.’’
  • Head coach Jeff Hornacek addressed the NBA’s recent warning to the Bulls about purposely tanking this season. Hornacek said there is a difference between purposely losing and analyzing the current roster, Berman writes. “There’s a difference between tanking and trying to look at the future,’’ Hornacek said. “And we made trades to bring these guys in. We brought Trey in from the G-League and Emmanuel from another team. That’s a totally separate thought process. We’re seeing if they can play for us.’’

Knicks Notes: Burke, Hardaway, Trade Deadline

Trey Burke‘s performance in the two games since signing with the Knicks has given the team a “puzzle” at point guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Burke has exhibited instant chemistry with former college teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. and was used to close out Friday’s win in Utah.

“I can just read him on the floor anywhere, especially when he’s coming downhill,’’ Hardaway said. “Yeah, it was immediate. I kind of know his game so well. Even when I wasn’t playing with him the past couple of years, I definitely watched him in Utah, Washington. I still know what he can do on the court, and what he’s able to do both offensively and defensively. It felt like old times.”

The Knicks are giving Burke an audition to see if they want to bring him back for next season, Berman notes. The point guard position is unsettled with rookie Frank Ntilikina not ready to be a starter and veteran Jarrett Jack unlikely to return. Ramon Sessions was waived last week, and a trade with the Hornets for Kemba Walker remains a possibility.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Burke turned down a $3MM offer from China and opted to play for the Knicks’ G League affiliate, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “[Knicks GM] Scott Perry, that’s my guy,” Burke said. “He told me he was going to give me an opportunity to come [to Westchester] and start there, and if I do what I do, he’ll give me an opportunity [with the Knicks]. Now we’re here, I just got to continue to get better.”
  • Hardaway has boosted the Knicks’ offense in the four games since returning to the lineup and is determined to make the playoffs, relays Al Iannazzone of Newsday. After missing about six weeks with a stress injury in his left leg, Hardaway is averaging 22 points per game and shooting 52.6% from the field since he started playing again. “I feel like with our group, we have that fire and that desire and in our heart [the goal] is to make the playoffs one hundred percent,” he said. “If we don’t make the playoffs, we’re going to go home in April upset.”
  • Finding a point guard before next month’s trade deadline remains among the Knicks’ priorities, along with a starter at the wing and a rim protector, Iannazzone notes in a separate story. He doesn’t expect the team to get all three, but it will be active in trade talks. He adds that the Knicks want to be aggressive in the 2019 free agent market and won’t be interested in Walker if it means taking one of Charlotte’s expensive, long-term contracts.