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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Oct 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Did Justin Anderson have any extra motivation against Marcus Morris and the Knicks on Friday night?

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about (Morris hitting him in the head with the ball). My biggest thing is making sure I go out there and whatever opportunity I get, making sure I play hard defensively, compete defensively," Anderson said. "And offensively, I told my brother, I'm just trying to kill. So I'm glad I played that way and maintained my composure and handled it like class."

Anderson had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench for the Wizards, who knocked down 46 percent of their 3-point attempts in a 16-point win. Earlier in the week, Morris was ejected from a game against the Wizards for hitting Anderson in the head with an elbow and then hitting Anderson in the face with the ball.  

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks fell to the Wizards 115-99 in their preseason home opener. >> Box Score

Six things to know from Friday's game...

1) Right off the opening tip, Julius Randle showed off his ability as a point-forward. Off of a Washington miss, Randle hauled in the defensive rebound and brought the ball up the court himself, something that Knicks fans can expect to see often this season. Randle then backed down the much smaller Ish Smith, and then kicked it out to an open Marcus Morris, who drained the three. Randle finished the night with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In response to Kevin Durant, Marcus Morris tweeted on Thursday that he was never a fan of doing what was cool. 

He expanded on that idea when asked about it on Friday. 

"That's just me personally. Me reading what KD said, or listening to what he said about the cool thing," Morris said on Friday before the Knicks-Wizards game at MSG. "I just never was a real fan of that. Being cool and being in the NBA. Me personally, I get what he was saying. I actually have a good relationship with KD. But the cool part about playing somewhere. Playing in all cities - playing in Utah. Is it cool to play in Utah? It's cool to play in other places. It's cool. I just never was a fan of the cool thing. Making a decision off of what's cool."

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Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)
Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)

If the current rift between the NBA and the Chinese government continues, it could have some adverse effects on the league next season. 

Teams are already preparing for that scenario. 

According to Yahoo! Sports' Keith Smith, "at least five NBA teams" are beginning to plan for a scenario where the NBA salary cap for the 2020-2021 season could diminish because of the NBA-China situation. Smith has it potentially falling between 10 and 15 percent. 

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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A day after Julius Randle responded to Kevin Durant's critique of the Knicks, teammate Marcus Morris chimed in. 


 (Raj Mehta)
(Raj Mehta)

Kristaps Porzingis made his Mavericks debut on Wednesday night, marking his first return to NBA action following a 20-month absence.

The Latvia native scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and was a team-leading +13 in 19 minutes on the night, as the Mavericks fell to the Pistons 124-117.


Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) dribbles as New York Knicks center Julius Randle (30)] defends during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) dribbles as New York Knicks center Julius Randle (30)] defends during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets first face each other in the second game of the regular season Oct. 25 at Barclays Center, and the intrigue has already begun with off-court comments from both sides.

After Kevin Durant said that "the cool thing right now is not the Knicks," Julius Randle, among others, had a response for reporters Wednesday when asked about the new Nets star's thoughts from Tuesday on Hot97 FM's Ebro in the Morning Show.

"S--t, I feel cool in blue and orange," Randle told reporters. "I don't know about everybody else but I feel pretty cool wearing my Knicks gear every day. It's a dream come true for me. Everybody has their own opinion."

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Marcus Morris talks his ejection 00:00:55
New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris speaks about his ejection during the Knicks first preseason game and possibly being suspended

Marcus Morris has avoided any suspension by the NBA.

A league source confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley that Morris won't be suspended for Monday's incident.

The nine-year veteran had a very strong preseason debut against Washington, going off for 17 points in the first half.

Early in the the second half, after some back-and-forth with Justin Anderson, Morris hit Anderson in the head with the ball as Anderson guarded him. He received a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected from the game.

