Report: Knicks haven’t had any internal discussions about John Wall

It was reported earlier this week by the New York Post that “some in the league believe the Knicks are stocking up their young assets and will make a major play for Wall if he becomes available.” 

We can now put that rumor to bed. Ian Begley reports the Knicks have not had any internal discussions about a potential trade for John Wall.

The former number one overall pick is due to make $169 million over the next four years from a contract extension that kicks in next season. From the initial report, it was hard to believe the Knicks, who want to be active pursuers in the free agency market, would be looking to lock up as much as $37.8 million on one player next season, alone.

Forget whether you think John Wall is the type of player you want to build around, he would come on a double cost: the cost of the assets to acquire him and the cost of future cap space from his massive extension. It doesn’t make much sense for the Knicks to pay this double price for someone not named Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis.


It was also reported earlier this week by the New York Post that Brooklyn and Detroit have shown interest in Damyean Dotson. Ian Begley reports that while teams have shown interest in the second round standout, neither Brooklyn nor Detroit have reached out to the Knicks about him.

Report: Knicks not actively shopping Ntilikina, but off-record executives believe he will be traded

The Frank Ntilikina rumors continue to swirl, as we have detailed here.

Several media outlets have reported that interest exists from a variety of teams for the former lottery pick. There has been no credible report to suggest the Knicks are looking to trade him, and there remains no report of them seeking a trade.

However, Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports reports that teams around the league believe Ntilikina will be wearing a different uniform by this year’s trade deadline.

New York is not actively shopping the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 draft, but there is a clear sense among other teams that Phil Jackson’s other first-round draft choice — the one not named Kristaps Porzingis — will be wearing a different uniform by the time the Feb. 7 trade deadline passes.

Sheridan notes that New York is not “actively shopping” the French guard and adds that none of the executives sourcing the information would speak on the record.

The report indicates that while Phoenix and Orlando, two teams tied to Frank in recent rumors, are looking for a starting point guard, neither is currently involved in any discussions, according to well-informed sources.

Ntilikina has been a model citizen as he deals with these rumors and consecutive DNP-CDs. However, he did get a bit short, for Frank, in a media session in Boston following an extra round of shooting.

I would not pay this Sheridan report too much attention, considering it is based on executives speaking off the record and we still do not have any credible report suggesting the Knicks are looking to actually trade Frank. There is a lot of “interest” from teams around the league, which is a testament to the potential people see in the defensive-minded guard. Let’s hope the Knicks realize that, too, and get him back on the floor soon enough.

Everything we know about Frank Ntilikina trade rumors

As Knicks fans debate whether Frank Ntilikina is the next great Knick or complete bust1, rumors are starting to swirl about the former lottery pick’s future.

Let’s sort out what we know so far…

Almost all of the reporters on the Knicks beat have reported that other teams are interested in Ntilikina. No credible source has reported that the Knicks are looking to trade the young guard.

However, there does appear to be something going on in relation to how the organization views the French guard’s long-term future in New York.

We heard Chris Vernon, who has ties to Fizdale from his days in Memphis, report that the Knicks are not very high on Frank right now.  “Everybody I talked to was out on him … It’s like ‘he’s not a PG’ … the kid can’t shoot … it was not a good report … I’m telling you this is from people with the team every damn day.”

We also have the evidence of his recent benching, and hints from David Fizdale that the rotation (which currently doesn’t include Frank) is stabilizing after early season tweaking, which at least suggests the team is less than sure about his role right now.

Speaking to reporters on December 5, Fizdale was asked about Ntilikina’s two straight DNPs, in which he responded:


Let’s now review what has been reported in terms of trade interest in Ntilikina, organized from the most credible to least credible sources.

Ian Begley reports that Phoenix reached out to the Knicks earlier this year about Frank.

