Even the Rangers are excited about Durant

New York Ranger defenseman Tony DeAngelo is as excited about Kevin Durant joining the Knicks as the rest of us.

Durant scored 46 points on 14-31 shooting in the Warriors’ Game 3 loss to Houston, leading to DeAngelo’s comment. At one point, Durant scored 10 points in 1:59 to begin the fourth quarter.

WATCH:

Early Vegas odds high on Knicks

The Knicks have the fourth highest odds in the Eastern Conference to win the 2020 NBA championship, trailing only the Bucks (9-2), Celtics (7-1), and 76ers (10-1).

  • Says who? The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas opened their 2020 NBA championship odds on Saturday.
  • Jeff Sherman, who oversees NBA odds at the SuperBook, believes the Knicks are the favorites to land Durant this summer and created their title odds accordingly. Sherman said the Knicks would be somewhere in the range of 300-1 if they aren’t able to land Durant or another of the high-profile stars who could be on the move this offseason.” [ESPN]

What this means: Everyone thinks Durant is going to the Knicks, so why not set the odds based on those expectations? This way, early bettors must juggle the optimism of Durant and company joining the Knicks with the reality of the current roster in deciding whether they enter the pot before free agency begins in July.

Fan Moments: Knicks Nation Germany Austria takes on London

We are nearing the end of a long season, so we thought it would be fun to look back at Knicks fans favorite experiences. This article was written by member if New York Knicks Nation Germany Austria. They attended the Knicks game in London together.

The article is translated from German, so forgive any minor grammatical mistakes.


Part I – Wednesday

“Even a day before the actual game I already know that this London trip isn’t primarily
about watching the Knicks play basketball, this is about friendship.” By Fabian

BONN, GERMANY. The alarm clock rings at 3:00 am, it takes just a few seconds and I’m
wide awake. The big day is here. I’m about to board a plane to London where I’m going to
watch the New York Knicks face the Washington Wizards. There’s just one more aspect
about this: I’m going to make this trip being part of a group of 52 Germans and I haven’t seen any of them in person before. I’m aware that this might sound desparate or insane to you, but let me explain.

There’s just one thing you need to know about sports in Germany: Soccer.

This is a country where parents make their kids join the local soccer club as soon as they’re
able to walk without help. This is a country where you discuss the latest Bundesliga news
with your friends, your colleagues, even with your dentist or your mailman. This is also a
country where a majority of the population probably has never heard of LeBron James. So, if you’re born and raised in Germany and you happen to be a die hard New York Knicks fan,
F*CK YES, you’re boarding this plane to London to watch the game with 52 strangers that for whatever reason share the same passion as you.

It’s hard to believe, but during the one hour flight from Cologne to London and the following transfer to the hotel, I am – for the first time in my life – speaking to other Knicks fans face-to-face. The entire crew comes together at a burger restaurant in London, where we’ve agreed to have lunch.

For me, this is the opportunity to finally get to know these guys. Everybody is in a great mood and enjoying the moment despite supporting a team that has been trash for two decades. After an hour of conversations, discussions, jokes and fun, it almost feels as if
we’ve known each other for years. Although we’re all coming from different areas of
Germany with diverse backgrounds, we’re united in orange and blue. I realize how much this franchise means to every single one of them.

After lunch, about 15 of us meet at the hotel in London, where the Knicks stay for their trip. Practice has just finished and we hope to get a glimpse of some players when they arrive back at the hotel. Unfortunately, the team bus needs another two hours to make it through traffic and – of course – it’s freezing cold and raining the whole time.

That’s the moment where my body reminds me that I’ve only slept 3 hours. In the end, the wait was worth it. As soon as the players see these chilled through and rain-drenched fans in Knicks gear, they come over and take time to take some pictures and write autographs.
The first day in London ends with dinner and beer at a local pub. Everybody fights their
tiredness, because it’s just fun to be around each other. Even a day before the actual game I already know that this London trip isn’t primarily about watching the Knicks play basketball, this is about friendship.


Part II – Thursday

“Like a little kid at Christmas, I am happy about each one, about every welcome,
about every hug. Now I know what it feels like to be part of something great.“ By Daniel

Good morning, London! Getting up knowing we’re gonna see the New York Knicks players
live in a few hours within the circle of the Knicks Nation family: Can there be anything better?

A few months ago, it was just an idea. The idea became reality. The fan club was born and
barely a few months later, we’re flying to London with 52 members. That’s incredible and this afternoon, I will finally realize how unbelievable it really feels.

We start the day in proper style with an English breakfast at the Breakfast Club (literally a
breakfast club at Canary Wharf) with bones, french fries, roasted sausages and coffee. Not
necessarily my preference to start the day but ok … Strengthened and motivated, we make
our way to the city center of London to hit the Mitchell&Ness store, the Nike store and the
Footlocker store. By the way, The new Nike lace-less shoes are amazing.

Shortly after, it’s finally time: We’re going to meet Tray and Terry from the United States! You all know them. In the middle of the Tower Bridge, in freezing cold and stormy wind, we fall into each other’s arms, happy about our first meeting. For me, this is the first highlight that day – meeting these two in person. During the following interview session at the City Hall, Terry and Tray ask questions about the founding of the fan club, our opinions on the current squad and expectations for the future.

Still, the absolute highlight was yet to come: The gathering of all New York Knicks Nation
Germany/Austria members who came to London!!!

Why a highlight? Well, I’ve never met the majority of them, including many founding
members. Like a little kid at Christmas, I am happy about each one, about every welcome, about every hug. Now I know what it feels like to be part of something great. We, the NY
KNICKS NATION GER/AUT, made history with our group photo. The first and only official fan
club of an American basketball franchise in German-speaking countries set an example,
paving the way for the future.

Many thanks to all participants, who made this trip a personal highlight in my life!


Part III – Thursday / The Game + Friday

“Hard to believe, but our next appointment is the game […] it’s really the game.“
By Thorsten

Hard to believe, but our next appointment is THE GAME, I‘m just saying to Daniel, it’s really THE GAME. After all we’ve done in the last 36 hours in London, it’s THE GAME. We just met Terry and Trey, maybe the nicest Americans I’ve ever met – by the way, they are mother and son – we took the group picture in front of the tower bridge (with all 52 German Knicks fans), and now a group of us is walking to the underground station. Next stop: the o2.

As we’re leaving North Greenwich station my heart begins to beat a bit faster. I’m getting
nervous – for the first time I’m gonna see my Knicks in an NBA game. I’ve been to summer
league in vegas 2014, but this is an NBA game and I’m really about to see Frank Ntilikina,
Mitchell Robinson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and all the other players play. Entering the o2, I can’t
help myself but feeling like I’m in a giant mall. If you’ve ever been to the o2, you probably
know what I mean. 5.30 pm.

Great news even before the game: Our president Joe has finally managed to arrive at the arena. Just six hours ago, he missed his flight in Salzburg, Austria and had to drive to Munich to take a flight there to be in London in time. And there he is … in the arena. In time! 6 pm. As appointed, our group begins to prepare for the interview with the
German sports TV station DAZN. The interview was fun, our two executives Daniel and
Daniel talked about the club.

I still remember the time at the arena right before the game as an accumulation of bizarre incidents: us meeting the French Knicks, some of us taking a picture with the former German soccer player Per Mertesacker, me eating all my cookies at once – because I couldn’t take them inside the arena, Fabian making an interview for
Hungarian TV.

6.30 pm. We’re inside the actual arena – finally! As we’re taking the escalator, which
apparantly never gonna end, I feel excited … and hungry. So Daniel and I decide to buy a
hotdog and a beer. The beer was great!

So there we are, all 52 members on our seat in section 420 D. A feeling hard to capture with words. It turns out that I sit between Daniel and Daniel. The game can begin.

The o2 arena is very quiet! So we decide to start some chants like Go NY, Go NY, Go! or
Defense!. We even start some Happy Birthday- chants for Allonzo Trier. The Knicks play well in the first half – they get nervous in the second an as it comes down to the final shot for the Wizards, everyone of us is standing nervously. We all know the result. Admittedly, it was close – but still goaltend.

