As the Knicks disappointing season comes to an end, some players on the team are playing for contracts next season. And F Isaiah Hicks is making a good case for himself.
After a nine-point performance against the Bulls on Monday night, Hicks is showing the Knicks that they could have a place for him next season. He notched 12 points and eight boards in 25 minutes against the Hornets as well.
So, as the season has just 11 games left, seeing what Hicks brings to the table is a priority for the tanking Knicks. Head coach Jeff Hornacek loves his physical stature and athletic abilities. If he could tweak his jumpshot, he could be a solid backup to Kristaps Porzingis in the stretch-four position one day.
"[Hicks has] got good size and athleticism," Hornacek told The Post's Marc Berman. "I think what you're looking for from players is: Are they paying atttention when they practice, are they doing the little things in the rotation? If they're supposed to bump a player on a roll, are they doing that? And Isaiah, maybe it's the four years in college, but he gets it all. He understand it. He's very solid defensively in what we want to do. We feel he can switch off guys -- which he did a couple times and picked them up."
Hicks didn't have too much success early on in this glorified tryout. However, he is coming to grips with the NBA game, and starting to get used to it.
"I started out slow," he said. "It's all about keep going with it, keep working and eventually it came in. Part of it is being in college four years, going to two national title games, puts it in perspective on how to play at this high level."
Hornacek sees Hicks, along with other youngsters like C Luke Kornet, starting to settle in too.
"We've been able to get the young guys playing them a few more minutes, playing more comfortable [to the point that] they're not pressing too hard and trying to make something happen," Horancek said. "When you first come up: Do I belong? Now they're starting to get 15, 20 minutes. They're getting in the groove, yeah, I belong there."
With Porzingis out until last this year or even January 2019, Hicks could be a signee at the start of the new season if he keeps stepping up in these final games.