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 (NICOLE SWEET)
(NICOLE SWEET)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Nets center DeAndre Jordan didn't want to comment on the international controversy between the NBA, the Chinese government, the Houston Rockets and Houston GM Daryl Morey

"It was unfortunate that the events were cancelled today but we're not experts in that field," Jordan said on ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday from China, where the Nets are scheduled to play the Lakers. "The field that we are experts in is basketball. We wanted to come here to play basketball and see all our fans in China."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale plans to use several different lineups in the preseason. So we may see a different starting five when New York plays Washington on Friday at Madison Square Garden. 

But Fizdale gave some interesting insight when he answered a question about his starting lineup for Monday's preseason opener.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In an interview on the Ebro in the Morning Show on Hot97 FM, Nets star Kevin Durant talked about several topics, including his decision to sign with the Nets and why "it's hard" for the Knicks to attract top players. Here is the full interview.

Here are some highlights:

ON HIS DECISION TO SIGN WITH THE NETS

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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina spent some time in Dallas over the summer, training for the NBA season and the FIBA World Cup. David Fizdale flew to Texas for a visit with Ntilikina in July. At one point, the coach shared a simple, poignant message with his young guard: "We've got a lot of confidence in you, play free, leave everything behind you."

Ntilikina seemed to do just that with the French National team. He started at guard for the club and his play -- which included a clutch performance against Team USA -- propelled them to a bronze medal in the World Cup.

"It gives you a lot of confidence," Ntilikina said of his World Cup success. "But I say now: it's a new start with a new team with the Knicks. So it's another competition."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Marcus Morris talks his ejection 00:00:55
New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris speaks about his ejection during the Knicks first preseason game and possibly being suspended

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Marcus Morris said his decision to hit Justin Anderson in the head with a ball early in the second half of the Knicks' preseason win over the Wizards was "unprofessional" and "a bad move." 

Morris received a flagrant-2 foul on the play. The sequence started when Morris hit Anderson in the head with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. He then hit Anderson with the ball.

Morris said afterward Anderson said something to provoke him, though he didn't use that to excuse his reaction. He and the Wizards forward had to be separated after the play.

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here are a few takeaways from the Knicks' 104-99 win over the Wizards:

MORRIS EJECTED: Marcus Morris was ejected 13 seconds into the second half for doing something you don't see often. First, he appeared to hit Justin Anderson, his defender, with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. That happens regularly in the NBA. Here's the odd part. He then hit Anderson in the head with the ball and started jawing with him. He received a flagrant-two, presumably for the whole sequence.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Fizdale announces starting five 00:01:25
David Fizdale announced his starting five ahead of the preseason matchup with the Wizards. Dennis Smith Jr. elaborated on his back injury.

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 | 

Based on what we've heard from players at Knicks training camp, defense has been a priority this week. You'll get your first look at the Knicks' defense in action on Monday when they open the preseason in Washington.

Something to expect? Ball pressure. That's been a point of emphasis during camp.

"Me and all my teammates, we pay a lot of attention to pressuring the ball on defense. And not letting the opposing team be comfortable offensively," Frank Ntilikina, one of the team's top defenders, said Sunday. "So yes, you will see that from the Knicks."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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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)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Veteran Knicks big man Taj Gibson has been impressed by Mitchell Robinson so far.

"He has a lot more to offer than what you see. He's only scratched the surface," Gibson said Friday. "He's real talented and athletic but he shows a lot more in practice. He can shoot the ball. He's a great shot-blocker. He has so much to offer. It's up to us to bring it out of him."

Robinson will likely start at center for the Knicks this year. You can argue that his progression in Year 2 -- and beyond -- is one of the Knicks' most important tasks. Robinson established himself as one of the top young shotblockers in the league this season. He plans to start shooting from the perimeter this year. If he can continue to develop on both ends of the court, the 21-year-old could give the Knicks something every NBA team covets -- a shot blocking 7-footer who can shoot threes.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, Knicks fans naturally felt spurned, having held out hope that the 10-time All-Star would bring the magic back to Madison Square Garden.

But what about Allonzo Trier? The second-year Knicks guard has a relationship with Durant that dates back to Trier's days as a high schooler in Oklahoma City, when Durant was a member of the Thunder.

Tags: Allonzo Trier
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Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes and observations from Knicks training camp on Thursday:

RJ Barrett spent some time talking to Hall of Famer Bernard King on Thursday.

King didn't want to reveal too much about the conversation, but he seems impressed by the Knicks' No. 3 overall pick.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Morris wants 'Old school Knicks' 00:01:07
Marcus Morris laid it out there when he said the Knicks will be 'Old school Knicks and protect the Garde' as their identity this season.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are three days into training camp, so it's probably too early to say anything definitive about the team's identity. But Marcus Morris knows exactly what he wants it to be. 

"Old school Knicks. Protect the Garden. My biggest thing is no one's coming in there and disrespecting us," Morris said Thursday. "If anything, if you come in here you're going to get a hard-fought game. The better team going to win but we're not tolerating no disrespect and no one coming in here thinking it's going to be easy. That's the first and foremost."  

Other Knicks have delivered similar messages in the past. But more often than not, they haven't followed through on them. This instance is probably different; it would be hard to find a player in the league who thinks Morris won't back his words up.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale plans to use Julius Randle all over the floor this season. 

"I'm gonna have him handling pick-and-roll. I'm gonna have him setting pick-and-rolls. He'll post and (isolate) and I'll run pindowns for him, cross-screens and pindowns. For a guy like that with that kind of talent I wanna move him around and utilize the skillset from different parts of the floor," Fizdale said Wednesday. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Film director Spike Lee during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Film director Spike Lee during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Spike Lee has added to his Knicks memorabilia collection, and he spent a pretty penny to do so.

According to the Associated Press, Lee recently purchased 13 Knicks-related items from an auction, held by the family of the Red Holzman, the former Knicks coach who passed away in 1998. The family had put 35 items up for auction, with Lee purchasing over a third of them.

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Frank Ntilikina ready for season 00:02:20
New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina feels some added confidence in his game after competing in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina learned something important about himself during France's run to the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup:

"How good I can be playing basketball," the guard said on Wednesday. "It's simple on both sides of the court. A competition like that brought me a lot of confidence."

If Ntilikina can play with the kind of confidence/competence in New York that he showed with the French National Team last month, maybe he earns a spot in David Fizdale's rotation.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Evaluating Frank Ntilikina 00:00:56
Ian Begley addresses the strong showing from Frank Ntilikina after a good summer playing for France. Also, Dennis Smith Jr. turned heads.

A lot has changed for Knicks PG Dennis Smith Jr. this summer. And it wasn't just his jumper. 

Smith spoke to the media at practice Wednesday, and he admitted being down about 15 pounds since the end of last season. The Knicks had told him to cut weight, and he did just that. 

Of course, that came with some food sacrifices.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Scott Thompson
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Apr 3, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis practices before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Apr 3, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis practices before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

After the Knicks missed out on landing the big names during the NBA's offseason, the star player they traded away in January now says he's in the best shape of his life. 

Speaking to reporters at Mavericks Media Day, Kristaps Porzingis said he's as healthy as he's ever been on the court.

"I feel great physically," Porzingis said. "I feel 100 percent. I feel probably better than I ever have in my life."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Breaking down Knicks practice 00:00:45
Ian Begley breaks down the Knicks first day of Training Camp. Robinson says he's ready to hit 3's while Barrett is working on everything.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

How does Dennis Smith Jr.'s new shot look in five-on-five scrimmages?

"It's a lot better," David Fizdale said on Tuesday. "It's a lot less movement, it's more efficient. He put in a lot of time on the fundamentals this summer. But it's a process. He'll have days where it's not as great. But I think consistently now he's got a shot that has a better chance of going in."

Smith Jr. has worked extensively on his shot this summer with Knicks assistant coach Keith Smart. He shot 42 percent overall and 32 percent from beyond the arc this season. The Knicks, obviously, would like to see those percentages increase in Smith Jr.'s third NBA season.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Knicks hold intense practice 00:01:16
The Knicks held a very focused practice centered around defense and Mitchell Robinson let everyone know he's ready to shoot 3's.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

After working on his 3-point shot all summer, Mitchell Robinson plans to let it fly from beyond the arc this season. 