On Friday, our last day of the trip, we decide that it is time for a good old fashioned
sightseeing tour. So Fabian, Muhammed, Sven and I visit Big Ben, Buckingham Palace,
Picadilly Circus before we wind up in sports stores on Oxford Street, where Sven buys some
shoes for his girlfriend.

It was a great trip. I’m really thankful for all we have experienced in London, for all the Knicks fans I met. Big thanks to all the other members who’ve been part of the trip! One thing is sure: we will come back!

Written by:
Fabian Sürdt – twitter: @swish_fa
Daniel Hartmann – twitter: @hombre4life
Thorsten Andratschke – twitter: @ThortschMann
New York Knicks Nation Germany Austria – twitter: @ny_germany

Celebrating Swin Cash

This article is written by Tiffany Salmon.

I often think about women in sports and what it takes to excel in their field while also being a friend, a supporter, a patron, a sister, and of course, in many cases, a mother.

No matter the profession or class, playing all of those roles offers both fulfillment and stress. It’s not easy being something for everyone. And in 2019, with 24/7 news coverage of our favorite celebrities, balancing responsibilities as a female athlete seems more challenging than ever before.

Growing up, all we knew about basketball players, men or women, was how many points they scored, or if their team could count on them for a defensive stop at the end of a tight game. Now, we have seemingly unlimited access, learning about who our favorite players are as people off the court.

When I think of someone who sets an amazing example as both a female athlete and role model, I think of Swin Cash. Swin has ingrained herself in the New York basketball scene over the last five years, which has helped me become not only a fan of her game, but also a fan of her as a person.

Tuning into MSG Networks on Knicks game nights, I always look forward to watching the pre and post game shows. Beginning during the Melo era, I’ve enjoyed  the on-air team which has comprised of Alan Hahn, Wally Szczerbiak, Al Trautwig and Bill Pidto.

Around 2015, with the exit of Tina Cervasio, I was worried we had lost a strong female presence on the telecast. Soon that would change when the brilliant Rebecca Haarlow was bought on board to replace Tina as the live in-game reporter, and later when Swin Cash was hired to bring her basketball expertise to the pre, post, and halftime telecast.

Knicks fans who are meeting Swin for the first time through her presence on MSG have quickly learned that she has a keen eye for breaking down Knicks games on a highly basis, but might not know how much of a beast she was on the court, herself. For all the NBA players she reports on for MSG, Cash’s basketball resume most likely trumps theirs ten times over, and that isn’t an exaggeration.

Being a life long fan of the Lady Vols, I always looked up to Queens product Shemequa Holdsclaw, fell in love with soon-to-be Vol Candace Parker in high school, and, of course, Tennessee had the greatest college basketball coach ever (in my humble opinion), Pat Summit. So to put it lightly, growing up, Swin was a foe to my favorite college basketball team.

Anybody who knows women’s NCAA basketball, knows Tennessee vs. UConn was the ultimate rivalry during the 2000s. Because of this, I’ve always known Swin Cash because she always helped lead to heartbreak in me and many lady Vols fans hearts, alike.

After graduating from McKeesport Area High School in Pittsburgh, Cash was a WBCA All-American and netted a spot on the UConn Husckies 1998 team. During her UConn career, Swin continued to rack up the accolades: in 2000, she won the National Woman’s Division I Basketball Championship, needing to beat my Lady Vols on the way; she also led the 2002 Lady Huskies to an undefeated 39-0 season and another championship with the help pf Queens stand-out Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi. Cash won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player that year.

In the WNBA Draft, in 2002, Swin was chosen 2nd overall by the Detroit Shock. Known for her rebounding and defense, her impact was almost immediately felt on the franchise. It took only one year for Cash to help the Shock win their first WNBA title in 2003. If you know about how competitive the early 2000s WNBA was, you know Swin and the Shock had to defeat some of the most prominent teams of those early 2000s. Becky Hammond and The New York Liberty and Tamika Catchings and Indiana Fever just to name a couple.

Under Bill Laimbeer, a coach whom she would play for again in the future, the Shock would go on to win three titles in six years. During that time she even helped stop a 3-peat attempt by the dominant Los Angeles Sparks in going against one of the most notable players in the sport and future basketball Hall of Famer, Lisa Leslie.

Beyond the WNBA, Swin also played in Russia during the off season for a year. After finding success with the Shock, she would move West to Seattle to play with the Storm where she joined forces with NYC basketball legend and former UConn teammate Sue Bird, along with Sheryl Swoopes and Lauren Jackson in 2008. That year, the Storm finished with their best record in franchise history at 22-12, but eventually lost to the Sparks in the Western Conference Semis.

Cash earned four WNBA All-Star appearances and also won All-Star MVP in 2009 and 2011 while playing for the Storm.

Along with her many accomplishments in the WNBA, Swin is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist, winning gold in 2004 and 2012 with the US Women’s basketball team.

After her run with the Storm, Swin played with the Chicago Sky and Atlanta Dream from 2012-2014. In her final stint in the WNBA, Swin signed with my beloved New York Liberty in 2014. As a fan of the team, I knew having her would make a great impact, and it did.

Being a fan of the Liberty in the summers of 2016 and 20017 reminded me of the old days, but this time I was able to attend some of the games. In those two seasons, the Liberty finished 1st in the East and earned playoff appearances in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2011-2012. In 2016, under the leadership of Swin’s former Detroit Shock coach, Bill Lambeer, the Liberty made it within one game of making the WNBA finals. I was there for that game, Tamika Catchings, a Lady Vols rival, and the Fever killed the Liberty down the stretch and New York lost a tough one. I will always give thanks to that series because as fan of the Knicks and Liberty I was able to experience playoff basketball in the Garden again for Games 1 + 3 during those Eastern Conference finals.

On June 7, 2016, Swin cash announced she was retiring at the end of the season. One year later, the New York Liberty named her Director of Franchise Development.

For all of her professional success and accolades, Swin is also a generous philanthropist for people in need. In May 2011, she was awarded with an honorary degree of Doctorate of Public Service from Washington and Jefferson College in honor of her charity work. She is also an activist against police brutality and gun violence. Swin, along with other WNBA players in 2016, wore #BlackLivesMatter warm-ups following the continued police brutality of young African American men and women across the United States.

Swin is the founder of Cash for Kids charity and holds basketball camps and clinics throughout the year. In the summer of 2017, Swin gave birth to her first child, a son, Saint, with husband Stave Canal.

Between Swin’s on-air appearances for MSG Networks, she also does analyst spots for Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS, as well as her own podcast, She’s Got Time.  While the sports profession, whether on-air or on the court, can be a tough job to juggle, Swin makes it look easy. She’s just another example of woman doing the work on the field, behind the screen and at home, too.

The Knicks are on a winning streak!

You try.

You reallllly, really try not to get ahead of yourself as a Knicks fan.

There’s been so much heartbreak, so much false promise, so many “there’s no way this can go wrong” things that have gone horribly, horribly wrong that you know better. I know better. We all know better.

But dammit if Mitchell Robinson isn’t making every Knicks fan question what they know and don’t know as this season winds down…

Two days after tying his career high with 15 points and setting a career high with 14 rebounds, he topped the points (17) and tied the rebounds – eight of which were off the offensive glass – while adding three steals and a ho hum six blocks.

We are watching a radioactive lump of clay turn into a monster before our very eyes, and it is stunning. As I said on Twitter tonight, I’m not sure what his ceiling is. He was everywhere, and he was as responsible as anyone for a come-from-behind, out of nowhere 108-103 win against a Magic team that came into the night with the best net rating in the league for the month of February.

He didn’t do it alone. Henry Ellenson, who Scott Perry signed off the street a week ago, had 13 points, nine boards and five dimes. The talent that got him drafted as a mid first-rounder was evident, and maybe the Knicks have found themselves another diamond in the rough.

Not to be outdone, Allonzo Trier had 18 points on five, count ’em, five shot attempts. He is the posterboy for efficiency, and yes, he is still a rookie.

