Knicks Execs suggest Mario Hezonja could have long-term future with team

Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry said they hope Mario Hezonja becomes part of the long-term future of this young, developing team. The management team appeared more toned down about 2019 free agency as the be-all and end-all […]

We didn’t say our ultimate goal was to have cap room in 2019 — that’s just a byproduct of the situation of how our salaries line up,’’ Mills said. “There’s no reason to think if Mario does really well, he shouldn’t be part of what we’re doing. Our goal is to put together a Knick team that could be competitive in the long-term.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

No hard feelings from Knicks on Kyle O’Quinn’s recent quote

No hard feelings from the Knicks’ side about that Kyle O’Quinn quote. Steve Mills: “Kyle is Kyle. He obviously felt it didn’t come out the way he wanted it to come out and I believe that knowing Kyle. Kyle is talking but I still love Kyle and have a lot of respect for him.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Hornacek’s “doppelganger,” Ron Baker tries to find fit under new coaching staff

“I’m going into training camp confident,” Ron Baker told The Post in his first remarks since Hornacek got canned. “I’ll try my best to be in good shape, compete, do what I’m asked. Obviously, we’re over the roster limits. I don’t control that. I can only control what I can control — coming in every day, ready to work and being positive.”

Baker attempted to put a positive spin on Hornacek’s ouster, but his disappointment could not be hidden. Baker once said Hornacek was his “doppelganger.”

After he got released, [Hornacek] gave me a call a week after,” Baker said. “Jeff being Jeff, he wished me well. Reaching out to me, one thing he said if I ever need anything, he’s there for me. That’s the kind of guy he was every day.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

NBA scouts and GMs rave over Kevin Knox

“When is Kevin Knox going into the Hall of Fame?’’ one NBA scout asked a New York reporter Monday at Thomas & Mack Center […]

“I think Kevin has great size, can shoot over people,’’ one NBA GM said. “He’s a very good shooter and has more ball skills than people thought. He scores in a variety of ways. I like his offensive game a lot. He’s the type of guy who can be one of the best offensive players in the draft.’’

One NBA college scout noted Knox looks different as he’s going to the rack more than in college.

“He’s taking that progression — you saw in Kentucky he can dribble and shoot and has the physical tools for today’s game,” the scout said, “but you see it more. The Knicks got themselves an excellent player.’’

via Marc Berman, New York Post


David Fizdale’s favorite part about New York so far

FIZDALE: “It doesn’t get better than throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium at Yankees-Red Sox. Are you kidding me, man? That’s as good as it gets right there. I’m sitting here talking to [Aaron] Judge, Giancarlo [Stanton] and these dudes could play for me. That’s some big dudes. But that was like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this right now.’ That brought it all into perspective. This is really happening right now.

So that was probably the coolest thing that I’ve done so far. I just want to go eat at every different restaurant. That’s what I want to do. I just want to go restaurant hopping in New York because it’s unbelievable how many great restaurants there are.”

via Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated

David Fizdale and Kristaps Porzingis talk via WhatsApp all the time

FIZDALE: “Yeah, we talked. We WhatsApp all the time and check in on each other. And my wife and I are flying out in two weeks to go spend a week with him and his family.”

What have you got garnered from your WhatsApp conversations?

FIZDALE: “Excitement. He likes exactly what I’m talking about from the standpoint of style of play. The fact that I won’t lock him into any position, that I’ll always try to put him in a position of success, that I’m going to challenge him to be an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. I think he really likes the idea of the way I operate, how I’m going to hold guys accountable to a strict level. He likes the sound of that.

So, our conversations have been great. Every time we do something team-buildingwise, I always make sure that I hit him up and send him a picture, a film or whatever it is. He can’t get here for that, but I want him to still feel [he’s a part of it]. It’s been a good building process.”

via Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated

Frank Ntilikina talks about being more aggressive and where he first developed his turn-around jumper

Frank Ntilikina talks about wanting to be more aggressive after taking some time to get into rhythim in the first game. He mentions how he thinks a lot on the court, about getting his teammates involved, but he needs to learn how to be aggressive, himself, as a means to create more opportunities for his teammates.

When asked about the turn-around jumpers he took from the post area, a shot that we haven’t seen from him while he has played for the Knicks, Ntilikina said it’s a shot he used before in Europe, but he needs to use it more often, especially with his size.

Knicks nearly traded up to draft Mitchell Robinson, lock him in on multi-year deal

The Knicks were so worried rookie Mitchell Robinson wasn’t going to drop to No. 36 in the second round that they mulled trading up a few notches to ensure they’d be able to nab him, according to an NBA source.

That’s how highly Knicks scouts had rated the 20-year-old center. Knicks general manager Scott Perry is on record saying he was the most athletic big man coming out of the 2017 high-school class.

On Sunday, after his successful summer-league debut, the Knicks announced they signed Robinson to a multi-year contract. According to a source, the deal is for three years at $4.8 million, but the third year is not fully guaranteed. The package also includes a fourth-year team option.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Knicks sign Mitchell Robinson to multi-year agreement

The Knicks and second-round pick Mitchell Robinson are finalizing a multi-year agreement that’s expected to include team options, per ESPN sources. Robinson, the No. 36 overall pick, impresses with his athleticism in his Summer League debut with 9 points, 8 rebounds and four blocks. The center didn’t play college basketball last season after reportedly committing to Western Kentucky. He said he instead decided to take the year to work out and prepare for the NBA. The Knicks have been impressed with his comfort level and aggressive nature thus far in Summer League workouts and the win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. His contract is expected to be at least three seasons. It’s unclear if the Knicks will use the $2.1 million remaining in the mid level exception to sign Robinson.

via Ian Begley, ESPN

How Juwan Howard Jr. connected with Fizdale for a Summer League spot

Juwan Howard Jr. emailed Fizdale in the spring from Luxembourg after his father hadn’t said boo to him about rejoining the Heat’s summer team for a third whirl. The elder Howard coached his son in one of those summers and called it “a dream come true.’’

But this time, Howard Jr. got the hint.

“I needed to take my career upon myself and I think he’s happy I took the initiative,’’ Howard Jr. told The Post at the Knicks’ hotel. “I just emailed him my bio and stats, what I did this year and he responded, ‘Let me talk to my people.’

The invitation came soon after, and as a result, all 30 NBA teams will get another look at Howard Jr., who hasn’t given up the fight. One of his hopes is an invite to the G-League Westchester Knicks.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Fizdale doesn’t want Frank to lose who he is in trying to be aggressive

FIZDALE: “It’s be aggressive, but I don’t want it to the point where he stops being who he is,” he said. “I know everyone has this vision of what he should be. But he’s got some things that he already does well that he brings to the table. I still want him to keep those attributes while being aggressive. So I really like the way he played this game today.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Kevin Knox ready to flourish outside of Kentucky

Kevin Knox looked like a different type of player than he had been at Kentucky, with John Calipari sitting courtside. One NBA exec thought Knox would thrive outside of Kentucky, where his production was diminished by the context he had to play in. With the Knicks he’ll play more on the ball.

He’s fucking really good,” the exec said before the game. “A real stud.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic