Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Warriors star Kevin Durant is one of the prizes of free agency, but the idea that he could join the Knicks this summer took a hit when he suffered an Achilles injury that could keep him out for the entire 2019-20 season. Here's the latest...


June 29, 2:24 PM

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, all indications suggest the Warriors will offer Durant a five-year, $221 million super max contract. Only the Warriors can offer Durant a super max deal. 

June 29. 12:16 PM:

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Kawhi Leonard and Durant are talking about teaming up and the Knicks have the cap space to land both players. We know that the Knicks feel as if they're in on Durant as free agency approaches. SNY sources confirm that they expect to have an audience with Durant. As far as Leonard goes, there are people around the NBA Finals MVP who see New York as a destination for him. ESPN reported that Leonard plans to meet with the Knicks.

June 26, 11:39 AM:

Durant has declined his $31.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, making him an unrestricted free agent, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

According to Wojnarowski, Durant and manger Rich Kleiman are currently in New York "evaluating free agency options."

June 26, 11:34 AM:

James Dolan wants to see Durant's medical report before potentially offering him the max this summer, reports Stephen A. Smith of ESPN

SNY's Ian Begley reported on June 21 that the Knicks planned to seek more information about the nature of Durant's Achilles injury.

June 24, 2:46 PM:

The Nets are exploring the possibility of signing DeAndre Jordan with the hope that it could make Brooklyn an even more enticing landing spot for Durant, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times. Jordan is close friends with Durant, and the Knicks traded for him last season and have considered trying to re-sign him.  

June 12, 9:36 AM:

While many thought Durant opting in to the $31.5 million option with the Warriors for 2019-20 was likely in the wake of his Achilles injury, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday that it would be the "last resort."

"That's really if you couldn't find any other team to commit to you on a contract," Wojnarowski said, adding that he still thinks there will be a market for Durant to get a "max or near-max contract."

Wojnarowski noted that despite the injury, he still expects there to be a market for Durant, adding that if it came down to signing a two-year deal elsewhere (with the yearly salary starting around $38 million), Durant would rather do that than return to the Warriors on the one-year opt-in. 

June 11, 2:24 AM:

Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors expect Tuesday's MRI to confirm a right Achilles tendon tear. 

June 11, 12:13 AM:

Warriors GM Bob Myers announced after Game 5 that Durant has an Achilles injury. The extent is still unknown. 

June 10, 10:55 PM:

Durant left Game 5 of the NBA Finals early in the second quarter with a lower leg injury. He will not return and will be scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning. 

Durant, who returned to the court for the first time in a month due to a right calf strain, grabbed his right leg after he planted his foot. He was helped off the court and into the locker room with team medical staff and teammates.

He left Scotiabank Arena on crutches and with a walking boot on, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

In 12 minutes of play, he scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting and recorded two rebounds, one block and two fouls. The Warriors led Game 5 39-34 with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter at the time of Durant's injury.

June 10, 2:52 PM:

Durant is expected to be back out on the court for the Warriors in a do-or-die Game 5 on Monday night, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. It is still a game-time decision, according to the team, but reports have since surfaced from Poole's original tweet that say Durant is going to suit up. 

This will be the first time he plays since injuring his calf back in the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets. He was cleared to practice before tonight, and hasn't complained about the ailment during those sessions. While this is good news for the Warriors, who desperately need help down 3-1, it's also good news for the Knicks. 

June 9, 5:37 PM:

Durant practiced on Sunday for the first time since suffering a right calf strain on May 8, however his status for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Monday is questionable, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Durant, according to ESPN, had ice packs wrapped around his right Achilles and lower right calf on Sunday. Golden State, which is seeking its third consecutive championship, trails Toronto 3-1 in the series. 

June 4, 7:55 PM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, if his own report of Kyrie Irving preferring to go to the Nets is true, Durant may decide to stay in Golden State if they do not win the NBA Finals. Smith said Durant could still go to the Knicks without Irving, convince Irving to come or opt for somebody else such as Kemba Walker. 

Smith, who said he had not spoken to Irving or Durant, had previously said there was a "95 percent" chance Irving and Durant will both join the Knicks, with the only hiccup being Durant changing his mind. 

May 30, 12:37 PM: 

As the Warriors head into Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight in Oakland, they will continue to be without Durant. And it looks like that will be the case for Game 2 as well. 

Head coach Steve Kerr told Bleacher Report that it is a "long shot" he will be cleared for practice before Game 2. Durant is still dealing with his calf strain that he suffered during the Rockets series. As the Finals games go, Knicks fans will continue to watch to see if Durant actually makes an appearance.

May 25, 6:57 PM:

It can't be Durant alone.

So says Knicks legend Bernard King, who feels if Durant is going to join the Knicks he must bring a second superstar with him, or else he risks going through a Patrick Ewing-like era which ends without a championship.