This is not the first time Phoenix has kicked the tires on Ntilikina. Back when they were looking to deal Eric Bledsoe, Frank’s name came up. As Ian Begley reported last October:

The Phoenix Suns’ focus in talks with the Knicks recently has been on Frank Ntilikina – not Willy Hernangomez — league sources told ESPN, but the Knicks remain uninterested in dealing their rookie point guard.

Of course, Bledsoe ended up in Milwaukee and Willy Hernangomez would eventually be traded by the Knicks.

The Suns even tried to get their hands on Ntilikina during talks about a possible Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving trade in July 2017.

Ian Begley also reports that Brooklyn has interest in Ntilikina. However, both Nets Daily and Brian Lewis of the New York Post are reporting the Nets do NOT have interest.

Besides Phoenix and Brooklyn, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports that Orlando and Minnesota have interest in Frankie Smokes.

Stefan Bondy adds Memphis to the list of interested teams.

Marc Berman of the New York Post also notes that other teams have interest in Ntilikina, but has not listed the explicit teams.


Now we get into what I will classify more as “chatter.”

Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports reports that teams around the league believe Ntilikina will be wearing a different uniform by this year’s trade deadline:

New York is not actively shopping the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 draft, but there is a clear sense among other teams that Phil Jackson’s other first-round draft choice — the one not named Kristaps Porzingis — will be wearing a different uniform by the time the Feb. 7 trade deadline passes.

Sheridan notes that New York is not “actively shopping” the French guard and adds that none of the executives sourcing the information would speak on the record.

The report indicates that while Phoenix and Orlando, two teams tied to Frank in recent rumors, are looking for a starting point guard, neither is currently involved in any discussions, according to well-informed sources.

John Gambadoro of Arizonasports.com speculates that the Knicks are looking for draft picks to package for a star player in any deal that involves Ntilikina, and believes the Milwaukee pick owed to Phoenix could get a deal done.

By far the least credible report, if it can be counted as a report at all, comes from Legion Hoops:

So there you have it, from most credible to least credible, everything we know right now.

Other teams are interested in Frank, his role in the rotation is a bit precarious right now, but there is no indication (yet) that the Knicks are looking to trade the young guard.

Report: Pistons and Nets have interest in Dotson

Marc Berman of the New York Post is reporting that the Pistons and Nets have interest in Damyean Dotson.

Dotson is currently playing some of his best basketball as a Knick, after receiving four consecutive DNPs. Over the last four games he has played, he is averaging 17.8 points on a blazing hot 62.5 percent shooting from the field, along with 4.8 rebounds per game.

The Knicks have a roster decision to make in a few weeks when Allonzo Trier’s two-way NBA service time runs up (approximately December 15). Dotson is signed through the rest of this season, but has a non-guaranteed amount due next season that the Knicks, or any acquiring team, have the option to guarantee, or not, in July.

There have been no other reports confirming interest in Dotson from either Detroit or Brooklyn. In fact, Nets Daily, who is more connected than the typical “blog,” refutes Berman’s report, as they refuted Ian Begley’s report on the Nets’ interest in Frank Ntilikina earlier this week.2

It is important to note that Berman does not indicate that the Knicks are looking to trade the blossoming second round pick, his report simply suggests interest in the two-way guard.

Do the Knicks have interest in John Wall?

Hours after John Wall nailed a three-pointer to kill the Knicks’ comeback hopes at the Garden, a report came out that suggests the Knicks have interest in the 28-year-old guard.

Some in the league believe the Knicks are stocking up their young assets and will make a major play for Wall if he becomes available. The Wizards (9-14) were said to be ready to break it up after their disastrous start. It would have to be a three-team deal with the Knicks throwing in Ntilikina, Dotson, Courtney Lee (for cap purposes), a 2020 first-round and second-round pick.

[via Marc Berman]


What this means: Not a whole lot. The way the report is phrased as “some in the league believe” tells you that it is not a source with inside knowledge who is telling the reporter this information. It’s essentially speculation by people “in the league” which could range from low-end scouts, assistant coaches, anyone who might have an opinion and be in the league. We really don’t know.