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite tank commander Emmanuel Mudiay once again closed out the game. Unlike Sunday night, though, he helped bring this one home. He’s not efficient, doesn’t defend all that well, and has assist numbers that often rival opposing centers, but he seems to have a knack for big moments from time to time. He has had a hand in most of the Knicks big wins this year, and will continue to be a lightning rod for the fanbase. I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t look now folks, but the Knicks might be reaching the “feisty” level of bad.

I’ll take it, happily.

Knicks Film School Podcast: The Porzingis Trade Pod

Jon and JB go through everything related to the shocking news that Kristaps Porzingis (spoiler alert) has been traded, going through emotions of the day, what the trade says about the team and those running it, whether this could have been avoided and how, ramifications for the future, what other trade options they might have passed up, and where we go from here.

LISTEN: iTunes / Google

Knicks Film School Podcast: Knicks v Hornets Postgame

Jon is joined by Zach DiLuzio, who makes his triumphant return to the podcast to discuss the latest spirited but unsuccessful effort for the young Knicks. They talk about the defense Fizdale has been employing of late, the performance of newest Knick Kadeem Allen, the continued growth of Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox, and what we should expect at point guard moving forward.

LISTEN: iTunes / Google

KFS Teacher’s Lounge: What to do about Anthony Davis

The basketball world experienced an 8.2 on the Richter scale on Monday after Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Anthony Davis had informed the New Orleans Pelicans he would not be re-signing there and was requesting a trade. Word then got out, courtesy of ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, that the Knicks were indeed a team of interest to Davis. Since then, there seems to be some posturing from the Davis camp that it’s LA or bust. Still, the Knicks are apparently preparing a significant offer according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

One thing is for certain: there’s enough smoke for the KFS staff to chime in on the rumors and reveal what they would do if they had to make a decision on pursuing the Brow:

Michael DeStefano – Hold Steady

When the AD news broke and we decided to discuss it in the Lounge, I wrote that you had to go after him. Transcendent talent, only 25 – I was ready to say that you include both KP AND the ’19 pick in your offer.

I’ve changed my mind. The collusion involving the agency that LeBron owns runs works with is part of it, but it’s not the biggest part.

Bigs just don’t impact winning in this league like they used to.  You need an elite guard/wing, and then you need more depth on the perimeter. New Orleans won’t give AD for just KP and filler; Perry will have to fork over the ’19 first and at least one of the Knicks’ young core most fans are so excited about. The Pels’ willingness to take on Hardaway’s contract might tempt me, but I’d rather enter July with:

  • A healthy KP
  • All five of Frank / Knox / Mitch / Trier / Dotson
  • My ’19 stud, and
  • A max salary slot

This is opposed to the AD version, which would cost at least two of the five young’uns and the ’19 lotto pick. Decimating the depth, particularly on the perimeter, is not the way to win in this league. Even though KD might find Davis an appealing sidekick, how appealing is it if the rest of the team sucks?

Wait it out.  Let the draft come and go.  See what the team looks like.

And if you get back-channeled word that KD wants another star, that’s when you use your assets to go get someone like Dame.

David Early – Don’t blow your chance

The first thing you do is offer Kevin Knox and the pick, protected for first overall. Then when they chuckle, you swap in Kristaps Porzingis for Knox. Then at the last minutes you offer KP, Frank Ntilikina, and the pick protected for 1st overall.

As a bottom line, you suck it up and you offer KP and the unprotected pick for AD, plus the requisite salary filler. It’s horrifying, but it’s also an easy decision.

The truth is, the pick has an 86-91% chance of being Cam Reddish or someone not named Zion. Combining the very likely scenario you won’t win the Zion sweepstakes with the risks associated with KP’s rehab (remember his doctor said that if he doesn’t change his whole body’s mechanics he’d be at risk for tearing the other ACL makes this a prudent “hedge.”

It will become almost impossible to outbid other suitors this summer when Boston or a team who wins Zion (like Chicago) enters the fray. This is the best chance right now. It’s not for the faint of heart. But if you can obtain the player who we’d all bet will be the best player in the league over the next four years, this isn’t really a hedge at all. It’s simply bundling a few juicy assets with uncertain outcomes for quite possibly the best player in the sport who is only now entering his prime.

He’s already been rumored to be open to staying. He’ll exponentially increase your chances of luring Durant. Durant could win another 3 rings in Golden State. None of it will alter his legacy like winning one in the Big Apple. He knows it. And the Brow makes that a very real possibility.

Our lottery ticket and injured Unicorn for your healthy Unicorn King. I’ll fax the paper work.

Suada Demirovic – Why now?!?

Just as I was about to justify our losses as the Knicks finally figured out how to tank correctly without taking shortcuts, the basketball gods dangle 6-time All-Star Anthony Davis in front of us!

At first I didn’t even want to entertain the idea. Good things never come to the Knicks via trade. Take a look at the last few trades we’ve made, even the “blockbuster” trade that never panned out the way it should have. Yeah, let’s not go there. The Knicks have never really won a big trade.

That said, for the 1st time in a while, New York will have a few pieces to engage in trade talks. We have the best double-double machine in the league and he’s only 26! (laughter dies down) Clearly I’m kidding but I couldn’t help myself. “We want Kanter”? New Orleans, you can have him!

After seeing all the Twitter GM’s working their trade machines, I’m convinced that maybe this is exactly what the Knicks need. But at what cost?

The only pieces that I would not give up are ou . r 3 rookies. They really show they can be complimentary pieces that can turn into All-Stars in the future. So what are we going to give for AD? I’m willing to throw this year’s lottery pick and just about anyone else they ask for. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, even KP. I’ve gone mad! Here I go looking for a short cut, but not really because this short cut has the potential to bring us more, as Anthony Davis will definitely be able to draw in a good free agent this summer.

But then I think about Zion…(sigh)…

It really sucks that the odds for the top pick are tied between the 3 worst teams. Of course this happens the year the Knicks tank correctly. So we might need to face the reality that we may not win the ultimate prize and instead end up with a consolation. The problem is that everyone else is just “meh.” But a high 1st round pick is still very valuable, especially to a franchise that needs to blow up their whole roster.

The writing is on the wall for NOLA. Let us help you light the dynamite. If anything, we would gladly trade what we have for Jrue Holiday at the very least. We would NOT be giving up KP for him, but there are other possibilities.

Here’s where I come down: Would I trade this year’s draft pick for Anthony Davis? Yes! Would I trade KP? I would, only because Davis is liked in the league and who knows who would want to join him as they write a new legacy in New York with a young core?

Here I go looking for a quick fix! But this is 20 years of us not getting it together, and New York is definitely not going to get it together with one draft pick. I’m for the front office exploring the possibilities without giving up our rookies or impacting our cap space. The Knicks should avoid giving up KP unless we have no choice and the deal is too hot to pass up! Here’s the first real test for Perry and Mills. I’m going to sit back and wait. Will they stick to what they said? You can’t get us to buy in if they themselves can’t.  #TrustTheProcess

Vivek Dadhania – It’s a no from me, dog…

It’s tempting, but there are a lot of variables in play that make me wary of pursuing a deal. First and foremost, the trade only makes sense if you know if you’re getting KD.  If you don’t get Durant, then what happens?  We’re basically a worse version of the Pelicans that still has to navigate against a behemoth of teams in the East.  It won’t be any easier to navigate to the playoffs with Anthony Davis.  If he found it bad in New Orleans, imagine what it’ll be like in New York.

Let’s also not forget that while Anthony Davis has been relatively durable the last few seasons, he’s suffered many nagging injuries this year and has had those injury concerns in years’ past.  There’s no safe bet – especially as a big man – that he’ll be a reliably healthy option, especially entering his 2nd extension period.

If I’m New York, I’d understand (if they haven’t already) that they are merely being fiddled around with to get the Lakers to hurry up and acquire their man.  Don’t cave in.

Stephanie Enriquez – The kids are alright!

Call me crazy, but I don’t want to give up KP or the kids.

