Thursday night's Knicks draft picks RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis were introduced to the New York media on Friday, while Steve Mills, Scott Perry, and David Fizdale also fielded questions. Here are the key quotes...
Is Barrett ready to "carry" the franchise?
"Carry? I wouldn't say carry -- I'd say it's gonna be a great group of guys that are gonna be together. We're all excited to play for coach Fizdale, this is the biggest stage. So yeah, I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to play. But I haven't even played a game yet, so how are you gonna ask me a question like that?" It should be noted that Barrett laughed when delivering the final line...
How did playing at Duke prepare him for New York?
"We're on TV every game. ... everybody knew who we were. ... I love the biggest stage, I love the challenge. I'm ready."
The Knicks' level of optimism entering free agency
"Today is not the day to talk about free agency," Mills said. "We're here to celebrate and enjoy having these guys join our team." Asked later during the press conference about free agency, Mills again said that Friday was not the day to get into it.
How did Fizdale feel about Barrett's workout?
"The workout didn't do anything for me, to be honest with you. ... I didn't need to see a workout where he comes into the gym and gets to work out with a couple of our coaches. But the fact that he did come in there and he went at it full throttle -- it put the stamp on it for me." ...
"I think it's important for people to understand how much time we spent with RJ," Mills added, noting that they spent 2 1/2 days with him, including two dinners and hanging out at Mills' apartment one night to watch the NBA Finals.
Why did the Knicks work out a handful of players late?
"We're gonna always study everything through and through," Perry said. "That's part of preparing for a Draft. ... We felt very confident in this young man here, and glad he was still there. ... That's how we're always gonna go about our business. We're gonna always be very prudent, be very diligent, and really turn over every stone."
Mills on the process and staying patient
"I think we're asking them (the fans) to continue to be patient. We laid out a plan when Scott came on board and then David joined us, that we were gonna build this team the right way. We're going to draft well and we're gonna be diligent about how we make this team and not take any shortcuts ... we believe these two guys are part of that process."
On Ignas Brazdeikis
"We were really impressed with him," Mills said. "His competitiveness, the way he could shoot the ball, his toughness."
Mills added that they thought Brazdeikis would go in the first round, that he rates out really high as a rotational NBA player, and that "When there was an opportunity to go get him" they went out and did it.