"I think that given the fact they have space for two max contracts, he needs someone else to come along,'' King told the New York Post. "That's what you see around the league. Superstars playing together. Who that other player that would be -- Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard -- I don't know. But if (Durant) decides to play in New York, he needs another superstar beside him. That's what happened with Patrick. He had very good players in Charles Oakley and John Starks, but he didn't have another superstar to play with him."

 

May 25, 10:06 AM:

After three seasons and two NBA Finals titles with the Warriors, Durant still feels he is perceived as an outsider to the organization. The forward, who addressed reporters for the first time on Friday since his calf strain, took exception to the phrasing of a question about "their" play.

"Our play," Durant said. He was then asked about that perception of still being viewed as an outsider. 

"It's been that way since I got here - the Warriors and KD," he said. "I understand that. I feel like my teammates and organization know exactly what I've done here on and off the floor to become part of the culture. I've stamped my flag on this culture and organization."

May 23, 2:34 PM:

Durant is unlikely to return for the beginning of the NBA Finals, but the Warriors hope to have him back before the Finals end, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic

If the Warriors make quick work of whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference, it's possible we've seen the last of Durant in a Warriors uniform.

May 22, 1:20 PM:

As the ridiculous feud between Durant and reporter Chris Broussard drags on (with the two now arguing over whether they text), two Knicks players -- Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson -- have reacted. 

May 21, 9:22 PM:

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, he has heard from "smart, plugged-in people" within the last month that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an "equally dangerous threat" to the Knicks in being able to sign Durant. 

Stein, however, noted that during the season he had trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant planned to join the Knicks but suggested it could very well still be a mystery on where he will sign. 

May 21, 7:52 PM:

Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, told Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay that contrary to other reports the Warriors forward is "100 percent undecided" on where he is playing next year. 

"That is 100 percent undecided and I'm waiting on Kevin and that's the truth," he said. "I think there's a feeling this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out, but when somebody gets to the level of basketball like that you can't juggle focus like that ... I think it's frustrating, honestly, at times."

May 20, 3:15 PM:

Durant is "recruiting guys to go to New York with him, right now," reports Chris Broussard, who adds "If we hear that, you can't tell me the Warriors players don't hear that."

The pending free agent, who spent part of his Monday firing back at Broussard on Twitter after Broussard claimed the Warriors winning the title without him would be his "worst nightmare," remains on the sidelines as Golden State is on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals.

May 17, 9:15 AM:

Durant's calf strain that he suffered in Golden State's second-round series against the Rockets is "more serious than we thought," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after a Game 2 win over the Trail Blazers. 

The Warriors already ruled Durant out for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals, but Kerr said the team is in "wait and see" mode in the meantime.

May 14, 1:24 PM:

There may be a "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York, but there's "100 percent" chance that at least KD is joining the Knicks -- at least, that's what Colin Cowherd said he's been told.

According to "The Herd" host, a veteran NBA player sent him a direct message saying that the superstar going to the Knicks is "100 percent done" and he's also made calls to other players.

May 13, 11:52 AM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, there is "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York. He adds the only thing stopping this from happening is if Durant changes his mind. 

May 9, 3:26 PM: It has been confirmed that Durant doesn't have an Achilles injury, and instead he suffered a mild right calf strain, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He will be re-evaluated next week by the team, but it looks as if he will miss the rest of the Warriors-Rockets series. 

May 9, 12:36 AM: Knicks fans watching Game 5 of the Warriors vs. Rockets probably didn't breathe for about five minutes when Durant pulled up on his right leg, and began limping his way off the court. The way the injury looked in the replay, it appeared he may have suffered a devastating Achilles injury. 

However, it was confirmed to be a right calf sprain they said on the TNT broadcast. We do not know the severity of the injury, but KD will not return in Game 5.

May 6, 9:25 AM:

The Warriors are preparing for a "possibly seismic change" this summer, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Whispers over the last few months have painted the Warriors as less optimistic about keeping Durant, and it now seems they're preparing for the possibility of both Durant and Klay Thompson leaving via free agency. 

April 30, 1:14 PM: 

Former NBA center Kendrick Perkins joined Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports' "Undisputed" on Tuesday, and dished out what he knows about Durant and Kyrie Irving

"They have been talking a lot lately," he said. "...I could only imagine KD and Kyrie in New York. I might move to New York. I'd have to buy some tickets."

Perkins played with Irving during his stint with the Cavaliers, so he could still be connected to the dynamic floor general. The notion of Durant and Irving linking up in New York would be music to Knicks' fans ears, as those are the top two expected free agents this summer.  

April 30, 10:27 a.m. 

Durant already has a television show -- "The Boardroom" -- that airs on ESPN. But could the Knicks use the idea of a personal television show to lure the media-inclined Durant? 

