Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The longest-tenured Knick is a big fan of the newest one.
Lance Thomas watched fellow Duke player R.J. Barrett several times during the season and came away impressed.
"He's a force. He can get to that cup whenever he wants and he finishes above the rim," Thomas said at a pop-up event last Wednesday to promote his Slangmagic clothing line, named after his competitve fishing team. "He finishes with a good floater, strong kid."
Speaking a day before the Knicks drafted Barrett, Thomas said he believed the 19-year-old can thrive at the next level.
"I think he's going to be good," the veteran said.
Thomas fishes competitively when he's off the court and wanted to create a "unique" look with the clothing line.
"We always go away from what's cookie cutter," he said. "We want it to be comfortable out there and we want it to stand out for the right reasons."
It's unclear if Barrett and Thomas - both former Blue Devils - will get to share the court in New York.
Thomas' contract has a $1 million guarantee date of June 30 for his $7.6 million salary for next season. The club currently plans to waive Thomas prior to that deadline, per sources, but the Knicks have strong interest in bringing the 31-year-old forward back as a free agent.
The club values his leadership, professionalism, and the way he's mentored the franchise's younger players.
Speaking in general on free agency this summer, Thomas said, "We'll see what happens. Free agency is always unpredictable. You think you know until it happens, so let the cards fall where they want to and we'll see what happens."
OFFSHORE IN THE OFFSEASON: Thomas fishes regularly, particularly in the NBA offseason. He has a custom-designed fishing boat that's regularly in Louisiana. He says he has unique approach on the boat, which he's honed while adopting different techniques from several fisherman he's worked alongside.
"It's about working smart, not hard," he said.
Thomas laughed when asked if he's taken any Knicks fishing with him recently. He said some teammates have talked about coming out on his boat, but it never comes to fruition. He did take Carmelo Anthony's nephews and brother-in-law fishing recently.