Does this even make sense?

John Wall appears to be available. But that doesn’t mean he makes sense for the Knicks.

The former number one overall pick is due to make $169 million over the next four years from a contract extension that kicks in next season. It’s hard to believe the Knicks, who want to be active pursuers in the free agency market, would be looking to lock up as much as $37.8 million on one player next season, alone.

Forget whether you think John Wall is the type of player you want to build around, he would come on a double cost: the cost of the assets to acquire him and the cost of future cap space from his massive extension. It doesn’t make much sense for the Knicks to pay this double price for someone not named Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis.

Report: Suns, Wolves, Nets(?) interested in Ntilikina

As Knicks fans debate whether Frank Ntilikina is the next great Knick or complete bust2, reports have surfaced that several teams are interested in the young point guard.

The Phoenix Suns seem to have the strongest interest.

Ian Begley reports that Phoenix reached out to the Knicks earlier this year about Frank.

This is not the first time Phoenix has kicked the tires on Ntilikina. Back when they were looking to deal Eric Bledsoe, Frank’s name came up. As Ian Begley reported last October:

The Phoenix Suns’ focus in talks with the Knicks recently has been on Frank Ntilikina – not Willy Hernangomez — league sources told ESPN, but the Knicks remain uninterested in dealing their rookie point guard.

Of course, Bledsoe ended up in Milwaukee and Willy Hernangomez would eventually be traded by the Knicks.

The Suns even tried to get their hands on Ntilikina during talks about a possible Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving trade in July 2017.

Besides Phoenix, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports that Orlando and an unnamed team have interest in Frankie Smokes.

The Magic have shown interest in the 20-year-old, according to a league source, with a scout in Philadelphia last night watching him.

“He’s intriguing,” a different scout said.

In addition to Phoenix and Minnesota, Ian Begley, who is as reliable as any reporter on the beat, reports that Brooklyn has interest in Ntilikina. However, both Nets Daily and Brian Lewis of the New York Post are reporting the Nets do NOT have interest.

What this all means: Plenty of teams see the upside in a young guard who can defend all positions on the floor, and if given the opportunity, could perhaps be a lead guard in an offense where he doesn’t need to be the focal point to make a contribution.

Phoenix is clearly interested in pairing Ntilikina with Devin Booker as a perfect combination of offensive firepower and defensive acumen. We will see if the Knicks continue to be patient with their former lottery pick who has struggled to start this season. The front office held strong last October, making it known that they would not include Ntilikina in a blockbuster trade. We will find out if anything has changed since then, after another full season of evaluation.

Report: Knicks seeking draft picks to package for a star?

This morning we learned from ESPN’s Ian Begley that the Phoenix Suns may be interested in acquiring Frank Ntilikina.

Then John Gambadoro of Arizonasports.com reported that the Knicks are looking for draft picks to package for a star player in any deal that involves Ntilikina.

In his estimation, the Suns’ pick from the Milwaukee Bucks (acquired in the Eric Bledsoe deal) might be sufficient to get the deal done.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.18.17 PM.png

Gambadoro is the same reporter who was first to break the story that the Suns and the Knicks discussed a potential trade for Kristaps Porziņģis before the 2017 NBA Draft.

This report was later confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, then with Yahoo Sports.

And so now we know what the Knicks might want in a deal for the former 2017 8th overall pick from France. Because they may be of the mindset that Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving (both once reportedly interested in teaming up with the Knicks) are both staying with their respective teams, the Knicks could be setting their sights on acquiring a star via trade.

It will be interesting to see if the Knicks have altered their strategy in chasing star players to add to their young roster. Could they be considering moving Frank Ntilikina for draft picks that they could eventually bundle for a star? We shall see.

Report: Orlando has shown interest in Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina is clearly not progressing on the offensive side of the floor the way Knicks management and fans, alike, would hope to see. The French guard (wing?) has scored in double digits only three times in the 23 games he has played this season. He is shooting 33% from the field, down from an unimpressive 36.4% last season.

Of course, he continues to play strong defense, but his minutes have been sporadic, as Fizdale turns to Emmanuel Mudiay and Allonzo Trier (who people forget is nearly three years older than Frank, despite being a rookie). Some are questioning whether the Knicks have cooled their excitement about Frank’s future.

Apparently, that has not slowed other teams from around the league in taking notice of Ntilikina.

According to Mike Vorkunov, Orlando has shown interest in the 20-year-old who can defend at a high-level; they had a scout in attendance for the Knicks game in Philadelphia.

“He’s intriguing,” a different scout told Mike Vorkunov


Why this Matters: As great as Ntilikina can be guarding the basketball, he needs to eventually show some life on the offensive side of the ball, proving his perimeter shot is a strength instead of a promise never realized. It is difficult to fully evaluate Frank’s progression this season in a rotation that is constantly changing, not just in the minutes allocated, but the positions assigned.

I need to see more of Frank as the primary ball-handler, doing what is expected this season, playing through the ups and downs, on a nightly basis, as a young point guard. This is just for the Knicks to evaluate what they have in their lottery pick. Meanwhile, it is refreshing to see other teams remained intrigued by his talent, because it offers you a glimpse outside of the Knicks’ bubble.

Could Orlando simply be checking in on someone they consider a low-end prospect? Perhaps. But I suspect other teams would be “intrigued,” as the one scout put it to Vork, by a 20-year old guard who can defend all spaces on the floor.

Report: Jimmy Butler was never interested in joining Knicks

When it was first reported that Jimmy Butler wanted out of Minnesota, it was believed that the Knicks were on his short list of preferred teams. Remember, the team acquiring Butler needed to feel confident they could re-sign him as a free agent next summer, so who he preferred to play for mattered at the time.

Since then, we learned the Knicks didn’t even kick the tires on Butler. And, of course, he was subsequently traded to Philadelphia.

With the Knicks set to face-off against Butler and the 76ers on Wednesday, local reporters are revisiting Butler’s supposed interest in New York.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia inquirer tells us Butler was never interested in joining the Knicks.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News questioned Butler, directly, about his interest in wearing blue and orange. Bondy writes:

Butler seems very happy in Philly, and every indication is that he’s off the table for the Knicks in free agency since the Sixers can — and likely will — offer him the most money in July. Butler, according to sources, included the Knicks on his preferred destinations prior to the trade and would’ve re-upped in free agency.

When [Bondy] asked him about that Tuesday – a day before his Sixers host the Knicks – Butler claimed amnesia.

“I don’t know,” Butler said. “And to tell you the truth, I don’t talk about the trade because I’m here, I’m loving it here man and all of that is in the past so I’m leaving it just there.”


Why this matters: While Jimmy Butler seems happy in Philadelphia, and it seems increasingly unlikely he would leave a contending team in the East to join a lottery team next summer, the NBA is a crazy world where crazy things happen, so until he has signed his new contract with Philadelphia, the speculation will continue.

Should the Knicks consider trading for Markelle Fultz?

It was reported earlier this week that Markelle Fultz is no longer in the Sixers’ long-term plans. The former number one overall pick somehow losing his shot between the NBA Draft podium and suiting up for the Sixers, with shoulder issues part of the problem. As Philly tires of the drama that surrounds him and prepares to compete in the East, they are apparently ready to move on.

Which brings us to the Knicks. Always looking to capitalize on buy-low situations, should they consider making a move for the once promising guard?

JB | @KnickFilmSchool

Let’s start from a cap perspective. Does a trade for Fultz make sense given the Knicks plans to pursue a max free agent in 2019?

While Fultz is still on a rookie scale contract, don’t let that fool you into thinking he isn’t making a decent amount of money. As a former number one overall pick, his rookie scale is the highest amount from his draft class. He is due to make $8.3 million this season and $9.7 million next season, before a team option kicks in.

With the Sixers looking to have as much cap space as possible to re-sign Jimmy Butler and keep their young core in place, it would seem that both moving on from Fultz and clearing future cap space would be their main goals in trading the young guard. Because of this and the uncertainty surrounding his potential, Fultz’s trade value is probably not very high, as Keith Pompey from the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

If the 76ers have tired of this saga and are considering trading Fultz, and multiple sources said they are, his trade value must have declined a great deal since the start of the season.

Since the Knicks are a non-taxpaying team, they are able to accept an incoming salary that is as much as $5 million more than what they send out. This means the Knicks could trade as little as $3.3 million in a deal for Fultz, which gives them the flexibility to move a low cost piece if Philadelphia isn’t interested in taking back a salary like Courtney Lee’s. Of course, this would add salary to the Knicks books in 2019, so it would have to be the right deal for the Knicks to consider that.

Looking at it from the other side of the coin, the Sixers are also a non-taxpaying team so they can also accept as much as $5 million in additional salary in a trade, so the Knicks could send Courtney Lee’s $12.2 million to Philly for Fultz. New York, who is about $6.5 million short of max space for Kevin Durant next summer (see my assumptions for this projection), would then gain roughly $3 million in cap space in 2019.

Dave Early | @BehindCurve

The Knicks should absolutely consider trading for Fultz. He is 16 months removed from being a prospect who would have easily gone in the top 5 of any NBA draft over the last 5 years. Coach Fiz has shown an ability to get struggling players like Emmanuel Mudiay to play the best ball of their careers. It’s a lot of upside to try to unlock.

Like New York, Philly would probably want expiring contracts to increase their spend this summer; that’s why they shot down any reported interest in Lee months ago, per Keith Pompey. But they just might settle for a package that costs them space if they felt it moved the needle in their quest to win the east.

In that second scenario, discovering if Elton Brand believes that Tim Hardaway Jr. could be that piece is worth a shot. A deal centered around Hardaway Jr. for Fultz and Mike Muscala’s expiring contract would allow the Knicks to create more than enough space to take on Fultz while simultaneously creating room to sign KD. A dream scenario.

There is a very low chance that Philly believes Hardaway increases their title odds enough to justify the resulting loss of cap space. (If they simply traded Fultz for an expiring contract and late pick they could resign Jimmy Butler and also create up to ~$33m in additional room and compete with New York as buyers this July). It’s hard to imagine them loving Hardaway that much and it may require a bit more. But either way this dream scenario is worth a call from the Knicks.

Michael | @Michael_Nania

I think the Knicks should steer clear of Fultz. This team has got a great thing going with the culture they are cultivating under David Fizdale and the duo of Scott Perry and Steve Mills. While Fultz is undoubtedly an intriguing project, he has also looked completely lost out there most of the time, both literally and figuratively. He is surrounded by drama and negative media aura. Personally, I don’t see taking him on worth the circus he would attract, in addition to the playing time he’d take from the other young guards the Knicks are doing a nice job developing.

Mike D. | @DebateBBall

Should the Knicks consider trading for Fultz?

Of course they should. I’ll take it a step further and say they should actively pursue him.

The stipulations: No Frank, No Mitch, No Kev, No ‘19 pick.

As long as the Knicks avoid taking on an added contract in the deal, I don’t see a downside. What I do see, though, is potential for the sort of opportunistic move that accelerates rebuilds. If Fizdale can work his wonders with Mudiay and Burke, imagine what he could do with a 20-year-old consensus #1 pick whose under team control for another three years?

Vivek | @VDadhania

Yes, I’d trade for Fultz. He’s in a no-win position in Philadelphia and New York will allow him to reset his young career. He’ll be able to ease some of the pressure mounted on him with being the #1 overall pick by being in an environment that emphasizes development and patience. Fultz has the tools already to be an above average defender. The only thing missing is confidence on offense. He did show glimpses of his potential last season. If Fizdale and the Knicks developmental group can fix Mudiay and revitalize Burke, they should be able to work with Fultz. Fultz has better tools than both of those players and can be a great complementary weapon to add alongside Frank Ntilikina, both on offense and defense.