Industry sources have indicated to the New York Post's Marc Berman that this could certainly be the case. In fact, the speculation maintains that if Durant were to sign with the Knicks, he'd host his own show on MSG Network. 

April 29, 2:11 PM:

Celebrity chef and Warriors fan Guy Fieri is getting desperate when it comes to attempting to try to keep Durant from leaving Golden State.

"Tell me what you need," Fieri recently told GQ about helping to keep Durant with the Warriors. "If there is a such thing as an inspiration dinner that I need to cook to bring all the dignitaries together-all the players, his team, his mom, you name it-well, consider that meal cooked."

April 26, 11:10 AM:

Durant's childhood friend NaVorro Bowman, the former Niners linebacker, told the New York Post that KD "needs" the Knicks. 

When asked if the Knicks are a fit for Durant, Bowman said: "It's the Big Apple. I think it's a place where Kevin needs to go to solidify Kevin Durant. I hate to say it, but LeBron (James), he's a got a way about the people. His legacy is huge right now.

"Kevin's right there. I don't see who's ahead of who. But if he goes to New York and does what I know he's capable of, he'll go down as one of the best to ever play the game."

April 26, 11:00 AM:

There's more smoke around Durant heading to the Knicks, with ESPN's Ian Begley reporting that some former and current teammates expecting it to happen. He wrote that some around the star "told people with a rooting interest in the New York Knicks to stay patient amid the losses." 

Begley wrote: "It's easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn't think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July."

April 22, 11:21 AM:

Durant explains to NBC Sports Bay Area why he will be the one who controls the message of where he signs for his impending free agency. 

"After a while, players are starting to see how so many random people want to run with their messages and spin it around," he said.

April 8, 2:28 PM:

With rumors continuing to swirl that the Knicks are the favorites to sign Durant, Frank Isola of The Athletic reported Monday that some NBA executives and agents are so sure Durant and Kyrie Irving will team up in New York that one agent said Durant and Irving "are debating on who will sign first."

The reason that matters, according to Isola, is that the player who signs second will look like the follower.

April 4, 2:41 PM:

Durant's decision to sign with the Knicks as a free agent after the season is "done," Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report said on Wednesday.

"From everything I've heard, it's done," Bucher said during an appearance on The Herd. "Yes, he's leaving. ... If he so much as gets [the Knicks] into the Conference Finals, he will be beloved there like he never has been at Golden State after two championships."

April 3, 1:08 PM:

Rival executives say "without hesitation" that Durant is "bound for the Knicks" and that Irving is "likely to join him," writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Beck goes on to note that "virtually everyone" believes Durant is leaving the Warriors. 

Mar. 27, 4:28 PM:

While speaking on WFAN with Mike Francesa, The Ringer's Bill Simmons said he would "bet the house" that Durant will land with the Knicks this offseason. He even went a step further to say, "I'd bet it's Kyrie [Irving] and Durant together."

Mar. 6, 12:52 PM:

There are members of the Warriors organization "concerned that Durant's behavior is a sign that he's already got one foot out the door," reports Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo! Sports

Feb. 21, 9:06 AM:

"We have no idea what he's going to do," a Warriors source told Frank Isola of The Athletic about Durant's pending free agency, adding that "there's not much more we can sell him on."

If Durant leaves the Warriors this offseason, the "general consensus" among NBA executives, players, and coaches is that he will land with the Knicks, reports Isola.  

Isola notes that a "dark horse" in the Durant sweepstakes could be the Lakers, but suggests that Durant joining LeBron James doesn't make much sense given the fact that he's trying to create his own legacy. 

Feb. 14, 10:36 AM:

Ethan Strauss of The Athletic -- who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters -- said during his podcast Thursday that "There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York -- if we're just completely real about it."

Feb. 12, 10:49 AM:

Durant's company, Thirty Five Ventures, is moving into a New York City office. This news broke along with an ESPN cover story detailing how Durant -- who recently suggested he just wants to talk about basketball -- has become a mogul. 

Feb. 10, 9:58 PM:

The Knicks issued a statement regarding a picture of Durant (in game action against Mitchell Robinson) being used to promote ticket sales for the 2019-20 season. "Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes, but given everything going on, we took precaution of taking the photo down," the Knicks said. "To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website."

Feb. 7, 8:20 AM:

After not speaking to the media for over a week, Durant ripped them over their recent coverage of him -- while not actually shutting down rumors that he could be headed to the Knicks.

"I have nothing to do with the Knicks," he said. "I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in here every day. Ask me about free agency. Ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying. And now when I don't want to talk to y'all, that's a problem on me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up."

Feb. 1, 9:34 AM:

Knicks officials are highly optimistic about signing Durant this summer and are thought to have a "strong chance" to land him if he chooses to opt out of his deal with the Warriors. 