I know Davis is a great talent, but I want us to continue the process and not deal our picks yet. Kevin is a stud in the making, Mitch is learning more and more everyday, Zo is great, Frank’s defense is much needed and he will continue to grow as well. As for everyone else on the team, trade them all.

Sadly, I don’t think it’ll be enough for AD. Nonetheless, if KD comes this summer, KP recovers, and our kids continue to grow I think we’ll be ok.

Topher DemitrisStick to the Plan

Let’s get a few objective things out of the way.

Yes, I too love Anthony Davis. He’s a phenom and tremendous player who has the potential to drop 30 with 15 on any given night. In a perfect world, the Knicks would be able to entertain a mutually beneficial trade with the Pelicans that could set the stage for (at least) a return to the playoffs. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that reality. The Pelicans would be wise to start a bidding war between the Lakers, Celtics and New York. We aren’t in a position of leverage in this scenario.

The asking price for Davis – a potential one year rental – would likely require the team to completely burn all the groundwork they’ve put into the rebuild. The Lakers starting price, for comparison, is four talented young players and future draft considerations. So pretty much their entire roster. That might work for LeBron (the guy could take a YMCA team to the first round of the playoffs), but it’s not an ideal situation for the New York Knicks.

It’s not that Anthony’s talent isn’t incredible. My objection to betting the farm comes down to three things. First, there is zero actual guarantee1 that if traded, he would stay in NY. His agent is LeBron’s agent. Davis teamed up with Rich Paul because his true destination is Los Angeles.

Secondly, acquiring him would likely mean our roster gets completely gutted. Goodbye Knox, Trier, Mitch, Ntilikina and the draft pick(s) we’ve all been suffering to acquire. It’s too early to know how good some of these young guys are and they are worth investing at least another year in. I won’t even get into the idea of trading KP (unless management knows something about his injury that we don’t). The best case scenario would be to pair AD with KP anyway. Given that New Orleans can ask for a King’s Ransom, the price is already too steep and bound to increase.

Third, and no shade, but Anthony Davis has a long injury history despite his young age. On top of that, the Pelicans have arguably had much better rosters than anything we’ve seen in NY for years and were still unable to make any real headway in the playoffs. If we gut our team to acquire him, it would be a similar asset exchange as the one that brought Carmelo here. We’d have a Superstar but no real way to build out a contending team. LeBron knows better than anyone: a well put together team is more powerful than any one player (see: the Mavs, Spurs & now Warriors).

After the trade there would be immense pressure on both the front office & Davis to deliver and we all know how brutal/impatient the media is. There is no guarantee Durant leaves Golden State and no guarantee Davis stays beyond a single year. The risk outweighs the reward for me. Abandoning years of scouting, development and team building for the 1-year rental of a superstar is so old school Knicks that my eye is twitching over my coffee.

Assuming the price remains sky high, a trade now looks to be another recipe for vaulted expectations & disappointment. Why hamstring the healthy rebuild track we’re currently on? This is literally the first time in decades the Knicks have opted to build correctly and I’ve got no interest in repeating the mistakes of past regimes. Stay the course, build slowly and winning will attract all the great players we need.

Jonathan Macri – “I’m all in” … “Waitress, can I get some water?”

The question is simple for the Knicks: do you want to put KP on the table or not?

It’s a more interesting discussion than people are making it out to be, simply because KP’s ceiling might be what AD is right now, and the odds the Unicorn ever gets there are only further complicated by the torn ACL. It’s why there’s a significant chance that if the Knicks did offer KP and the unprotected pick, the Pelicans still might prefer to wait till the summer so they can get the Celtics involved.

That’s where things get dicey for New York. Right now, they can sell New Orleans on the possibility of Zion Williamson. By mid-May, that possibility may have vanished. If it does, there’s a significant chance that nothing New York could put on the table – KP, the pick, Knox, Mitch…the whole boat – would beat the best offer Boston can make, assuming they’re willing to make Tatum available2.

So from that perspective, there is a sense that acting now is the wisest move. The reason it isn’t is simple: if you give up KP, the pick and Kevin Knox3 before February 7 and neither Kevin Durant nor Kyrie Irving comes this summer, you’re going to watch AD walk out the door in 2020. Can the organization take that risk? If they did, and the worst of fates transpired, then all the losing – well, the most recent losing at least – will have been for not.

But is it really a risk? Sure, it’s tempting to say that the only way it makes sense to put such a serious offer on the table now is if you know from back channels that AD will be bringing a Super Friend with him. That’s not happening. KD and Kyrie might be two of the more perplexing personalities in the entire league, and no one knows what the hell either will do.

But do you really see a scenario where both guys eschew the opportunity to play along the man poised to dominate the game4 for the next decade in a city where they’ll build monuments to whoever finally delivers a ring? You have to figure that if one guy says yes, that alone is worth whatever you had to give up for Davis, Porzingis included.

When you throw in the uncertainty over KP’s injury, his feelings about the organization (or lack thereof), and the possibility that he himself could maneuver out of here before long, it becomes a mighty sweaty conversation to have with your front office mates as the deadline approaches. Of course, the ultimate doomsday scenario features KP catching wind of your intent to trade him, a deal not happening, and Perry & Mills being left to clean up the pieces.

Assuming the front office doesn’t have the stomach for such a high stakes game of poker, they should at the very least make a token offer (this year’s unprotected first, a 2021 pick, Mitch, Frank and Tim Hardaway Jr., or Enes Kanter if the Pels prefer to clear the books) and see where it gets you.

The answer is almost certainly “not very far.” And maybe that’s not the worst thing. If the Knicks do land the first pick, then all of the sudden they hold all the cards. Zion plus non-KP-stuff arguably beats any other offer, including one with Tatum. At that point, they may not need to work very hard to strike KD’s fancy. He may instead beat them to the punch.

So ultimately, it comes down to this: Do they feel lucky?

Well, do ya, punk?

Knicks lose again in strange night at the Garden

Sunday night at the Garden was unlike just about any other game this season, and quite possibly in some time.

There were, by the sound of it early on, more fans of the opposing team than the home team. The three most notable people in the building were, in no particular order, a dude playing his last game for a team Knicks fans used to loath, a former Knick who no team wants, and a soon to be former Knicks that can’t understand why he’s not playing. A damned wave broke out in the second quarter.

Crazy town, we’ve arrived.

All in all, it wasn’t a banner day for the franchise, but as has been happening of late – if you care to chop through the media narratives growing like weeds recently – the Knicks actually showed some progress on the court. They once again played a spirited brand of defense, employing an aggressive, trapping scheme that sprung more than a few leaks but was also responsible for forcing 15 turnovers and holding the Heat below 30 points every quarter.

Yes, the bigger stories were Wade and Melo, who was in the building while on leave from the Bulls and received a nice ovation from the fans. Late in the game though, MSG came alive as Fizdale’s kids once again took a game against a better opponent down to the final two minutes. As is usually the case, their inexperience foiled the comeback, but the desire continues to be there. It is a small silver lining, but it is real.

Several Knicks had nice efforts, but none stood out more than the man ostensibly replacing Enes Kanter, whose absence is somehow being made out to be a pro-tanking move by some.

Mitchell Robinson was a presence on both ends, and despite the fact that he finished with only 4 points, the Heat were cognizant of his presence on both ends for every possession he was in the game. Their perimeter players simply did not challenge him at the rim, while on offense, he commanded attention without monopolizing post touches that so often drag down the offense. Finding him for those lobs is still a work in progress, but as Fizdale noted after the Nets game, the rest of this season is about getting things in place for when the games once again start to matter.

Also, there was Frank. He was in a nice groove throughout the first half, playing the entire first quarter and a few minutes in the second before checking out with a hurt groin. His absence was felt most in the third quarter, when the Knicks couldn’t get into any flow on offense and watched the Heat get whatever they wanted on the other end. Trey Burke once again had a nice game statistically, but the team just isn’t the same on either end when he’s out there. Fizdale noted postgame how the ball stopped moving in the third quarter. He wasn’t wrong.