Tiff | @TiffStarr815

So, should we trade for Fultz? Not right now. Maybe I’m caught up in the moment of the 3-game winning streak and the overall play of the boys since the beginning of the season, but there’s no way I’m trading for Fultz, period. The man can’t even shoot a free throw right now. Believe me, when he was coming out of Washington, I was one of Fultz’s biggest fans, but he just isn’t worth it right now.

Even if he’s two seasons removed from being “right”, would the wait be worth it? At what cost? Frank? Our best defender with all-defensive team talent? I honestly wouldn’t even involve Vonleh in a trade for him. His energy and all around game on the court is what I would rather watch on a nightly basis. Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas are possible trade chips, but it’s uncertain how high other teams value each player, plus their veteran presence on the team has been lauded and praised by teammates and Coach Fizdale.

There isn’t one scenario that would make me remotely interested in a trade for Fultz, If it’s a trade involving the Warriors and KD and we won’t have to wait until July, then we can talk. Kidding. I really do wish Fultz much success , but he’s still going through “The Process” and he can continue to do it on a team not named the Knicks.

Macri | @JCMacriNBA

On the surface, it seems like the perfect lottery ticket. I forget who said it, but on one of the 2017 pre-draft podcasts, a respectable analyst referred to Fultz as the guard version of Karl-Anthony Towns, just in terms of how safe a pick he was. Somewhere, beneath layers and layers of physical, mental and emotional scarring, that player is still in there.

For New York, if they get that guy, it’s a potentially franchise altering move. The issue is this: if the Sixers – a damn smart organization – are ready to sell him for relative pennies on the dollar, why in the world should anyone believe that that player is still in there? If it’s essentially a straight up swap for Courtney Lee? I guess you’d have to. That said, if Lee comes back and looks healthy for a few games, you could easily argue that his 2019-20 salary is easier to move than Fultz’ would be come July.

If the Knicks had to throw in one of the juicy 2nd’s they got from Charlotte in the Willy trade? It might be a deal breaker for me.

My main issue, though, is this: can you imagine the scrutiny Fultz would be under in New York? Even if they hid him in Westchester, the minute he scored 20 points, it would be “Is Fultz the Knicks new point guard of the future?” and “Fultz languishes while the Knicks wilt in the Garden.” If he was with the big club every day? Forget it. I’m sorry … I don’t need it. I just don’t. Right now, the good ship lollipop is happily sailing along. Forgive me for being the wet blanket, but I think I’d like to just keep going in the direction we’re headed and not pick up any stragglers along the way.

Spencer | @FrontOfficeEye

I’m 100% in on trading for Fultz, IF the Knicks are not giving up any real asset (meaning, no core player). Hell, I’d put anyone on the table outside of Frank, KP, Trier, Knox, and Dot.

From a talent perspective, if Fultz gets his shot back, he’s a perfect fit next to Frank. People forget that he was a legit 3-level scorer on and off the ball at Washington. 87th percentile overall (possessions + assists), 93rd as PnR scorer, 73rd as a PnR passer, 71st on all jumpers, 63rd around basket, 70 catch and shoot, 88th on off dribble jumpers, and was a 67+ percentile shooter on jumpers from everywhere on the court.

He was a hell of an offensive weapon and his biggest question mark was his defense, which has actually been good this year (with a few bizarre mistakes here and there) – credit to Coach Brown for making Simmons and Fultz, two mediocre at best college defenders, into legitimately good NBA ones. Basically, from a talent perspective, he’d be an awesome fit next to the core + whoever the Knicks pick this year.

***I will also add that someone who told me that Burke to NY would happen months before it happened also told me that KD to NY is really in the cards. I’m not going to go into detail why (there are many working pieces from KD’s perspective), or who my source was, but he was spot on in the past and I do trust him.***

If Fultz doesn’t get back his Washington form, the Knicks could cut bait with him after the 2019-20 season. The way I see it, there is a very minimal risk and a massive reward (even if there is a small chance of that reward being found).