"Why work on something you're not going to use? I'm looking forward to it," the second-year center said after the first practice of Knicks training camp. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Mar 17, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Mar 17, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Heading into his sixth NBA season, Julius Randle is excited to be playing for the Knicks. It will be Randle's first season with New York, after signing a three-year $63 million contract with the team over the summer. He spent his first four years with the Los Angeles Lakers and the 2018-2019 season with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Randle acknowledged that he's going to be a leader with his new team, and is focused on helping center Mitchell Robinson take a leap forward in his second season in the league.

"That was one of the things I talked to Fiz about, that I was extremely excited about. Mitch has no clue how talented he is, how good he can be," Randle said. "Me being a leader of this team, I'm definitely going to push him, to try to maximize his potential. That's a kid I'm extremely excited to play with day in and day out."

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Kevin Knox (Brad Penner)
Kevin Knox (Brad Penner)

Kevin Knox's rookie season has came and went, and though the numbers may not be what he wanted to see at the end of it, he still showed flashes of that first-round pick type of talent.

Now it's all about improving off that rookie year, and turning those flashes into consistent performance. Speaking at the Knicks Media Day on Monday in Tarrytown, NY, Knox said that he was watching tons of film this summer to see what he can improve on.

"I think with this first season going by, I think this summer I had some film I could really watch," he told reporters. "Going into last year, I had no film really on myself, but this year I could really watch and see where I can grow, get better. Obviously have to get better at the defensive end and that' something that me, Fiz, and a lot of coaches have been working on this summer. Being more consistent, more efficient on the floor. Knocking down open shots."

Tags: Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacts during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacts during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Since being released by the Knicks, Enes Kanter has alternated between bashing them and praising them and their future. On Monday, the dice landed on "bash."

Asked why he chose to sign with the Celtics during the offseason, Kanter was succinct.

"That's why I chose Celtics. They don't tank," he said Monday, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald.

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Knicks media day 00:01:21
New York Knicks players Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, RJ Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox speak at media day.

Knicks first-rounder RJ Barrett was all smiles in his No. 9 jersey during Media Day on Monday. But when the lights turn on at Madison Square Garden in his rookie season, it will be all business for the No. 3 overall pick. 

His true first day at work begins on Tuesday during his first training camp practice. Barrett is excited to get to work with his new teammates in Tarrytown, NY -- something he's already been doing since being drafted by the Knicks. It has been so far, so good as he continues to get acclimated to his new team.

"It's been great so far," he told reporters. "Just really enjoying being around the guys, enjoying working out so just trying to get to know everybody."

Tags: RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Knicks front office speaks 00:02:21
New York Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry explain their offseason roster construction and why they missed on big free agents.

It's Knicks Media Day out in Tarrytown, NY, and it's also the first time team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry discussed their free agency moves. 

The result wasn't what Knicks fans were hoping for, as the superstars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and others found their way to different teams. However, Mills and Perry had multiple plans in place if something like this were to go down. 

So the roster that they have put together with training camp kicking off tomorrow is one that they did envision when prepping for free agency.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Leading up to free agency, the Knicks, Warriors, Clippers and Nets all had serious interest in signing Kevin Durant. People around the Knicks felt that they still had a chance to land Durant in the days leading up to free agency. 

Did Durant share that interest?

When asked on Friday how seriously he considered signing with the Knicks, Clippers or Warriors before deciding on the Nets, Durant said, "I thought about it for a couple seconds to see how my life would look in all of those places for a minute. But ultimately, I wanted to be here."

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Dec 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Carmelo Anthony (7) plays the ball against New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Carmelo Anthony (7) plays the ball against New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Count Lance Thomas among the NBA players who are surprised that Carmelo Anthony isn't on an NBA roster. 

"I think he deserves to end up on a team. A guy of his caliber is someone who has always been a standup guy in the league. He's given amazing basketball memories to the NBA, has affected almost every teammate he's ever had in a positive way, and always has a smile on his face," Thomas said Friday at Nets Media Day. "I think he does deserve to play on a team. I think it's unfortunate what's happening. But you're not going to take the smile off his face even if you tried."