The rest of the Knicks had somewhere between “meh” and “ehh” games. No one was bad; no one was great. No, wins are not a priority, but at some point, they need to start pulling some of these games out, ping pong balls be damned.

Knicks are back at it Monday in Charlotte. Giddy up.

Knicks lose to Nets

For about a quarter in Brooklyn, the Knicks looked like the spunky, overachieving team that was winning games despite having less talent than their opponents.

Sure, it was helped by some unsustainable shooting, but they were moving the ball (six assists to Brooklyn’s two) and playing solid defense. Frank Ntilikina, who got the start in place of an injured Emmanuel Mudiay, had four of those assists and stood out on the defensive end. He also got two buckets before picking up a second foul and being sent to the bench. Thanks to some other quick fouls, he only ended up playing 19 minutes, although he did have a nice sequence in the fourth where he had a steal, a block and drew an offensive foul on three consecutive possessions.

In his place stepped Trey Burke, who shot his way to 25 points on 19 attempts. The ball moved less and the defense, predictably, suffered, but David Fizdale didn’t have much of a choice. You could argue Burke kept them in the game or took them out of it with his play. What was undeniable is that Brooklyn started to find their flow from the late first quarter onward, and ended up rolling to a 109-99 win, aided by 37 free throw attempts and a rebounding margin of 26.

Noah Vonleh had a career high with 22, but got a little three happy, finishing only 3-of-11 from deep. Mitchell Robinson had his usual half-a-dozen eye-opening moments where he looked like a future force to be reckoned with. Allonzo Trier had a tidy 13 points on six shots.

Everyone else stunk something fierce. Tim Hardaway Jr. had another night where he couldn’t hit anything, finishing 2-of-14. He looks and plays like he is in a cloud. Kevin Knox was also pretty brutal, hitting only 2-of-11. Lance Thomas, God love him, had some wonderful defensive possessions but the Knicks get killed when he’s at the four, as he only grabbed three boards in 26 minutes.

Enes Kanter, notably, did not play. After the game, David Fizdale said what many fans have thought for some time: that he needs to get the team used to playing a more modern style of defense – a style that Kanter has been proven to not fit within. In the locker room, Kanter said this philosophy had not been conveyed to him as the reason he wasn’t getting time. Distress over this if you will; I choose to count the minutes until Enes is off the team.

Knicks back home – their actual home – Sunday night vs Miami. The schnide continues…

Did Frank Ntilikina play good defense despite James Harden’s 61 points?

James Harden scored 61 points to tie Kobe Bryant’s visitor scoring record at Madison Square Garden in the Rockets win over the Knicks on Wednesday night.

But if you look at how the Knicks defended him throughout the game, there were surprisingly some bright spots from Frank Ntilikina and the team defense behind him. Harden shot only 1-6 with Frank as the primary defender, while committing 4 turnovers, per Second Spectrum tracking data. He shot 17-38 on the night, overall.

It’s hard to know, for sure, what the Knicks strategy was in trying to defend Harden, but it appeared in watching the film as if Ntilikina was trying to force Harden to the left side of the court, relying on help from a swiping wing defender and an interior man cheating off the worst three-point shooter on the floor at the time.

The Knicks started Noah Vonleh at center in place of Enes Kanter. They inserted Lance Thomas into the lineup at power forward to defend P.J. Tucker. The game plan appeared to be to use Vonleh (and later Mitchell Robinson) to cheat off the Rockets’ big man to trap Harden when he crossed half-court. They then tried to rotate behind the help, to moderate success.

Despite the Knicks’ best efforts, Harden went to the line 25 times and was just too much for the young defense (let’s face it, ANY defense) to contain.

Why the Knicks should trade Noah Vonleh

When the Knicks signed Noah Vonleh last summer, it was a relatively easy decision. They knew Joakim Noah’s time on the roster was going to be short-lived, Kristaps Porzingis was hurt, and it was impossible to predict how many minutes a raw Mitchell Robinson could provide. They needed a body, they preferred someone with a little bit of experience, and Vonleh came on a non-guaranteed deal that wouldn’t impact their 2019 free agent spend plan. A perfect match.

What Noah Vonleh also presented to the Knicks was a reclamation project, something that has become a theme on their roster. He joined Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay as recent lottery picks looking to rejuvenate their careers in New York. Of course, Mario Hezonja would become another player who fits this mold. Like Vonleh, he signed a one-year deal hoping he could prove he still has value in the NBA.

Both Hezonja and Vonleh signed what I like to call “prove it” deals. They faced a tight market in 2018 and knew the following summer would be flush with cap dollars. If they could prove they still had game as players who are only 23 years old, they could turn their one-year “prove it” deal into a nice payday.

The problem for the Knicks is that these one-year “prove it” deals end up helping the player more than the team.

The way the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) works, teams gain salary cap exception rights on players based on the number of consecutive years they play for the team. Since both Hezonja and Vonleh are only signed through this season, they will become non-Bird free agents in July. The Knicks can exceed the cap to re-sign them, but only by offering a very modest 20% raise over their current salary.

This is where we will transition our focus to Noah Vonleh, keeping in mind that the same principles apply to Mario Hezonja, but in a much more limited capacity since Hezonja is making more money and doesn’t offer the same potential return in the trade market right now (at least that is my educated guess).

Noah Vonleh is making only $1.6 million to play for the Knicks this season, an amount that was only recently fully guaranteed. His cap hold in July would be minuscule, only 120% of his salary, but the amount the Knicks could exceed the cap to re-sign him would be prohibitively low in trying to keep him, the same 120% amount.

This means the Knicks have found a player on the cheap who has proven he could be a valuable piece going forward, but they essentially have no advantage as the host team in trying to keep him, other than using cap space like every other team would need to do in trying to sign him away from them.

Meanwhile, Vonleh’s name is beginning to appear in trade rumors. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News recently confirmed what we saw in an earlier report from Sean Deveney of the Sporting News that Philadelphia might be interested in parting with a draft pick to acquire the versatile big man. A report which was later refuted.

Normally, you wouldn’t consider trading a player you found in the bargain bin, but since the Knicks don’t gain anything by keeping him on their roster for the remainder of this season, it makes sense to explore a trade.

Had the Knicks signed Vonleh with a team option for next season, this discussion would be completely different. By exercising his team option, the Knicks could have earned his Early-Bird rights by next summer, which would give them greater purchasing power in retaining him while trying to maximize the amount they are able to spend with their cap space.

Signing players to one-year “prove it” deals seems appealing, but if you don’t structure in a team option for the second season, you basically cancel out the long-term benefits of finding a diamond in the rough.

Of course, adding a team option to a one-year deal is easier said than done. Players want to give themselves a chance to “prove it” so they can make more money in the subsequent offseason. But with someone like Vonleh, who signed a non-guaranteed deal, I would have to think he would have gladly accepted guaranteed money with a team option attached.

Water under the bridge now, but all to be considered in how you maximize Vonleh as an asset going forward. Do you simply let him use New York as a jumping off point, only to let another team reap the long-term benefits? If the Knicks are truly in contention for a player like Kevin Durant, perhaps none of this matters, since they would have trouble saving the necessary cap space to re-sign him, anyway.

But if the Knicks don’t max out their cap space and they do want to re-sign Vonleh, nothing changes by trading him. He will undoubtedly command more than a 20% raise on his current salary, so the Knicks will need to use cap space to sign him whether they trade him or not.

This is why you need to trade him. You are not forfeiting any advantage in re-signing him by trading him, and you risk losing him for nothing if you don’t trade him. The Knicks made a wise decision in believing Vonleh can be a positive contributor; it would be nice if they could reap some reward for this other than the play he provides on the court during a tanking season.

Exhausting Vonleh as an asset by letting his contract run up without making a trade is simply poor asset management. It would be like purchasing a savings bond and not collecting the interest that is owed. The Knicks invested in Noah Vonleh, he has appreciated in value, and since their ability to re-sign him is not tied to whether he finishes this season in New York or not, they need to find a way to cash-in on his increased value by trading him.