Let us know what you think below!

Report: Knicks have been approached about Dotson’s availability

This article was written jointly by Jeffrey Bellone (Knicks Film School) and Jonathan Macri.

Damyean Dotson has fallen out of the Knicks rotation with two consecutive DNP-coach’s decision. This is coming off a nine-game stretch in which Dotson recorded double digits in points scored and started to look like he was coming into his own under coach Fizdale.

So what’s the latest rumor?

As reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post:

According to a source, the Knicks have been approached by a couple of teams about Dotson’s availability because of his precarious contract status.

Knicks general manager Scott Perry did not draft Dotson. Though president Steve Mills was GM for the 2017 draft, the Dotson pick at No. 44 was spearheaded by former president Phil Jackson and his top adviser, Clarence Gaines, according to sources.


What does this mean?

Nothing. There is no indication that the Knicks are looking to trade Dotson, or that the second round standout is looking to be moved. I don’t doubt the report. I’m sure there are teams calling to check on Dotson, especially with Courtney Lee set to return and Fizdale’s rotation minutes as in flux as a Manhattan street corner.

General Managers and agents are simply doing their jobs to check on situations throughout the league, so I’m sure that is what is happening here.

The bigger question is why this story is coming out now. It would make sense for Dot’s camp to leak other teams’ interest as a way to poke the sleeping bear, and of course to show that he is a player in demand around the league. And why wouldn’t he be; the dude was arguably the Knicks best two-way player in several of the games he appeared in. We’ve been driving the #FreeDot bandwagon since early last season, mostly because he is, at the very least, a solid tradable asset, if not a long term piece.

Should the Knicks entertain offers?

Why not?

As Moke Hamilton discussed with us recently, the Knicks’ front office is currently evaluating the roster to understand who fits into their long-term plan. Right now, that plan means developing the players on their roster, building up their value as much as possible, and then depending on what happens next summer in the pursuit of Kevin Durant, using some of those players to acquire more talent, clear cap space, or decide to invest in long-term.

What is Dotson’s contract situation?

Dotson signed a 3-year, $4.1 million contract with the Knicks upon entering the league. He is currently in the second year of that deal. His salary next season is non-guaranteed at $1.6 million, so the Knicks could waive him after the season without any cap cost.

Berman’s story notes that teams have inquired about Dot, presumably because he’s been out of the rotation of late, but also because the Knicks have to decide on his non-guaranteed salary for next season. On the one hand, this makes sense, as it seems they will need every last dollar to be able to pursue Kevin Durant. In reality though, any cap savings they gain by waiving Dotson before his guarantee date is offset by a minimum roster charge if they also clear other players to make space for a free agent. The offset of the min roster charge would merely create about $800,000 in cap savings from waiving Dotson outright.

In Summary

If the genesis of this story is the lack of playing time Dotson is receiving, hence teams calling to check on him, we can’t overlook that there is some logic to why he’s not playing. The most obvious rotation switch would seem to be with Mario Hezonja, who has been shooting dreadfully but has otherwise done what David Fizdale has asked. The team is also 3-1 with him starting, which has to count for something.

Berman implies Dot’s losing time to Mario has to do with the latter’s Orlando connection with Scott Perry, which is entirely possible at this point of the season. Hezonja did pick the Knicks over several other options available to him this summer. He was by no means a big-time free agent, but someone choosing the Knicks due to the basketball situation and not a massive overpay is a small sign of progress. Relegating him to the bench after only 20 or 25 games might be a bad look.

That said, Fiz seems to care not for such trivialities, or at least there have been no such indications. He has indicated that he wants to settle on a rotation by Game 25. If we hit that mark with Dotson still out, expect the noise surrounding what is still a non-story to amp up incrementally between now and February’s trade deadline.