Kemba Walker does not see himself playing in New York

The 28-year-old guard was born in the Bronx and attended Rice High School before leading the UConn Huskies to the 2011 NCAA championship, including several highlight moments at Madison Square Garden.

Kemba Walker, who will earn $12 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, was asked if we could ever see himself in New York for a homecoming.

“As far as seeing me in New York, I doubt it,” Walker replied. “I’m a Hornet, and I’m planning on being a Hornet for a long time, so, yeah, I’m not sure about that (New York).”

via Michael Scotto, The Athletic

Report: Knicks have had interest in Willie Reed

Per ESPN sources, members of the Knicks organization had been in contact regarding free agent Willie Reed during the free agency period. It’s unclear, though, if the Knicks had – or still have – serious interest in the 28-year-old center.

The NBA suspended Reed for six games without pay last season as a result of a domestic violence incident involving his wife. The league conducted its own investigation into the incident before handing down the suspension. Reed was traded from Detroit to Chicago prior to the 2018 trade deadline. The Bulls subsequently waived Reed.

If the Knicks sign Reed – or another player – and plan to keep that player during the regular season, they’d have to waive or trade two players on NBA deals.

via Ian Begley, ESPN

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

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

Knicks could still add the “right” veteran, who doesn’t “eat the young”

Q: Scott Perry says his Orlando experience taught him to have veterans around a young team. You don’t have many vets. Concerned about that?

Fizdale: “We’ve talked about it. There’s still a possibility, there’s still time to do some things and plug some gaps with some quality leadership and veteran leadership. But at the same time you gotta be right with that. You can’t bring in a guy who is looking for more than we can give. Because that could end up tearing your locker room apart.

So we’re going to be real specific with who we surround these kids with. Make sure they’re quality people, high character guys who come every day and do their job. Guys that aren’t trying to eat the young, and try to put people around that’s going to help develop these guys.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Report: Michael Beasley has not heard from Knicks since free agency started

The Post has learned Michael Beasley has yet to hear from the Knicks since free agency opened July 1.

When combo forward Mario Hezonja agreed to terms on a one-year, $6.5 million deal that day, Beasley fell completely off the radar. Beasley had been invited by team president Steve Mills and coach David Fizdale on a float for the Gay Pride parade days before free agency. The Knicks still have a $3.4 million bi-annual exception and still could have signed Beasley to a $3 million non-Bird exception.

With the moratorium ending at noon and the Knicks set to announce Hezonja as a Knick, Beasley is said to have two teams in the mix.

“He’s disappointed with the Knicks, though he understands that they are going young,” said one NBA source who has spoken to Beasley.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

How can the Knicks create enough cap space to sign TWO MAX players in 2019?

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With rumors circulating about Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving wanting to play together in the East, a lot of Knicks fans have started to wonder: could the Knicks create enough cap space for TWO max players next summer?

Technically, yes. Anything is possible. But how they would actually get there requires varying degrees of difficulty and rests on how much faith you put in the Knicks’ ability to trade multiple players without taking back any 2019 salary.

Continue reading →

David Fizdale confident Knicks will be in position to make “big moves” next summer

David Fizdale probably won’t be in a gym with the rookies next summer but jetting across the country when Fizdale anticipates “some big moves.”

“For sure,” Fizdale said when asked if he’ll be busier in July 2019. “We knew coming into this July there wasn’t a lot of money to spend, we wanted to be real strategic with who we went after and if it fit the kind of guys we wanted to have here.

“I felt like we’ve done that and now we can just lock in, get into the group we have, start developing these guys, growing these guys, let them go through the ups and downs. And as we get our culture in place, [Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we’ll have the bricks in place to make some big moves.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Report: Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler looking to team up in the East

A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler are still trying to figure out a way to play together. Whether that means the Celtics try and acquire Butler this summer or the two simply wait a year, both opt out of their player options after the season, and join forces that way.

Either way, the two former Team USA Basketball teammates are looking for a destination to build an elite backcourt, whether that’s in Celtics green or elsewhere in the East.

via Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times

Report: Knicks have inquired about Alan Williams

The Knicks have 16 players under contract for next season — one over the max — but there’s still a chance they are not done in free agency.

After inking Mario Hezonja on the first full day of free agency Sunday, the Knicks still could use a rebounding power forward and have inquired about Suns big man Alan Williams, according to an NBA source. Williams was waived Monday and must clear. The Knicks chased Williams hard last July before he opted to stick with Phoenix.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Zach Lowe says Knicks are absolutely planning their offseason around going after Kevin Durant

Before signing Hezonja, Knicks checked in on David Nwaba and Glenn Robinson III

The Knicks checked in on other wings too in free agency, showing interest in Glenn Robinson III (who quickly signed with the Pistons) and David Nwaba (a restricted free agent who wasn’t looking for a one-year contract) but haven’t been interested in giving out deals past this upcoming season. They’ve also reportedly been linked to Amir Johnson, Anthony Tolliver and Lance Stephenson (who signed with the Lakers).

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Hezonja passed up multi-year offers to play with Fizdale

The Knicks beat several teams — including Portland, Sacramento and Memphis — because of Hezonja’s belief in coach David Fizdale and confidence that he can earn a significant role on the court for New York. He had five coaches in four seasons with Orlando.

via Ian Begley, ESPN

Knicks agree to one-year deal with Mario Hezonja

Free-agent forward Mario Hezonja has agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the New York Knicks, league sources told ESPN.

The Knicks are hopeful that Hezonja, 23, will fulfill the potential to become the complete player that made him the fifth overall pick by the Magic in the 2015 NBA draft.

The Knicks beat several teams — including Portland, Sacramento and Memphis — because of Hezonja’s belief in coach David Fizdale and confidence that he can earn a significant role on the court for New York. He had five coaches in four seasons with Orlando.

via Ian Begley, ESPN

Knicks have offer on table for Hezonja … Mills/Perry/Fizdale talked to Tolliver … Could use portion of MLE on Robinson

The Knicks have an offer on the table for 6-foot-8 Orlando swingman Mario Hezonja for a portion of the $8.6 million, midlevel exception on a one-year deal, according to an NBA source.

The sharpshooting Hezonja was seeking a multi-year deal, but if he settles, the Knicks’ Michael Beasley era would be over.

The Knicks still are keeping tabs on veteran power forward Anthony Tolliver as president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale all have talked to him since free agency began, Sunday at midnight, according to a source. Tolliver, too, is looking for multiple years and has a handful of suitors, including Dallas.

The Knicks want to use part of their midlevel exception also to sign project center Mitchell Robinson, their second-round pick. In going over the minimum rookie salary for Robinson, the Knicks would be able to do just a one-year deal with him to preserve 2019 cap space for a superstar.

via Marc Berman, New York Post