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Jan 31, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots over Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Jan 31, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots over Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

There's some fallout between the Knicks and the Spurs over Marcus Morris' decision to renege on his agreement with San Antonio and sign with New York. 

The Athletic published a story quoting a GM who said the Spurs were "pissed" about Morris backing out of his verbal agreement with San Antonio to sign with the Knicks. 

It's understandable that the Spurs would be upset with Morris' decision to back out of the deal. It's also understandable if the Spurs were upset with the Knicks for giving Morris an alternative option. 

 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Ignas Brazdeikis was the 47th pick in the NBA Draft, so the casual fan may have been surprised to see him knocking down threes, executing spin moves and finishing around the rim in the Summer League.

But those that know Brazdeikis well weren't.

"He's always been able to score," Andrew Saulez, Brazdeikis' coach at Holy Trinity High School, says. "…. Some of the stuff that you saw at Michigan and at Summer League, the buckets that he gets at weird angles, using the glass, getting into the lane, spinning and scoring -- he's been doing that since Grade 6 or 7."

Brazdeikis averaged 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists for New York in the Summer League. He also knocked down 11 of his 22 three-point attempts. It was only Summer League, so those who are penciling Brazdeikis in as Rookie of the Year are getting ahead of themselves.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Bryan Mitchell, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Look out Madison Square Garden: Zion Williamson will be on the court to face the Knicks very soon. 

While fans will be amped to see first-rounder RJ Barrett play at MSG, they'll be even more excited to see him face Williamson and the Pelicans during the preseason on Oct. 18, sources confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley. 

These two already faced off during both of their Summer League debuts, but Williamson left with a knee injury after tallying 11 points. The game was also affected by the earthquake out in the Mojave desert in early July...

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Feb 8, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Bobby Portis (5) looks on against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Feb 8, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Bobby Portis (5) looks on against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

New head coach Mike Anderson considers himself a Knicks fan now, and you can thank Bobby Portis for that. 

Anderson coached Portis during his time at Arkansas, where he was the 2015 SEC Player of the Year. Portis was impressive that year with 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 46.7 percent from three. 

That jumper translated to the NBA, too, as he shot a career-high 39.3 percent from three last season between the Bulls and Wizards. Anderson believes that aspect of Portis' game and more will have Knicks fans liking him this year. 

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Mar 4, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Mar 4, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

New Knicks free-agent signee Reggie Bullock underwent surgery on Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery for a cervical disc herniation, the team said.

Bullock initially reached a two-year $21 million agreement at the beginning of free agency, but re-worked the agreement in wake of the disc herniation. Bullock agreed to a two-year deal for less than the $4.7 million exception, his agent David Bauman told SNY.

"(The) Knicks were fantastic through this process," Bauman said.

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Apr 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale and guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale and guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Emmanuel Mudiay has faith in the Knicks. 

The 22-year-old guard may no longer be on the team, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Utah Jazz this summer, but Mudiay believes New York should be excited about some of the pieces the organization has, starting with head coach David Fizdale. 

"This year wasn't the year to judge him for his work, but he's taken teams to the playoffs before," he told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. "So I think it's only a matter of time. If they keep putting the right people around him, then he'll flourish."

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Mar 19, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) drives for the basket in front of Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Mar 19, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) drives for the basket in front of Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

The Knicks and Reggie Bullock have finally reached a deal after a medical issue led to a snag, with the free agent signing a two-year pact for less than the $4.7 million exception, his agent David Bauman told SNY's Ian Begley. 

Bullock's deal with the Knicks is structured similarily to their other two-year agreements, per SNY sources: it isn't fully guaranteed in the second year, which essentially makes it a team option.

There is no specific timetable for Bullock to be on the court at the moment. But, per SNY sources, Bullock is expected to miss at least a month of the regular season due to his ailment.

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Which Robinson?: Nate or Mitch 00:01:02
Former New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson has fun choosing whether he or Knicks center Mitchell Robinson are better at certain things.

Former Knicks point guard and three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Nate Robinson stopped by the SNY studios to play a little game we like to call "Which Robinson?"

The current Robinson on the Knicks is the exact opposite of Nate -- C Mitchell Robinson. So we tested Nate's knowledge with a few questions that pertain to either him or Mitch. 

Not only does Nate believe he's the better dunker, but he even proved that he's a better singer than Mitch...

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Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

After Madden's rankings created a stir among NFL fans early on Monday, NBA2K quickly followed up with their rankings, too. 

Of note is how the rookies are ranked, particularly Knicks' RJ Barrett. 

New York's first-round pick, and third overall, was rated a 78 in his first time appearing in the video game. 

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Nov 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) reacts near the bench in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports (David Richard)
Nov 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) reacts near the bench in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports (David Richard)

JR Smith is now available. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers released the veteran guard on Monday before his $15.6 million contract for the 2019-20 season could become guaranteed and failing to find a team to take him in a trade. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that once Smith clears waiver, the Los Angeles Lakers would not be interested in signing him. 

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New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson dunks against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson dunks against the Toronto Raptors during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks had the worst record in the NBA last season (17-65) and scooped RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the Draft and Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round before missing out on every top free agent and pivoting to the lower tier.

So how many games should they expect to win in 2019-20?

BetOnline has set the Knicks' over/under at 27.5, which would mean a solid improvement over the tank that last season was but a team that is still a far cry from being a postseason contender.

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The word for Knicks forward Kevin Knox as he worked his way through his second NBA Summer League was "different." 

As the Knicks and Knox wrapped things up in Las Vegas on Saturday, Knox used that word to describe both his new-look team and himself. But in a good way. 

"Yeah, I feel totally different," Knox told Newsday. "I probably didn't have the numbers I did last year, didn't have all the highlights and stuff. But just me out there feeling more comfortable and more confident, dribbling the basketball, shooting the ball, I feel a lot stronger out there."

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Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

The Knicks ended their Vegas Summer League schedule with a 103-87 win over the Wizards in Saturday's consolation game.

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Mitchell Robinson had perhaps his best game of the Summer League schedule. The second-year pro came up with big plays on both ends of the floor, ending his afternoon with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and three blocks

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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The NBA completely reshaped itself in a little over a week's time, shifting the balance of power in dramatic ways for years to come.

Gone are the days of the unbeatable Golden State Warriors, ditto for the Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder and fledgling Los Angeles Clippers. The Knicks have seen similar changes in their own neighborhood, as the splash the Brooklyn Nets made in free agency has made the Atlantic Division no walk in Central Park. 

Here are the starting lineups each team in the revamped Atlantic Division could roll out come October, ranked, and how the Knicks stack up:

 

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

We'll never know if the Knicks were interested in trading for Russell Westbrook. They never had the chance to make an offer. 

The Rockets and Thunder stunned the league on Thursday by agreeing to a deal that moved Westbrook to Houston in return for a package that included Chris Paul and first-round picks, per ESPN. 

The Knicks didn't have the money to match salaries in a Westbrook trade at the moment. They would have had to wait until Dec. 15 to include the free agents they signed the summer in a deal.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports  (Jeff Hanisch)
Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

The Knicks' pursuit of Marcus Morris has reportedly paid off. 

League sources confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley that Morris plans to sign a one-year deal with the Knicks worth roughly $15 million. 

Begley reported earlier on Thursday that the Knicks believed that obtaining Morris as a free agent and re-working Reggie Bullock's deal was a likely scenario, per SNY sources.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Nate Robinson reflects on Knicks 00:01:24
Nate Robinson joins Ian Begley and says 'They're building a team that's a real team' when describing the Knicks offseason moves.

Nate Robinson played his first five NBA seasons with the New York Knicks. 

Speaking on Tuesday with SNY Insider Ian Begley, Robinson gave his take on the current state of the team, including the players they couldn't land and the one that they have brought in.

When asked about Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving spurning the Knicks for deals with the cross-town Brooklyn Nets, Robinson spoke from his own experience on why he enjoyed his time in New York.

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Robinson key in Knicks future 00:00:46
Ian Begley discusses how Mitchell Robinson was one of a few players off limits in Anthony Davis trade talks for the Knicks.

The 2019 Summer League has come and gone for the Knicks (not counting a consolation game this Friday or Saturday), who squeezed out a win after dropping their first three games. There were high and low points, an earthquake-shortened game, and plenty of Twitter GM's labeling RJ Barrett a bust.

Despite the 1-3 record, there certainly were bright spots. Mitchell Robinson impressed again, averaging 3.5 blocks and 11 rebounds across the four games, while Barrett improved significantly in games three and four.

Aside from Robinson and Barrett, Jud Buechler's squad got quality production from a number of players.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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With an influx of free agent talent joining the young Knicks' roster, Kevin Knox knows that his playing time will be hard-fought.

"We're going to have to earn our minutes and fight for playing time on the court," Knox said to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "Training camp is going to be brutal. I know I got to earn my minutes this year because we brought in a lot of great guys."

The Knicks are in line to sign Marcus Morris, whose primary position is small forward. That's Knox's best spot, too. Despite the imminent playing time crunch, though, Knox is already taking a positive approach...

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports  (Jeff Hanisch)
Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As of Thursday morning, there was still mutual interest between the Knicks and Reggie Bullock to negotiate a new deal after a medical issue hampered their original agreement, per SNY sources.

Bullock's agent, David Bauman, and the Knicks continue to work together on a new agreement for the six-year veteran.

The medical issue that caused a hiccup is unclear, but Bullock has dealt with plantar fasciitis in the past. The Knicks originally agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with Bullock that contained a player option in Year 2.

