Steve Mills laying groundwork for David Fizdale’s ouster?

Even before Sunday’s impromptu press conference , Knicks president of basketball operations Steve Mills had been laying the groundwork for the eventual ouster of head coach David Fizdale, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As Wojnarowski explains, rival coaches and executives view the Knicks roster as one that’s poorly constructed and lacks “legitimate NBA guard play.” However, Mills is selling owner James Dolan on the idea that the 2-8 squad has underachieved at least in part due to poor coaching and should be competitive in the Eastern Conference.

“[General manager] Scott [Perry] and I are not happy with where we are right now,” Mills told reporters on Sunday. “We think the team’s not performing to the level that we anticipated or we expected to perform at.”

While Ian Begley of reported on Sunday night that no coaching change appears imminent in New York, Mills’ position leaves Fizdale vulnerable to a potential dismissal, writes Wojnarowski. The timing and tone of Sunday’s presser was met around the NBA with “surprise and dismay” and was viewed as undermining of the Knicks’ head coach, Woj adds.

“Everyone is moving to their positions now,” a league source told ESPN. “This is how they’ll make (Fizdale) the fall guy.”

Fizdale’s handling of the Knicks’ rotation since he arrived at the start of the 2018-19 season has been questionable, as he has at times shuffled players in and out of the rotation seemingly at random. Still, he hasn’t been dealt the best hand. After New York’s front office signed several veteran free agents in the offseason, Fizdale has been tasked with finding regular minutes for those players while simultaneously developing young prospects like Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett and Dennis Smith Jr.

The idea that New York’s roster as constructed should be a playoff team in the East seems laughable, but even if Dolan doesn’t fully believe Mills’ spin, he might decide that a new coach could get more out of the roster than Fizdale has.

Fizdale is only in the second season of a four-year contract worth an estimated $22M, per Wojnarowski. So if the Knicks do make an in-season change, they’ll have to pay two head coaches for the rest of the 2019-20 campaign and for two more years after that.

By: Luke Adams

Knicks reportedly expect Kristaps Porzingis to return this season

Kristaps Porzingis’ recovery from a torn ACL does not seem to be progressing at a rapid pace, but the team still expects to have him back this season.

The New York Post’s Mark Berman wrote an article published on Thursday about Porzingis and how Knicks head coach David Fizdale is handling things. Fizdale says he is no longer talking about Porzingis’ potential return to the team because he doesn’t want to let his mind run wild fantasizing about when he gets the big man back. Instead, he says he’s focusing on the players on the team’s roster and trying to do the best with what he has.

“Just mentally for me,” Fizdale said via Berman. “That’s somewhere else. I don’t want to get distracted personally as the coach, worried about if and when he’s coming back. I’d rather be focused on the day-to-day task with these guys, and when he gets back, that’ll just be a gift for me. You can get distracted as a coach, caught up in that world of when and hopefully soon and you lose focus on what you’re doing. And these guys deserve my undivided attention.”

Berman reports that the Knicks expect to have Porzingis back this season. However, he suggests that may not be imminent because Porzingis is still not sprinting and has not done more activities since training camp.

Back in September, Porzingis said he wasn’t putting any timetable on his recovery because there is no precedent for a 7-foot-3 player returning from the surgery. Porzingis should take his time and return when he feels comfortable because he’s right — there isn’t a precedent for his return — and he has a bright future that should not be jeopardized.

Porzingis suffered his injury in February. Players often take nine to 12 months before returning from such injuries, but they vary from case to case.

Article here

By: Larry Brown

Knicks rookie Kevin Knox expected to miss 2-4 weeks with ankle injury

New York Knicks rookie point guard Kevin Knox looked impressive in his first two games with the team, but it could be as long as a month before fans get to see him play again.

Knox left the Knicks’ game against the Boston Celtics on Saturday with an ankle injury, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that he is expected to miss 2-4 weeks after being diagnosed with a sprain.

Knox, the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft, scored 10 points in New York’s season opener and 17 points in 28 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets in their second game of the season. He’s clearly going to play a big role this year alongside Tim Hardaway Jr., so the Knicks are hoping the former Kentucky star can return as quickly as possible.


Full article Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports
By Steve DelVecchio

LeBron And Enes Kanter Got Into Scuffle During Amazing Knicks-Cavs Game

Written by Dave McMenamin at

The message embroidered on the front of LeBron James’ baseball cap he wore after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 104-101 comeback victoryover the New York Knicks on Monday night summed up the game — and his talk — perfectly.

“All good,” the cap read in uppercase letters, followed by another line of text underneath: “Never better.”

Sure, the Cavs have been better before — they’re currently 7-7 on the season, with the win over the Knicks giving them their first winning streak since they started the season 2-0. And James, while still dominating the sport, probably peaked as an individual player several years ago.

