New York Knicks

Knicks Notes: Kanter, Hornacek, Porzingis, Trade Deadline Plans

Enes Kanter has been a bright spot for the Knicks this season, but his ongoing dispute with the Turkish government has generated more headlines than anything he has done on the court. While his future — both with the Knicks and his native country — is unclear, Kanter knows he wants to retire in New York.

In an in-depth interview with ESPN’s Ian Begley, Kanter addressed his perception of the Knicks before he joined the team as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade last September and his current view of the organization.

“I remember during the draft I went to see a lot of organizations. But after you play in New York, you don’t really want to go anywhere else,” Kanter said. “The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, ‘This place is so cool, I want to retire here.’ I remember one of the media guys was asking me, ‘Is it too early to decide because you’ve been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?’ I was like, ‘This is the place I want to be.’ You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I’m really cool with Ben Stiller.”

Kanter, 25, has averaged 13.5 PPG and 9.9 RPG through 43 games this season while holding down the center position. In addition to his Knicks future, Kanter also discussed his view of Turkey, his current relationship with his family, and his spat with LeBron James.

Check out other Knicks news below:

  • There have been some rumblings of head coach Jeff Hornacek‘s future with the team given the team’s recent rough patch, which was addressed by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Amid the chatter, however, Hornacek responded by stating that he has the support of the organization and moving forward with the plan of developing young talent, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
  • Kristaps Porzingis was voted an All-Star starter by his fellow players, but lost the overall vote to Sixers big man Joel Embiid. Per ESPN, the Latvian sharpshooter addressed the news with confidence. “Players know,” Porzingis said. “That’s all I’m going to say.
  • The Knicks’ issues with their point guards, defensive capabilities, and ability to win were evident in a recent loss to the Grizzlies. Marc Berman of the New York Post examined how the recent losses — the rough patch that has left the team at 21-25 — could lead to a fire sale ahead of the February 8 trade deadline.

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Nets, DeRozan, Burke, Knicks

Markelle Fultz has missed almost 40 games this season as he’s battled a phantom shoulder injury that has taken away his ability to shoot the ball. While Fultz is practicing with the team, he is still a long way from making a return and the situation has head coach Brett Brown confused, per ESPN.

Fultz shot 50% from the field in his lone college season; he impressed the Sixers so much that the team traded up to draft him first overall in last year’s draft. However, a muscular imbalance in the shoulder hampered Fultz’s shot so much that he did not even attempt a three-point shot while healthy. Brown said he has “never experienced anything like this” but that Philadelphia is dedicated to helping Fultz find his stroke.

“It’s reclaiming the shot that he used to have,” Brown said. “The timeline of when that happens, none of us know. But I feel like there is discomfort in his shoulder and it does affect his shot.”

In four games this season, Fultz averaged 6.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 1.8 APG while shooting 33% from the field.

Check out other Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell, two of the first three overall picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, are with the Nets organization now and general manager Sean Marks is impressed with their maturity. As Net Income at NetsDaily writes, Marks spoke to WFAN recently gave a glowing review of the organization and how it has helped its young players get acclimated.
  • Raptors star DeMar DeRozan was fined $15,000 for public criticism of the league’s officiating, the NBA announced on Tuesday.
  • Trey Burke played just eight minutes of the Knicks‘ win over the Nets on Monday but his impact was noticeable, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Burke lit up the G League with the Knicks’ affiliate and showed glimpses of the player who was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
  • In a separate story, Berman of the New York Post examines the Knicks‘ potential strategy as the trade deadline nears. At 20-24, the Knicks are currently three games out of the eighth playoff spot. A strong run could put the team in playoff position but head coach Jeff Hornacek has repeatedly stated the developing the young players comes before worrying about the playoffs. Berman notes that if the Knicks sell, their main priority will be clearing up the logjam at center that features four capable players (Enes Kanter, Kyle O’Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, and Joakim Noah).

Begley: Davis Proof That Knicks Should Be Patient With Porzingis

  • Kristaps Porzingis is one of the few active NBA players capable of potentially matching the 48-point, 17-rebound stat line that Anthony Davis posted in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. While Porzingis isn’t at Davis’ level, Ian Begley of ESPN points to the development of the Pelicans star as evidence that the Knicks should be patient with Porzingis’ own development.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: New York Knicks

The Knicks may not end up in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but there’s no denying that the franchise is headed in a better direction than it was this time last year. Addition by subtraction in the organization has given the rest of the franchise room to grow.