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Knicks first-rounder RJ Barrett put together another fine performance in the penultimate Summer League game on Wednesday night, dropping 21 points with 10 boards for another double-double. 

But it was the way Barrett got his highest point total of the summer that should be intriguing to Knicks fans.

Barrett had a mismatch against the Lakers, and head coach Jud Buechler saw it and exploited it.

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Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the first half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronoto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the first half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronoto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

The Knicks Summer League squad blew out the Lakers 117-96 on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Five things to know about Wednesday's game...

1) RJ Barrett had some struggles shooting again, but he got himself going by getting to the free-throw line. Barrett ended the night with 21 points, shooting 6-17 from the field. He was also a beast on the boards for the Knicks, pulling in 10 rebounds.

2) Kevin Knox led the Knicks in scoring again, notching 25 points on 7-12 shooting. Like Barrett, the Knox did a lot of his damage from free-throw line, knocking down nine of his 12 attempts from the charity stripe.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Feb 7, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire (5) adjusted his glasses while coming into the game during the first half against the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 7, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Amar'e Stoudemire (5) adjusted his glasses while coming into the game during the first half against the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

SNY's Ian Begley confirmed that the New York Knicks attended a workout that former forward Amar'e Stoudemire held on Monday in his quest for an attempted NBA comeback. Despite his efforts, a new report indicates a reunion is unlikely. 

The 36 year old who retired from the NBA in 2016 will not be making a return to the franchise, according to the New York Post. Stoudemire, a 15-year vet, spent 2010 to 2014 with the Knicks. His spell in New York was one filled with injuries and only one All-Star apperance in his first season with the team. Stoudemire's deal with the Knicks at the time was a five-year contract worth $99.7 million. 

 

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Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The New York Knicks did their damnedest to set the team up to be a winner starting with the summer of 2019.

That didn't go according to plan. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving took their talents to New York, just not New York, New York. Bundled in that group is new Los Angeles Clipper, Kawhi Leonard.

But thanks to Leonard, the stars are alinging for the Knicks to line up another swing on a re-building effort through free agency starting in 2021.

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Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 9, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Contrary to what social media might tell you, RJ Barrett is not a bust. Let me be the one to offer the short list of reasons why. He's 19 years old, playing basketball for the first time in a few months, and has just three games under his belt … in the Summer League.

Now, exhale.

First impressions are everything, and Barrett's wasn't exactly pretty. In his first two games, he made just 21 percent (7-for-33) of his shots and went 2-for-13 from beyond the arc. His shot selection, turnovers and, well, a lot, were rough.

Tags: RJ Barrett
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The Knicks Summer League squad dropped Tuesday's game against Toronto by a final score of 85-73.

Five things to know about Tuesday's game...

1) RJ Barrett scored 17 points for the Knicks, including five in the first quarter. He also showed off his ability as a playmaker in the open court, tallying six assists. He also added 10 rebounds, having his best overall game to date.

2) The Knicks were without Allonzo Trier in Tuesday's game. According to the game broadcast, Trier was dealing with an illness, causing the Knicks to sit him.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire (1) smiles after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in New York. The Knicks won the game 89-85. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire (1) smiles after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in New York. The Knicks won the game 89-85. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Former Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is planning an NBA comeback, and he wants to make sure he can help both on and off the court.

"Leadership goes a long way with teams in order to get from a playoff team to a contending championship team. ... From that standpoint, I have a lot to offer," Stoudemire said on "MSG 150," via the New York Post's Marc Berman. "And also as a basketball player, I still have a lot of game left. I can help a team in any way they need."

The Knicks were among the teams who attended Stoudemire's workout in Las Vegas on Monday, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed. The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets were also reportedly in attendance.

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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks to his left during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. (Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks to his left during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. (Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports)

Changes are coming to the NBA's instant replay process starting this season.

On Tuesday, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved two new changes. The first change is the introduction of a Coach's Challenge. This change will be adopted on a one-year trial bases during the 2019-20 season. 

"These initiatives further strengthen our officiating program and help referees make the right call," said NBA President, League Operations Byron Spruell. "Giving head coaches a voice will enhance the confidence in our replay process among teams and fans and add a new, exciting strategic element to our game. Enabling the NBA Replay Center to trigger instant replay will improve game flow and provide real-time awareness of any adjustments to the score."

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Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports  (Jeff Hanisch)
Apr 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The Knicks and Reggie Bullock's agent, David Bauman, are working together to reach a new agreement after a medical issue arose that caused the team to question his ability to play a full season, a league source confirmed to SNY.

The Knicks originally agreed on a two-year, $21 million deal with a player option. The medical issue holding the deal up is unclear, but it could lead to New York landing another free agent.

An ESPN report stated that Marcus Morris is reconsidering the two-year, $20 million agreement he reached with the San Antonio Spurs. Morris, according to the report, is considering signing with New York. The club is expected to have additional cap space if it re-works its deal with Bullock, and one SNY source said Tuesday that the team was hopeful of landing Morris in wake of the Bullock issue. 