Thomas signed with the Nets on Friday. His addition puts Brooklyn's roster entering training camp at 20 players - the maximum allowed under NBA guidelines. So the Nets would need to waive someone to add Anthony, which seems unlikely at this point. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, Ian Begley
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Mike Woodson
Mike Woodson

The last coach to have a winning season at Madison Square Garden -- heck, the last coach to lose less than 50 games -- was Mike Woodson. It's been six years since Woodson coached the Knicks to 54 wins and an Atlantic Division title. Six years since the Knicks have had a winning product. Woodson says that that season in New York is one of the highlights of his 30-plus years in the NBA. 

"There isn't anything like winning in New York; it's just different," Woodson says. 

We'll find out in the coming months if this year's Knicks team can recreate that feeling. 

But before we look ahead, Woodson took some time to look back on his coaching tenure in New York. He talks with SNY about why he enjoyed coaching Carmelo Anthony and working for James Dolan and his desire to coach again in the NBA: 

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New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas shoots over Washington Wizards forward Jeff Green during the first half at Capital One Arena. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas shoots over Washington Wizards forward Jeff Green during the first half at Capital One Arena. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets have agreed to terms with forward Lance Thomas, the team announced ahead of Friday's media day. 

SNY's Ian Begley had previously reported that the team was in conversations with the former Knick, who will look to serve as a stopgap in the Nets' rotation while Wilson Chandler serves a 25-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy at the start of the season.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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Mar 15, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) dunks over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Mar 15, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) dunks over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Discussions between Lance Thomas and the Brooklyn Nets have centered around Thomas having a regular season roster spot, per SNY sources.

The Nets have 15 players on guaranteed deals, but can add an extra player after the fifth game of Wilson Chandler's 25-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Nets GM Sean Marks acknowledged on Tuesday that the team will look into adding a 16th player on the roster during Chandler's suspension.

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Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Knicks will have a new uniform option for the 2019-20 season, according to Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net, and that uniform was recently spotted and shown via Instagram.

According to Creamer, the new uniform that was spotted is the "Statement Edition" uniform.

Check it out below:

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Get to know Iggy Brazdeikis 00:02:39
Knicks rookie Iggy Brazdeikis sat down with Ian Begley ahead of training camp to open up about playing in New York and his upbringing.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

A few days ahead of his first NBA training camp, Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis sat down with SNY to talk about basketball, his upbringing, and how he's adjusting to life in New York so far.

Brazdeikis, selected 47th in the 2019 NBA Draft, says he isn't looking to prove any doubters wrong in his first season in the league.

"I'm just here to prove myself right," he says. "I don't really care about anyone else, proving them wrong, whatever. I know who I am, I know how good I am, and I know how much I can help this team. I'm going to prove it, I'm going to do my thing. And I don't hold anything against anyone (who may have overlooked him). It what it is, but I'm definitely ready to go."

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Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett
Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett

The NBA is entering a season where there are numerous teams in contention for a championship and even more poised to push for a long playoff run. With the Knicks being perhaps the only team in the division out of contention, the Atlantic Division features some heavy hitters.

In a league built on stars, the Atlantic has All-Stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. There's also players on the rise and poised to eventually make an all-star team in Pascal Siakam and Jayson Tatum.

Player movement is at an all-time high, so don't expect any of these teams to look exactly the same five years from now. All five teams in the division feature interesting rosters with numerous questions about how they look currently, as well as where they will be in the next five years. 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Fertitta on Carmelo Anthony 00:02:14
Ian Begley talked to Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets on Carmelo Anthony's tenure and Knicks owner James Dolan.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta spoke to SNY on Friday to promote his new book, 'Shut up and Listen', which provides advice for business entrepreneurs. He answered questions about the book, ex-Knick Carmelo Anthony's Rockets tenure, Knicks and Nets ownership and other topics. 