Although the Knicks have shown that they’re capable of winning ball games this year, it would be foolish for the team to abandon what has morphed into an organic rebuild to chase short-term gains.

This summer, the Knicks would be wise to stick to their plan and manage their growth responsibly. While they’ll have their hands tied financially where it matters most, how they handle their few free agents could shed light on their mentality heading forward.

Ron Baker, PG, 25 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $8.9MM deal in 2017
Baker endeared himself to head coach Jeff Hornacek last season and immediately became the wealthiest third-or-fourth-string point guard in the NBA. The Knicks may envision Baker as Frank Ntilikina‘s eventual primary backup, hence their paying more than they needed to re-sign him, but that doesn’t even matter. As much as we all love Ron Burgundy, he won’t find more than the $4.5MM 2018/19 player option he has with the Knicks anywhere else in the NBA.

Michael Beasley, PF, 29 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.1MM deal in 2017
There’s simply no denying that Beasley is capable of filling the stat sheet when given an opportunity. He’s done it sporadically throughout his career but most recently last month while Tim Hardaway Jr. nursed a leg injury. Beasley signed a one-year, “prove it” deal with the Knicks last summer, but the only thing up for debate is whether or not he can dutifully transition back out of the Madison Square Garden limelight and become a consistent producer off the bench for a team trending in the right direction. Beasley’s likely too old to attract attention from a team amid a traditional rebuild, so he’ll have to establish himself as an emotionally mature, volume scorer off the bench if he wants to get paid. If he does, I’d buy in.

Jarrett Jack, PG, 34 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.4MM deal in 2017
The Knicks brought a face familiar to New Yorkers in to keep the starting point guard position warm until Ntilikina is ready to take over. By all accounts, the former Nets guard has done everything one could expect from a 34-year-old journeyman who had played just 34 games across the previous two seasons. The Knicks will presumably have the option to bring him back on the cheap next season if they’d like to extend their current backcourt arrangement, but he’ll have more interest from contenders now that he’s shown he can stay on the court.

Enes Kanter, C, 26 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015Enes Kanter vertical
A move to the spotlight in New York City has brought Kanter’s value close to where it was in 2016 when he signed a substantial contract extension in the wake of an excellent half-season stint with the Thunder. Kanter has deficiencies, no doubt, but the basketball collective seemed to overreact slightly when he didn’t immediately live up to his lofty contract in the first few years of the NBA’s Small Ball Era. I expect Kanter back in New York with his 2018/19 player option because the city seems to suit him and I can’t envision a situation in which he’d be more immediately valuable than the one he lucked into thanks to the Carmelo Anthony deal.

Doug McDermott, SF, 26 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $10.4MM deal in 2014
While McDermott has done a fine job providing solid minutes off the bench in his first Knicks season, the biggest takeaway from his 2017/18 campaign so far is that his ceiling is right about where people thought it was after a ho-hum career start in Chicago. McDermott could be a low-key valuable add for a team seeking a minor piece, though the Knicks may be better off letting him walk and freeing up the space for a more ambitious signing.

Kyle O’Quinn, C, 28 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $16MM deal in 2015
O’Quinn is a consistently efficient big man who has bulldozed his way into New York’s frontcourt logjam because he’s simply too effective to keep on the sidelines. Despite his production, however, the Knicks would benefit from flipping him for something, because it would clear more minutes for players like Kanter and Willy Hernangomez. Wherever O’Quinn ends up, he would hit free agency this summer as a lumbering big man in a bear market. For that reason, expect him back on his $4.3MM player option with an eye on 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Beasley, Hardaway, Burke, LeVert

With Tim Hardaway Jr. back in the fold, Michael Beasley will likely see his role diminish moving forward, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. Beasley played 16 minutes on Friday against the Grizzlies, the same night that Hardaway’s long-awaited return took place.

Before Hardaway’s injury, the Knicks’ bench was rotational with Beasley, Lance Thomas, and others seeing the court when the situation called for it. While Beasley played well in Hardaway’s absence, notching a pair of 30+ point outings in that time, he will have to readjust to the role he filled to start the season.

 “Every one of (our bench players) lends us something and it could be situational,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Lance (Thomas) has done a great job defending some of these guys. Prior to when Tim was here, there were nights when Lance didn’t play. There were nights Mike didn’t play. So we’ll probably end up going back to that.”