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Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Kenny Wooten (41) looks on during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports  (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Kenny Wooten (41) looks on during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Last year, the Knicks found an undrafted gem in Allonzo Trier. The Arizona guard fell through the Draft, and New York quickly scooped him up knowing he had a shot to make the team out of Summer League.

What ensued was a player who averaged 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 22.8 minutes per game off the bench last season. A two-year, $6.9 million contract with a team option came his way in return this offseason. 

This season, that undrafted story could have a new chapter with Oregon big man Kenny Wooten

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Knicks forward RJ Barrett (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Knicks forward RJ Barrett (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - If you're making sweeping conclusions about RJ Barrett after two Summer League games, you're overreacting.

"Of course the Knicks would like to see him come out and dominate in these games against guys who won't be in the NBA. That's what you'd expect from the No. 3 pick. But there's no reason to sound any alarms," one veteran scout said Monday. "He's 19 and this is what Summer League - and his rookie season, really - is for. It's about development and getting comfortable on an NBA floor."

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New York Knicks center Amar'e Stoudemire adjusts his glasses during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee),  (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
New York Knicks center Amar'e Stoudemire adjusts his glasses during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee), (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Could a reunion between the Knicks and Amar'e Stoudemire be on the horizon?

The 36-year-old forward, who retired in the NBA since 2015-16, was working out for multiple teams in Las Vegas on Monday, which included the Knicks, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed. 

Per Yahoo! Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets were also in attendance. 

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Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

With Russell Westbrook's future in Oklahoma City cloudy as of this past weekend, the Thunder are now "receptive" for the first time to taking trade calls on the 30-year-old star, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic

Charania notes that the timing is difficult when it comes to a potential trade of Westbrook, which holds true for any potential trade to the Knicks, as SNY's Ian Begley noted over the weekend.

In order to complete a trade for Westbrook before December 15, the Knicks would have to renege on agreements with their new free agents, said Begley, noting the fact the Knicks have just $4 million in cap space at the moment. Westbrook is set to make $38.5 million this coming season.

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Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) drives against Phoenix Suns guard Billy Garrett Jr (17) during the second half of an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) drives against Phoenix Suns guard Billy Garrett Jr (17) during the second half of an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

The story so far at Knicks Summer League hasn't been first-round pick RJ Barrett's dominance, but rather their second-rounder in Ignas "Iggy" Brazdeikis

The Michigan product, who the Knicks trade up in the second round with the Kings to acquire at No. 47, was absolutely electric in the team's second game against the Suns on Sunday night. Brazdeikis led the team with 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting, and he added eight boards and two assists as well. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE IGGY'S TOP HIGHLIGHTS

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Brazdeikis scores big in Vegas 00:01:15
Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis talks about scoring points in Summer League, and developing his game with Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter|

Iggy Brazdeikis believes he's the best player on any court he steps on.

That was certainly true at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday night.

Brazdeikis, the Knicks' second round pick, scored 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting and had eight rebounds in New York's overtime loss to Phoenix.

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS -- Frank Ntilikina was visiting with the Knicks' Summer League team on Sunday night, unfazed by his involvement in recent trade rumors.

"I'm happy to be a Knick," Ntilikina told reporters at the Thomas and Mack Center before New York's overtime loss to Phoenix. "I still take as much as I can get from every situation that I can. I'm in their jersey. I'm happy to be a Knick. I'm happy to be here. I'll work very hard to make this situation successful."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Team LeBron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against Team LeBron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Team LeBron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against Team LeBron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

A report indicated that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving knew "months ago" they would be teaming up in Brooklyn. Apparently it was not a well-kept secret.

New Knicks power forward Bobby Portis said players around the league knew about their intentions back in February.

"I knew what was gonna happen in February," Portis said, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov. "We all knew that (Durant and Kyrie Irving would go to Brooklyn). Everybody knew that. I just don't think the media knew that. Us basketball players, we all knew that. ... I'm not going to leak my source. But we all know where they were going. I'm protecting mine, but we all knew where they were going."

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Knicks forward Kevin Knox (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Knicks forward Kevin Knox (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks faltered late in the second half and fell to 0-2 in the Las Vegas Summer League as they lost to the Phoenix Suns 105-100 in overtime on Sunday.

Five things to know about Sunday's game

1) Knicks rookie RJ Barrett struggled from the floor again, making just 3 of 15 field goals. He scored eight points and committed eight turnovers. Through two games, he has 23 points on 7-of-33 shooting.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless they want to renege on agreements with their new free agents, the Knicks can't complete a trade for Russell Westbrook prior to December 15. They only have $4 million in cap space, not close to enough to absorb the $38.5 million he's scheduled to make next season. 