For those ready to scream at the screen that the Knicks are not able to re-sign Vonleh after trading him, that is partially true, but not true at all come July. If Vonleh is traded this season, and the team that acquires him then waives him, the Knicks would be prohibited from re-signing him for the rest of this season. Come July 1, it is a new NBA season, Vonleh becomes an unrestricted free agent, and there is no rule that prevents the Knicks from inking him to a new contract.

Of course, all of this is being said from an asset management standpoint which doesn’t consider the very important factor that Vonleh is a human being with arms and legs and a working heart. Perhaps being traded by the Knicks during the season would turn him away from ever wanting to come back. We don’t know how much a trade would impact his view of the organization in terms of deciding to sign with them again in July, shall the Knicks make him an offer to come back. However, I would have to think that offering him a chance to play for a contender where he can showcase his skills, raising his market value even more, would appeal to both his competitive and financial sensibilities.

If the Knicks want to become a championship organization, it starts with little moves like this one. Sign a player to a non-guaranteed deal, let him flourish during an otherwise meaningless season, and then turn him into a future asset. The Knicks need to trade Noah Vonleh. That is not a hot-take; it is just sound asset management.

Explain how Tim Hardaway Jr’s trade kicker works

Tim Hardaway Jr. signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet with the Knicks that still has some fans pleading for a re-do.

The face value of the contract is quite expensive, but it doesn’t stop there, the Knicks included a 15% trade kicker in the deal. Trade bonuses get the term “kicker” because if the cost of the contract doesn’t hurt enough, an added bonus makes sure to kick you one last time on the way out. Well, that’s not really why it is called a trade kicker, but you get the idea.

If the Knicks want to trade Tim Hardaway Jr., they will owe him 15% of the remaining value of his contract.

This sounds prohibitive in trying to eventually trade the shooting guard, but since the value of the kicker depreciates over time and it is spread over the non-option years of the contract, it doesn’t pose as big of a problem as people think.

Let’s get into the gritty details.

What is a trade kicker?

A trade kicker is a bonus that pays out if a player is traded during the guaranteed seasons of his contract, excluding option years. Trade bonuses can be a set dollar amount, a percentage of the remaining value of the contract, or a combination of both. A trade bonus cannot exceed 15% of the remaining value of the contract. This is why 15% is a common trade kicker percentage, since it is the maximum amount a player can negotiate. A player can decide to waive all or a portion of the trade bonus to facilitate a trade.

The team who trades the player is responsible for paying the bonus, while the receiving team is responsible for the cap hit that includes the trade kicker.

In what can be a bit confusing, the team trading the player with the kicker must use the pre-bonus salary in determining how much money they can accept back in a trade; the receiving team must consider the post-bonus salary in making sure they have enough cap space or outgoing salaries to make the trade work. More on this in a bit.

How much does Tim Hardaway Jr.’s trade kicker cost?

Since Tim Hardaway Jr.’s trade kicker is a set percentage amount, the nominal dollar value of the bonus depreciates over time. For example, if he was traded last summer, he would have been owed 15% of the remaining $35.5 million guaranteed on his contract; whereas, if he is traded this coming summer, he is only owed 15% of 18.1 million.

Remember, while the final season of Timmy’s contract is guaranteed, it is a player option, and player options are excluded in calculating the amount owed in a trade bonus.

So what happens if the Knicks find a way to trade him at this year’s trade deadline?

NOTE: The remaining value of his contract is calculated using a pro-rated value for 2018-19, which brings the remaining value owed for this season down to $6.3 million, if he is traded at the deadline.

The value of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s trade kicker will be $3.6 million at the time of this year’s trade deadline, February 7.

The trade kicker amount is split evenly between the remaining seasons on his contract, excluding option years. This means if the Knicks find a trade partner this February, only $1.8 million would be added to Tim Hardaway Jr’s 2018-19 salary as part of the trade kicker, with the remaining $1.8 million applied to his 2019-20 salary.

In short, trading Tim Hardaway Jr. at the deadline would only add about $1.8 million in salary considerations to make a trade work. Not a big deal.

Now back to the confusing part about which team must include the post-bonus salary in considering a trade.

If a non-taxpaying team wanted to acquire Hardaway Jr. at the trade deadline, and let’s assume this team is over the cap, instead of using his pre-bonus salary of $17.3 million to calculate how much salary they are allowed to absorb as incoming salary, they must use his post-bonus salary of $19.1 million. Since non-taxpaying teams are only allowed to accept $5 million more than what they send out when trading players within the price range of THJ’s contract, the team trying to acquire Hardaway Jr. would need to trade at least $14.1 million to make a deal work, which is about $2 million more than if they used his pre-bonus salary.

If the Knicks trade Hardaway Jr. as a non-taxpaying team who is over the cap, they can of course do the trade as outlined above, but if they wanted to add salary to their books, they would need to use his pre-bonus amount of $17.3 million, which would allow them to take back up to $22.3 million in a trade, or about $2 million less than if they uses his post-bonus salary.

Confused yet?

Don’t worry. A lot of this doesn’t really matter. In fact, this is a really detailed way of saying, Tim Hardaway Jr.’s trade kicker is not worth enough to be concerned that it is a deterrent to making a trade.

At this point, I don’t see the trade bonus impacting Hardaway Jr.’s trade value. James Dolan has never been reluctant to eat money in escaping a deal, as we have seen from his recent firings of Phil Jackson and Jeff Hornacek, and recent waivings of Joakim Noah and Ron Baker. While the Knicks would have to pay an extra $3.6 million by trading the 26-year-old at the deadline, the cap hit would fall on the acquiring team, and I’m sure the Knicks would be willing to pay what essentially becomes a transaction fee for moving a large contract off their books.

Knicks Nation Germany Austria heads to London

The New York Knicks Nation Germany Austria (NYKNGA) will travel to London to see the Knicks play against the Washington Wizards.

In prep of their trip, we thought it would be fun to hear what the three NYKNGA executives are thinking ahead of the game.

The interview below is conducted and translated by Thorsten Andratschke. He interviews Joe Zauner (president), Daniel Jahn (vice-president), and Daniel Hartmann (treasurer).

Describe what the club means to you?

Joe: When Daniels first asked me to do this, I was excited. We talked about doing something like this many times before, but nobody made the final steps to realize this fan club. It’s so great to be part of it and to have people around you, who share the same passion.

Daniel J.: This club means a lot for me. In particular because I‘m the Vice President and one of the twelve founders.

Daniel H.: A lot. The club is my, is our baby, we decided to establish the club and we live our passion for the Knicks through him.

What was your first reaction when you found out the Knicks would play a game in London?

Daniel J.: Oh man, I was extremely excited! In that moment it was clear that this should be our first big trip together!

Joe: Damn, I’ve been to the NBA Europe games in London in 2013 against the Pistons and 2015 against the Bucks. First I traveled alone, but in 2013 I met a few guys which was the beginning of our German-Austrian Knicks-fanbase. In 2015, we met again. And now, we are about 50 guys who come together there. This is fucking great.

Daniel H.: Goddammit, one of our aims is coming to reality sooner than expected. First London, then NEW YORK!!!

How many members will travel to London?

Daniel H.: 52, you really heard, 52 people. All with the same shirts! Can you believe it?!?

Daniel J.: 52 of 81 members!

What does this trip mean to you?

Daniel J.: Everything. We will have a lot fun together. And maybe meet one of the players from our beloved franchise in person!

Daniel H.: I’m as excited as I’ve ever been. Okay, except the birth of my two children and my marriage. But honestly, this is the biggest project in my entire life where I’ve been part of it.

Joe: Since I’ve heard that the Knicks would play in London, I’ve been excited to be there with my guys from the fan club. It’s a highlight for me in 2019.

Will you wear a uniform?

Daniel J.: Of course. We all will! Not only Knicks stuff, also I will wear our London game shirts.

Daniel H.: We will be wearing NY KNICK NATION GERMANY/AUSTRIA – NBA GLOBAL GAME LONDON 2019 shirts. And underneath I’m going to wear my all-time-favorite player jersey, Derrick Rose.