  • Speaking of Hardway, he notched 16 points in 25 minutes for the Knicks in Friday’s loss. After missing 20 games, it was a welcome sight for the Knicks to have Hardaway back, and he felt much better than he expected, Marc Berman of the New York Post relays.
  • The Knicks‘ signing of former lottery pick Trey Burke is official. Burke has arrived in New York and will be in uniform the Knicks’ tilt against the Pelicans, Grey Joyce of the New York Post writes.
  • Quincy Acy got his first start of the season – and second in his 70-game career with the Nets – and played well, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. The veteran center posted eight points, six rebounds, and made a crucial three-pointer late in the game.
  • Caris LeVert has played well in his second NBA season and despite his early shooting struggles, he has shown the Nets the potential of a standout player, Tom Dowd writes in a profile for LeVert, 23, was the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft and after missing most of his rookie season due to injury, he has made great strides in his sophomore campaign.
  • The Nets will file with the NBA to receive a disabled player exception for Jeremy Lin before tomorrow’s deadline, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Lin went down with a season-ending ruptured patella tendon in his right knee on opening night.

Knicks Sign Trey Burke

JANUARY 14, 12:04pm: The signing is official, the Knicks announced on Twitter.

JANUARY 13, 10:38am: The Knicks are expected to sign point guard Trey Burke from the team’s G League affiliate Westchester Knicks, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. The signing will not be official until tomorrow, tweets Marc Berman of the New York Post. New York will request waivers on veteran guard Ramon Sessions to make room for the former ninth overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft.

Burke, 25, has played exceptionally well for Westchester, averaging 26.6 PPG and 5.3 APG while shooting 49% from the field in 37 minutes per game. The former lottery pick, who spent his first three seasons with the Jazz and last season with the Wizards, has not lived up to the hype thus far. In those four seasons, Burke has averaged 10.6 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 2.1 RPG.

It’s unclear how Burke fits in with the current Knicks roster as Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina have soaked up most of the minutes at point guard. The signing reunites Burke with his former Michigan teammate Tim Hardaway Jr., Begley notes.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/13/18

Here are the G League moves from around the NBA today:

  • The Knicks recalled guard Damyean Dotson from their Westchester affiliate, the team tweeted. Dotson has appeared in 20 NBA games during his rookie season.
  • The Hornets recalled rookie guard Dwayne Bacon from their affiliate in Greensboro, the team announced on its website. Bacon is averaging 26.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists with the Swarm.
  • The Thunder recalled rookie center Dakari Johnson from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team website. Johnson has played 19 games for the Thunder, averaging 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.

Knicks Waive Ramon Sessions

1:04pm: The move is official, per a team release.

10:00am: The Knicks will request waivers on veteran point guard Ramon Sessions later today, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). Sessions, 31, will receive the remainder of the $2.3MM salary for the 2017/18 season, Pompey adds.

Entering the season with rookie Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks added veteran depth with the signings of Jarrett Jack and Sessions. Sessions started the first three games of the regular season but has since fallen out of the rotation. In 13 games for New York, Sessions has averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.1 APG in 12.8 minutes per night.

Waiving Sessions has been rumored in recent days as the Knicks have pondered calling up fellow point guard Trey Burke from the G League affiliate Westchester Knicks. In 26 games for Westchester, Burke, 25, has played exceptionally well, averaging 26.6 PPG and 5.3 APG in 37 minutes per game.

Ramon Sessions In Familiar Position With Knicks

Ramon Sessions may be in his last days with the Knicks, but the issue isn’t being addressed behind the scenes, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York reportedly wants to sign guard Trey Burke from its G League affiliate, but first it must create a roster opening. Sessions, who started the season’s first three games but has barely played since, seems like the prime candidate to be waived.

  • Enes Kanter is baffled by his new role in the Knicks‘ rotation, Berman adds in a separate story. Kanter is still the starter and he puts up double-doubles most nights, but he hasn’t played in the fourth quarter of the last five games coming into tonight. Hornacek has been trying to find minutes for four centers, which has reduced Kanter’s playing time. “What’d [Hornacek] say,” Kanter asked. “I have no idea why. I guess it’s a little weird. I have no idea. I look at the coach. He look at me. OK? I’ll sit on the bench.’’

Tim Hardaway's Return Accelerating

The Knicks have missed Hardaway’s scoring since he went on the shelf with a stress injury in his left leg. In 21 games before the injury, Hardaway averaged 17.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG.

  • The Knicks are reportedly considering signing Trey Burke to their roster from the G League but Hornacek does not see a clear roster spot for the point guard, Joyce writes in a separate story. Burke has played well for the Westchester Knicks, averaging  26.6 points and 5.3 assists. The roster is currently at 15 players and if Burke is added, it’s expected that Ramon Sessions is released, Joyce notes.
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