Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Kadeem Allen has spent most of his offseason in North Carolina, working out in preparation for his second season with the Knicks. He's looking forward to making an impact in training camp.
"Just trying to show coach that I can compete at the highest level and I can play at the highest level," Allen said of his goals entering the season. "Just trying to get out there and earn a permanent roster spot."
Allen turned down several overseas offers with significant guaranteed money to remain with the Knicks because of his fit with the club. Allen will compete with Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina and others for minutes in the Knicks' backcourt rotation.
He took some time to answer a few questions about his approach to this season, his teammates and his thoughts on the team.
Allen on Summer League:
"We got a lot of young guys so I tried to be as vocal as I could and just tried to lead in each way I could…. Guys went out there and wanted to show that they got better over the summer, they wanted to show that they were working over the summer. And we didn't really do it collectively in the beginning. We got into it, coaches got into it with the players in the locker room. We fought through and we stayed together and we just competed how we know how to compete."
In Summer League, Allen averaged 8 points, four assists and 1.6 steals per game for a Knicks team that went 2-3. Last season, Allen averaged 9.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 21 games. He split time between the NBA and the G-League.
Allen on helping the Knicks prioritize defense:
"That's what I was drafted for - defense. Defense is my calling. I never question myself and I feel like I never really get questioned on that side of the floor. I'm just going to keep doing what I do. Play defense and just try to get my teammates better."
On the Knicks' free agent additions, which include Marcus Morris, Julius Randle and Bobby Portis:
"Those are the guys that have been in the league for a little while. We're still a young core but we've got a lot of guys that have been in the league and they're going to show us the ropes. We're still going to go out there and compete. It's always good to have guys like that to test your inner core and just keep bringing it to eachother every day. Playing hard. I'm sure there's going to be friction sometimes but with this group we have right here, we're going to put all that beside us and behind us and move on."
On playing with RJ Barrett in Summer League:
"He's going to be a good player in this league, great upside, can shoot the ball, pass the ball very well. And he has the ability to finish at the rim. He's going to be a good player in this league and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the league."
On his journey (JUCO to Arizona to the NBA):
"Matured a lot. I don't feel like a lot of people could have gone to JUCO at Hutchinson, Kansas, been player of the year, go to Arizona, have to sit out and red shirt. I don't think they could be mentally tough (enough) for that. I'm built for that. I just kept fighting. I've always been the underdog. I just kept fighting and clawed my way, almost to the top. I just have to keep going."
High price for Myles Turner suitors:
Teams inquired with Indiana about Myles Turner both before and after the NBA Draft, sources confirmed. It's unclear if their talks with the Pacers about Turner gained any significant traction. But multiple teams that had conversations with the Pacers about Turner came away with the impression that it would take an incredibly significant offer to land him, per SNY sources.
ESPN reported prior to the start of free agency that the Pacers flat-out rejected offers at the draft. The Indianapolis Star reported before the NBA Draft that Turner wouldn't be moved.
The Pacers are in a tricky position with two young big men in Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis is eligible for an extension as he enters the final season of his rookie contract. Indiana signed Turner to a four-year, $80 million extension at the beginning of last season.
It will be interesting to see how the Pacers proceed. Turner led the NBA in blocked shots last season and shot 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, establishing himself as one of the top young big men in the league.