Joe: At the game I will wear the same T-Shirt as all the other guys from our fan club. And I will take my authentic white #85 Baron Davis Jersey with me.

What are you most excited about?

Daniel H.: To get to know all the members of the club personally. And especially the founding members. There are still some I haven’t met yet.

Daniel J.: I think both, the game and meeting our members!

Joe: I’ll see a few guys for the first time. And I really hope that we get the chance to see a Knicks player.

What do you think of the Wizards team?

Joe: Who? Sorry, I don’t care about them, Knicks first!

Daniel J.: I don’t really know why they are so bad right now. Sad that Wall and Howard will not play in London.

Daniel H.: And BAKER! I wish we had the chance to see him as a Wizard, but he is no longer with the team.

Which player are you most excited to see live?

Daniel J.: Everybody who knows me, knows the answer: Frank Ntilikina!

Joe: It would have been fun to see KP play near to his home, but obviously that won’t happen. So for me, it’s the rookies, Kevin Knox and Mitch Robinson.

Daniel H.: Michigan Squad 96 – WE ON – Timmy Hardaway jr. and Trey Burke – I love them both!

Who will win the game?

Daniel H.: Go New York go, go New York go …!

Joe: Hopefully the Knicks, and after this game they can go for the #1 pick again.

Daniel J.: Of course our NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS!


Find out more about the KNICKS NATION GERMANY-AUSTRIA club below:

Joe Zauner – Twitter: @joezauner

Daniel Jahn – Twitter: @jahn_deejay15

Daniel Hartmann – Twitter: @hombre4life

Thorsten Andratschke Twitter: @ThortschMann

Knicks fill second two-way spot with Kadeem Allen

The Knicks will sign guard Kadeem Allen to fill their second two-way roster spot, according to Shams Charania.

Allen is most known for his defense: he was named to the Pac-12 All Defensive Team in college and made the All-NBA G-League Defensive team last season. The 26-year-old5 plays a physical defense, and you guessed it, has a long 6’9” wingspan. He was a second round pick of the Celtics in 2017, out of Arizona, playing in only 18 games for Boston, mainly playing for their G-League affiliate in Maine where he had a successful season.

Allen signed a training camp deal with the Knicks last July before being waived at the start of the season.

NBA teams are allowed to carry up to two players on two-way contracts at a time. The Knicks already have Isaiah Hicks signed to a two-way. Allen’s former Arizona teammate, Allonzo Trier, was signed to an NBA deal in December, which opened up a spot for Allen to sign with the Knicks.

Players on two-way contracts split their time between the G-League and the NBA. The two-way status allows the player to spend up to 45 days (plus additional days for travel and non-practice days) with the NBA club. G-League players cannot play with their NBA affiliate unless they have a contract to do so.

Allen’s salary will not count against the Knicks salary cap, but he will earn the rookie minimum salary pro-rated per day he spends in the NBA, while earning a two-way pay rate for the time he remains in Westchester.

Two-way contracts that are signed during the season are pro-rated downward in terms of NBA service time. Since Allen will be signed right at the deadline (January 15 is the final date in which two-way contracts can be signed), he will receive approximately 22 days of NBA service time depending on how many days he travels and actually practices with the team during that time.

Allen is averaging 13.7 points on 46.8 percent shooting, while dishing out 5.7 assists and swiping 1.6 steals per game for Westchester this season.

Knicks Film School Podcast: Robert Silverman on Enes Kanter and more

Jon is joined by freelance writer Robert Silverman. Robert sheds light on the Enes Kanter situation from the perspective of someone who has interviewed him several times, including this week. They also have a wide-ranging conversation about the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, the past, present and future of the team, and whether he has any hope that they are finally things around for real. Not one to miss.

LISTEN: iTunes / Google

The cap mechanics to consider in a potential Enes Kanter trade to Sacramento

A deal is not close, but the Knicks and Kings are discussing a trade that would send Enes Kanter out west in exchange for Zach Randolph’s expiring contract, with perhaps a third team getting involved, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.

Why would these teams do this?

The Knicks are obviously in a delicate position with Enes Kanter, as they look to prioritize developing their young core, and find lineups that have a chance to stop somebody. Kanter has had a bit of a resurgence in the past few games, but has grown disgruntled in losing his starting spot to Luke Kornet. His playing time is likely to suffer even more once Mitchell Robinson returns to the lineup.

Zach Randolph finds himself in a similar situation in Sacramento, with even more drastic consequences. He has not played this entire season, as the Kings are also prioritizing development. It is worth noting that Randolph signed with the Kings during Scott Perry’s short executive tenure in the royal city.

In the simplest of scenarios, the two teams could exchange veterans on expiring deals, believing that each side is better off mixing the other’s veteran with their young core for the remainder of this season.

Exchanging two players in similar situations doesn’t exactly move the needle much, as both players would find themselves in the same predicament, just in a different city.

That said, the Knicks would be ridding themselves of the constant media storm that seems to follow Kanter, while also saving themselves some money in a straight swap for Randolph. Remember, the team is carrying plenty of dead cap weight this season from Noah and Baker, so while James Dolan doesn’t usually pinch pennies, it wouldn’t hurt saving a few. The Kings might feel that Kanter serves their team better than Randolph does for the remainder of this season.

Beyond Kanter and Randolph’s situation, there is also added motivation for these teams to work together on a trade. New York wants to clear 2019 cap space and Sacramento has cap space to burn. Meanwhile, Sacramento has incentive to add productive players to their roster in a potential playoff push this season. The Kings are currently two games out of a playoff spot in the West, so adding players who they think can offer a competitive mix to their young core could be attractive to an organization looking to maximize revenue from playoff gates.

What are the cap mechanics of a potential deal?

Since Sacramento is $11 million under the cap, they can use that cap space to make any trade that leaves them no more than $100,000 over the cap once the trade is completed.

If Zach Randolph is the only outgoing piece, the Kings could accept up to $22.7 million in salary in return. Enes Kanter has a cap hit of $18.6 million, so a straight up deal would work. However, as mentioned above, there might be more to this potential deal than a straight-up swap of two veterans on expiring contracts.

Sacramento can take back more money by aggregating contracts, and they have a few expiring deals that they could use (i.e Iman Shumpert or Kosta Koufas).

This is where things get intriguing for the Knicks. If they were able to attach Courtney Lee (and his 2019 salary) to Enes Kanter, the Knicks could make a deal work by taking back as little as $19 million in expiring deals (such as Randolph + Koufas).

Sacramento might ask for something extra to actually pull the trigger on such a deal, since they would then be adding an extra year of salary obligation in Lee. The Knicks could use the two second round picks they have from Charlotte, or find a third team to help sweeten the pot.

Of course, the same logic could be applied to including Tim Hardaway Jr. in a deal. His salary would require the Knicks to take back more money (if coupled with Kanter), and perhaps New York would be willing to take back a little bit of term to move Timmy’s larger contract.

Either way, there is a potential framework to help Sacramento improve their roster (either with a 3-and-D veteran in Lee, or a 26-year-old scorer in THJ) in exchange for cap relief to the Knicks.

Which brings us back to Kanter. If the basis of the rumor is the Knicks and Kings are discussing an exchange of Kanter for Randolph, while adding Lee or THJ to the trade makes some sense, it makes even more sense for the teams to negotiate a trade involving those players independent of Kanter. Sacramento has the cap space and expiring contracts to allow them to acquire either Lee or Hardaway Jr. quite easily. Adding the Turkish big man would only be important if Sacramento feels he can offer them a boost this season in a quest for a playoff spot.

Why are Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. important to consider in every trade rumor? Because if the Knicks somehow trade Lee’s 2019 salary for expiring contracts, it would put the team in position to control their own destiny to create as much as $46 million in 2019 cap space (depending on where the cap officially falls and where they ultimately draft). That number balloons to $52 million if you replace Lee in the deal with Hardaway Jr.

For dreamers, Kevin Durant’s max salary under a $109 million cap would be $38.1 million.