It would be incredibly damaging to the Knicks' relationships with agents if they reneged on free-agent agreements to acquire Westbrook, so you can forget about that option. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Begley's Knicks analysis 00:01:01
SNY's Ian Begley reports on Dennis Smith Jr.'s improved jump shot and RJ Barrett's debut

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - RJ Barrett isn't going to make too much of his shooting in the Knicks' first Summer League game. 

"I haven't played a game in three months. I was fine. Shots didn't fall, but I'm good," the Knicks' No. 3 overall pick said on Saturday. 

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks rookie, vets on new look 00:01:35
RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr. and Julius Randle on the Knicks youth and new additions

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - Dennis Smith Jr. is entering his first full season as a Knick and his third in the NBA. He sees it as an important year for him. 

"I think it is. I honestly felt like I was supposed to be (drafted No. 1 overall). Probably like everybody else in the class. I feel like this is the perfect time to come out and prove why I feel that way," Smith said on Saturday after the Knicks practice in Las Vegas. 

Smith said he's been working on his shot extensively with Knicks top assistant coach Keith Smart and that he feels fully healthy after he was hampered by a back injury late last season. He also likes the Knicks' new additions, feels ready to compete with free agent point guard Elfrid Payton for the starting job, and isn't worried about the Brooklyn Nets' big haul. 

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Mar 20, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 20, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Kawhi Leonard signing with the Clippers makes it official: the Knicks have missed out on all of their top targets in free agency. But the biggest free agent they landed, Julius Randle, believes that fans will grow to appreciate the 2019-2020 team. 

"We've got dogs. We've got dudes who don't back down, who have killer mentalities. And that's what we need," Randle said on Friday night. "Getting back to the old school. Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, all of those guys. Toughness. A fight breaking every night. So, we're excited about that. That's our identity of our team, not backing down from nobody."

Randle offered his thoughts on several topics in a chat with reporters in Las Vegas: 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Kawhi Leonard stunned the NBA early Saturday morning, committing to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency and bringing Oklahoma City star Paul George along with him.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard pushed the Clippers to obtain George via trade. The Clippers sent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Galinari, four unprotected first picks, one protected first round pick and two protected first rounders in exchange for George. Wow.

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Summer League rocked by quake 00:01:43
SNY's Ian Begley reports on the earthquake that occurred during the Knicks Summer League game in Las Vegas

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS -- RJ Barrett didn't shoot the ball well in his Summer League debut, but Knicks Coach Jud Buechler had a simple message for the rookie after the game: don't stop shooting.

"There were ups and downs in the game for him, which you expect out of a rookie. We saw a lot of things we liked," Buechler said, via the Knicks, after Barrett missed 14 of his 18 shots in 25 minutes against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. "We will continue to encourage him to keep shooting and aren't worried about his shot not falling."

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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The Knicks' Summer League debut against the Pelicans was stopped with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter due to an earthquake.

The west coast experienced a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, suspending play at Las Vegas' Tomas & Mack Center. The Pelicans had an 80-74 lead when play was stopped in the fourth quarter.

Both teams left their benches for their respective locker rooms, as the video board and sound speakers above the court swung back and forth. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier
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Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks owner James Dolan watches during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks owner James Dolan watches during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Knicks may have moved on from missing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency, but there is still an underlying problem that the Knicks -- a once storied franchise in the league -- can no longer attract the game's biggest stars. 

To make matters worse, these stars would rather play for New York's other team, the Brooklyn Nets, who do not carry as much cachet as the Knicks. 

David Waldstein of the New York Times spent the week speaking with agents and other basketball executives, most of whom stayed anonymous, but confirmed what some had assumed: Players view the Knicks as a dysfunctional franchise with no stability. 

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New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless you're an elite player, starting jobs in the NBA aren't handed out in July. So it's way too early to predict who will be starting at point guard for the Knicks next season.

But at the moment, the plan is for new Knick Elfrid Payton to get "every opportunity" to win the starting point guard position next season, per SNY sources familiar with the matter.

The Knicks signed Payton to a two-year, $16 million deal with a team option for the second season.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Dec 10, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Henry Ellenson (8) shoots against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Dec 10, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Henry Ellenson (8) shoots against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Knicks fans will get an early look at some of the team's young talent during the Summer League schedule. Here are the latest news and notes concerning the Knicks' summer schedule ...


 

July 5: 3:30 PM:

Henry Ellenson left the Knicks summer league team for personal reasons, according to multiple reports. 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Things are not all that bad for the Knicks. 

Despite missing out on big free agents and Zion Williamson in the NBA Draft, many are still high on the Knicks' young nucleus -- at least for the NBA Summer Leauge. 

According to the sportsbook oddsportal.com, the Knicks are the betting favorites to win the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which begins Friday night at 9:30 p.m. between New York and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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