But the drama between Cleveland and its Eastern Conference counterpart in New York? That may very well be unrivaled in the two teams’ shared history after all the off-court drama of the past several days.

With Phil Jackson resigning as team president in June, it seemed as if James lost the target of his Knicks-based ire. That is, until New York big man Enes Kanter stepped in to fill the void.

Over the weekend, James said the Knicks should have drafted Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft instead of French guard Frank Ntilikina. Kanter took exception to James’ take, coming to his rookie teammate’s defense first on Twitter on Saturday night shortly after James made the comment that Smith “should be a Knick,” and later at practice Sunday when he said James’ words showed “disrespect.”

James, in turn, laughed off Kanter’s rebuttal at shootaround Monday.

“For Enes Kanter, who always got something to say,” James said. “He says … I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

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OKC Blows Out Knicks as Melo Score 22 In His Return To the Garden

Written by Tyler Conway at Bleacher

Hoodies up, Knicks down.

Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points in his first game against his former team and Russell Westbrook added a triple-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder breezed their way to a 105-84 win over the New York Knicks on Thursday.

Anthony, who went full Hoodie Melo in pregame warmups and at times on the bench, knocked down the Thunder’s first shot of the game and played with a fervor on both ends of the floor. While he went on a bit of a shooting slump early in the game, he remained an active defender at the 4 spot and eventually got things going on the offensive end.

Melo was making his Thunder debut against his old team after a fraught summer exit from New York. Disillusioned by his treatment by former Knicks president Phil Jackson, Anthony sought a trade, first to the Houston Rockets and then a short list of suitors that eventually led him to OKC.

“I was always, ‘I’m going to put my trust in Phil, I’m going to put my trust in Phil,’” Anthony told reporters Wednesday. “That diminished after a while. I’m out here doing everything I can and I’m still getting stabbed in the back. I’m not trusting in that anymore.”

Anthony said he looked forward to playing his old team because it fully closed the chapter on his time with the Knicks. He played nearly six-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks, making seven All-Star appearances.

“My first couple of years was exciting, was fun. We set out to do some great things. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” Anthony said Wednesday. “But I won’t let the last two or three years overshadow the amount of fun I had in New York and being in New York.”

Thursday also marked the Thunder debut of Paul George, who came over in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers. George finished with a team-high 28 points on 9-of-23 shooting and added six rebounds.

The debut of his new co-stars somewhat overshadowed an expectedly brilliant performance from the reigning MVP. Westbrook finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists for his first triple-double of the 2017-18 season. He finished with a single-season record of 42 triple-doubles last season, a number many expected to diminish with George and Anthony in the fold.

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Melo Hopes To Be Traded By Monday

Written by Kyle Boone at CBS

Although trade rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony have swallowed up headlines for much of the summer, the Knicks All-Star remains with the New York franchise with training camp now just days away.

Despite no progress seemingly being made on the trade front, however, Anthony and his camp remain hopeful that he’ll be dealt before Monday according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News — which marks the first day of the Knicks’ training camp and media day.

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks. Two weeks ago, Carmelo’s wife, La La, said the family thought a trade would have been completed by now.

Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract that he’s reportedly willing to waiver, but only for the right team. Right now that team appears to be Houston — the long-rumored destination that was previously engaged in trade talks this summer with the Knicks.

“Mentally, Carmelo and his family have moved on to Houston,” Isola reports. “Reality is another story. Hopefully, Mills and Perry will have the right answers when they address the media on Friday because the Carmelo issue isn’t going away until he goes away.”

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Kyrie Wants To Go To New York.

Written by Colin Ward-Henniger at CBS

Shortly after news of Kyrie Irving’s trade request from the Cleveland Cavaliers became public, a list of his preferred destinations was also released: the Knicks, Heat, Timberwolves, and Spurs.

It appears that the Knicks might now be the front-runner — if the choice was up to Irving. ESPN’s Pablo Torre reported on Wednesday’s edition of “First Take” that Irving strongly prefers to be in New York, close to where he grew up and went to high school in New Jersey:

“I got a phone call, and the voice on the other end of that phone call is a trustworthy person,” Torre said. “And he was saying to me that Kyrie Irving very badly wants to be a New York Knick. Kyrie Irving wants to come home.”

The Cavs have long been rumored to be interested in trading for Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, but usually those hypothetical trades involved Kevin Love. A straight-up Irving-for-Anthony trade would work financially, but would leave the Cavs with a surplus of forwards and, even with the addition of Derrick Rose, a lack of guard depth.

The Knicks are reportedly willing to trade Anthony for Irving, but wouldn’t consider dealing 7-foot-3 prized big man Kristaps Porzingis. Meanwhile, Anthony is reportedly remaining steadfast in his desire to join Chris Paul and James Harden with the Houston Rockets. Ultimately any potential deal hinges on Anthony’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause.