Knicks Film School Podcast: Laker Film Room

Jon and JB are joined by Pete Zayas of Laker Film Room. They talk about how things have changed since LeBron came to town, Pete’s process of breaking down film, how LA’s situation with their young assets compares with New York’s, the timeline of each team, what to make of the Anthony Davis rumors, and how he deals with questioning the decisions of a head coach.

LISTEN: iTunes / Google / Stitcher

KFS Roundtable: New Year’s Hopes

To kick-off the new year, we thought it would be fun to step away from the film analysis and speak as fans. What are we hoping to see in 2019?

MACRI

It would be easy for me to wax poetic about my two and a half decades as a Knicks fan, about all the games I’ve watched over the second half of seasons that have not only featured bad basketball, but effortless (and not in a good way) basketball as well, and for me to say that all I want in the New Year is for the Knicks to compete right down to the buzzer of the 82nd game.

That would be a cop out. It’s a long season, and I have a feeling as this one winds down, there will be tired legs and young guys looking like they miss their mommy and just want the warmth and comfort of their blankie at home. It’s fine. To be expected even.

So no, that’s not what my wish for 2019. No, the resolution I want the Knicks to have is a much simpler one: hold on to Frank Ntilikina. Hold on to him like life itself, water him, nurture him, tell him you love him, and give him the prioritization someone of his talent, personality and makeup deserves.

Is this a selfish wish? A little bit, sure. It’s entirely possible that some team out there is willing to give New York $0.85 on the dollar for Frank, at least in proportion to his draft slot. Given how he’s graded out as one of the very worst offensive players in the league through more than 110 games now, depending on what they got, it might actually be a smart deal.

I don’t care. In 25 years of watching basketball, I’ve never had an irrational belief in someone like I do our young French son. He deserves a chance to figure it out on the world’s greatest stage. The temptation is probably already there to pull the plug.

Don’t do it guys. Give me this one thing. I don’t ask for much.

Happy 2019 Everyone.

VIVEK

The 2018 calendar year proved to be one of setbacks and opportunities. After finishing 2017 with some hope (remember when the Knicks were 17-14?), 2018 brought the typical late season swoon, and we were confronted with our worst fear as Knicks fans when our beloved unicorn Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL.

During his absence, we’ve seen the defensive and playmaking potential within Frank Ntilikina, but also the passiveness and inconsistency that reminded me we’re dealing with a player that’s not even 21 years old. At the same time, the Knicks added THREE important pieces to their core: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier. We’ve also seemed to hit the lottery (pun intended) on a few of our comeback stories, including Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh.

In 2019, I hope for a continued path of development for our players, while also unlocking the hidden talents of others. I also wish for a level of patience and resistance. All of our players will go through periods of struggles and we must accept this as a fanbase. We must also aim to avoid temptations, especially when other players may have a better game or a couple of highlights.

TIFF

2018 has been another year of hope and looking toward the future for our beloved franchise. But looking back to where the Knicks found themselves during the second half of last season, the organization finds itself in a relatively good position heading into 2019.

It wasn’t even two months into 2018 when Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL and the hearts of Knicks fans at the same time. We were left to think about who we would be drafting in the upcoming  2018 draft class, and on the verge of being in another coaching search as Jeff Hornacek was certainly not coming back for the next season.

Now, we have Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier as products of last year’s draft (of course, Trier was our undrafted find); David Fizdale is leading the team on the sidelines; and 2019 represents a year of development.

So, in 2019 I hope we stick to the process of developing our young players. I wish for Frank Ntilikina to become the aggressive point guard we need going into the future; that Kevin Knox becomes the superstar he’s capable of being in this league; and that we continue to bring along Mitch Rob and Trier, two additional pieces to our rookie class who are very important to the Knick’s future.

I’m also excited for when KP finally returns and hope he is ready to get back to the dominant-All Star he was starting to become before his ACL injury. I want the team to remain patient and smart in the upcoming draft, and in free agency.

Patience is the key heading into 2019 with our beloved Knicks organization. Baby steps will lead to big leaps and the turn-around we hope 2018 laid the foundation for will manifest itself in this new year.

Mike D

I began the 2018 season with optimism, quickly descended into frustration with every “WTF!” hurled at the television, told myself to be reasonable and patient, and here I am summoning every ounce of energy and rationale to try and follow my own advice.

Knox and M-Rob are my brightest of bright spots. Their development, plus that of Mudiay and Vonleh, have given me hope that this staff can excel in this regard. But in other regards? The inability to follow through on philosophies discussed in the preseason, the lack of accountability for select players, and the jerking around of Frank (and to a lesser extent, Dot) leave me concerned heading into 2019.

I will not overreact. When I wrapped my Rebuild Grades, I laid out things I needed to see for this season to be considered a success – a resolution to the rotation issues (and a full youth movement), a dealt veteran or two, and continued progress toward the on-court identity Coach Fiz spoke about in his introductory press conference. If the organization can check these boxes, we will be in a great place heading into the 2019 NBA Draft.

ALEX COLLINS

2018 has been another mostly disappointing year in an almost two-decade span of down years for our beloved Knicks.

The loss of star player Kristaps Porzingis in early February and the lack of experience in the team across the last twelve months have resulted in the Knicks losing 64 of their 83 games in 2018. Add to this, the ongoing rotation issues, similar to those that led to the dismissal of Jeff Hornacek in April, and you can understand why some of the fan base might feel trepidatious of what awaits the Knicks in 2019.

However, there were some positive moments: the arrival of new head coach David Fizdale and one of the most successful draft nights in the history of the franchise were key moments that will shape the Knicks future, both in 2019 and beyond.

What do I expect in 2019?

I expect 2019 to be another difficult year for Knicks fans, but I also expect it to be the final tough one for the foreseeable future.

Four more grueling months remain of the 2018-2019 season; it isn’t going to be pretty and the Knicks are destined for one of the top picks in the upcoming draft. Be it the first pick or the fifth pick, Zion Williamson or Kevin Porter. The success of the 2018 draft has given me faith that the front office will choose the correct player for the team going forward.

In David Fizdale and Scott Perry (and I guess Steve Mills), I have faith the Knicks will put forward the best possible recruitment of a max free agent in the summer. Even if they fail in their efforts, I can see the young core of the Knicks greatly improving this calendar year and be on their way to securing a playoff spot by late 2019.

Topher Demitris

2018 was one hell of a year for many, but if anything, I’ve learned that people are capable of astounding love and support even in the most trying of times.

I believe this holds as true in life as it does in sports. The Knicks are a part of our family and despite the ups and downs, I’ve seen a new energy surrounding our team. We’ve taken some major losses recently, but for the first time in years, the team is on a path to sustainable greatness. New management, a great young core and a coach that understands success happens one step at a time. I’d love to see more ball movement and a true commitment to defense moving forward.

For 2019 I wish all of us patience and progress (and cap space). Cheers all!

JB (KFS)

I should use this space to write about my hopes for the Knicks to continue to develop their young players, while trading short-term pieces for future assets and cap space, and how I hope this summer brings a superstar to New York, via draft, or trade, or both.

But instead, I will talk about our charity efforts. In just two months of time, we have raised nearly $10,000 to help people in need.

My hope for 2019 is that we can turn this little Knicks site into a community of fans looking to give back. Please help us help others!

Donate just $1 and make a difference.

Knicks Fan TV: Should the Knicks cut ties with Enes Kanter?

Watch as CP and J.Ellis debate whether the Knicks should cut ties with Enes Kanter as he has started to become a distraction due to his diminished role in the lineup.

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter met with general manager Scott Perry on Monday to discuss his frustration amid the team’s losing skid and his diminished role, but he did not request a trade.

“I did not say, ‘Scott, trade me.’ No I did not say that,” Kanter told reporters after the Knicks’ 115-108 loss in Denver on Tuesday night. “Because I like it here a lot. And I probably won’t say to Scott’s face, ‘Scott I want to get traded.’ Because I like it here a lot.

“But again, in the end, we all are competitors, basketball players. I like it here so much, but again I want to win. I want this team to get to the playoffs one day. This is my blood, man. … I’m going out there to get a win every time.” [via Ian Begley, ESPN]

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