Below is a Q&A with Fertitta, condensed and edited for clarity.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Begley
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Apr 9, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports (Mike Dinovo)
Apr 9, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports (Mike Dinovo)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Dennis Smith Jr. has several goals coming into his second season with the Knicks. One of them? To help R.J. Barrett win Rookie of the Year. 

"I'm treating that as one of my focal points just to help him win Rookie of the Year. And whatever I can do, I'm willing to do it," Smith Jr. said in an interview with Chris Henderson. "It's important for us and it's important for our team and it's important for our morale moving forward so I think it would be major if he won that."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The Nets open training camp in 10 days and several Brooklyn players remain fully in favor of the club signing free agent Carmelo Anthony, per SNY sources.

The Nets enter camp with 15 players on guaranteed contracts, which is the maximum regular-season allotment. But there is an avenue for the club to sign Anthony to a traditional NBA deal during the regular season.

Wilson Chandler is suspended for the first 25 games of the season for violating the league's PED policy. After the fifth game of Chandler's suspension, the Nets can move the veteran forward to the inactive list.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Begley
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Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett
Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

When people talk about the Knicks-Nets rivalry these days, they talk about what the Nets did this summer -- and what the Knicks didn't do.

That narrative serves as motivation to this year's Knicks team.

"Of course, the Nets got two big superstars this summer but it's just fuel to the fire for us," Knicks forward Kevin Knox said at an event on Monday to debut Puma's new sneaker line, which features the Puma Clyde Hardwood.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

The 2019-20 NBA regular season begins Oct. 23 for the Knicks against the San Antonio Spurs, but RJ Barrett might have his calendar circled for Nov. 8 when New York plays the Dallas Mavericks.

In a Monday AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Bleacher Report, the No. 3 overall pick by the Knicks in June's draft was asked whom he would want to posterize -- among all-time and current players -- if given the chance.

Barrett went with a rather recent and well-known figure for Knicks fan, name dropping former New York power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who spent three-plus years at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, RJ Barrett
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The Knicks rounded out their roster heading into training camp by signing guards Amir Hinton and Lamar Peters along with forwards VJ King and Kenny Wooten.  

New York now has a maximum of 20 players under contract heading into camp, which begins at the end of the month. 

The club has 15 players on traditional NBA contracts and one player (Kadeem Allen) on a two-way deal. Teams can carry up to two players on two-way deals, so New York can add one of the players above - or any other player not under contract - on a two-way deal if it chooses.  

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet is scheduled to participate in workouts with the Knicks in Westchester again this week, agent Jerry Dianis told SNY.

The Knicks may have an open spot for training camp, depending on what happens with Kris Wilkes. Wilkes had a 2-way agreement with the Knicks but, according to the New York Post, they may not end up having Wilkes on the roster.

It was first reported on Aug. 28 that Hasheem Thabeet had been participating in informal 5-on-5 scrimmages alongside Knicks players, SNY learned more about the former No. 2 overall pick's involvement with members of the team going forward.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

It looks like the New York rivalry is on.

This summer, Kyrie Irving elected to sign with the Nets on a four-year, $136 million contract, while the Knicks, who had targeted Irving, were left watching as Brooklyn assembled a team consisting of some free agent stars.

So when the Knicks travel to Barclays Center on Friday, October 25 for an early-season matchup between the two New York teams, the Nets have decided to give away 10,000 replica Irving jerseys to the fans in attendance. 

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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Coming into the 2019-20 season, the New York Knicks have low outside expectations. A failed bid to sign superstar Kevin Durant as well as guard Kyrie Irving forced the Knicks to alter their free agent plans. They signed a pu pu platter of mid-tier free agents to short-term contracts that will allow them to re-enter free agency next summer.

The youth movement is underway in New York and many questions still remain about the direction the organization is heading in. The failure to sign any big name free agents has lowered the bar for the Knicks as a team. The need for in-house player development is more important than it has ever been for a franchise that hasn't re-signed a first round pick to a second contract since 1994 first rounder Charlie Ward.

Despite the expectations that the team will finish with one of the worst records in the NBA, there are still positives to look forward to for the upcoming season. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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