Now that Irving’s reported preferred destination has been made public, it will be interesting to see if the Cavs and Knicks accelerate talks in the near future.

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Carmelo Anthony Request Trade To Rockets

Written by Chris Barnewell at CBS

Carmelo Anthony has endured one of the most tumultuous periods of his career due to everything that has gone on with the Knicks. His public sniping with former president, Phil Jackson, along with the team actively trying to force him out has led to a broken relationship. The two sides will not reach a buy out, and at this point there is only one team he will play for.

Anthony has a no-trade clause and the only team he will use that for are the Rockets. Houston acquired Chris Paul in a trade earlier in the offseason and they’ve been working on trying to acquire Anthony in order to compete with the Warriors out in the Western Conference. New York seemed ready to move Anthony, but it changed its tune after promoting Steve Mills and hiring Scott Perry. Now the team wants Anthony to return for another season, but Anthony appears ready to move on. Transcript from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski via New York Post

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski during a SportsCenter appearance Tuesday morning, Anthony “has made it clear to [the Knicks]: I want to go to Houston, I am not interested in talking to you about being reincorporated back into this New York roster.”

Anthony doesn’t want to be a part of the Knicks anymore and it’s hard to blame him. The last season he’s faced nothing but a front office that has openly opposed him in every way. Now, with new management, they want him to just come back and work with them like nothing happened. This is a relationship beyond repair and the Knicks need to move on from it.

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NBA Teams That Should Tank This Year

Written by Michael Shapiro at

As organizations throughout the NBA stockpile weapons in a race to the next superteam, some are left in the dust, either without the superstar they drafted (hello, Indiana and Chicago), or without a superstar in recent memory (nice to see you again, Orlando). These teams have the option of cobbling together enough spare parts to compete for a playoff spot, but many choose to swing the other way, rocketing to the bottom of the standings in order to secure a top-five draft pick.

The 76ers have been the most tanktastic team over the past four seasons, fully embracing The Process to the tune of four top-five picks and back-to-back No. 1 overall selections. However, after signing quality veterans J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson in free agency, it looks as though the organization is finally ready to pursue a playoff berth.

So who will be the next Philadelphia? Here are our top tanking candidates for the 2017-18 season.

Chicago Bulls

Many thought Chicago would enter a rebuild near the trade deadline last year and ship Jimmy Butler before the All-Star break. But the infamous GarPax duo opted to go the other route, keeping the Bulls’ core of Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo together through the entirety of the regular season. The result: a first-round exit at the hands of Boston, and a cents-on-the-dollar deal for Jimmy Butler during the NBA draft.

Rondo was waived prior to July 1, and Wade is likely hoping to follow suit sometime in the near future. Reports indicate that the three-time champion will begin the season with Chicago, but if the Bulls’ brass has any wits about them, they’ll ship Wade to a contender or buy him out within the first few months of the year.

What does that leave on the Bulls’ roster? Not much. Their new franchise players are a pair of recently acquired Timberwolves in swingman Zach LaVine and point guard Kris Dunn along with 2017 No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen. They also have a smattering of young players who have shown some promise in Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine, but it would be a real shocker if Chicago made the playoffs even in the diluted East.

With few bankable assets, the Bulls’ path the relevancy is now through the draft. They struck gold with Derrick Rose in 2008 and again with Jimmy Butler in 2011, and maybe the Bulls can pull off some more draft magic next year. For now though, they must be patient with a thorough rebuild.

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Knicks Might Want To Keep Melo

Written by Khadrice Rollins at

The New York Knicks are pausing trade talks concerning Carmelo Anthony and are looking to get a meeting with him to discuss reintegrating him with the organization, Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN report.

On Thursday, the Knicks reportedly reached a deal with Scott Perry, to make him their new general manger, according to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago. Perry had been hired by the Sacramento Kings in April to serve as their executive vice president of basketball operations.

Shelburne and Wojnarowski are reporting that with the Knicks new front office taking shape, they went to talk with Anthony to meet with the executives and coach Jeff Hornacek.

There was talk that the Knicks were working on a four-team trade that would send the 10-time All-Star to the Houston Rockets. Wojnarowski reported earlier this month that Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal that will send him to either Houston or the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anthony has spent almost half of his career in New York after being trade there from the Denver Nuggets in 2011. In the 2012-13 season he led the NBA in scoring and led the Knicks to a 54-28 record and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have not made the playoffs since then.

There had been public issues between Anthony and former Knicks president Phil Jackson regarding the team’s triangle offense. Jackson and the Knicks agreed to part ways last month.

Last season the Knicks finished 31-51 and appear to be going into a rebuild. Anthony will be entering the 15th season.

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