Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Warriors star Kevin Durant is one of the prizes of free agency, but the idea that he could join the Knicks this summer took a hit when he suffered an Achilles injury that could keep him out for the entire 2019-20 season. Here's the latest...


June 29, 2:24 PM

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, all indications suggest the Warriors will offer Durant a five-year, $221 million super max contract. Only the Warriors can offer Durant a super max deal. 

June 29. 12:16 PM:

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Kawhi Leonard and Durant are talking about teaming up and the Knicks have the cap space to land both players. We know that the Knicks feel as if they're in on Durant as free agency approaches. SNY sources confirm that they expect to have an audience with Durant. As far as Leonard goes, there are people around the NBA Finals MVP who see New York as a destination for him. ESPN reported that Leonard plans to meet with the Knicks.

June 26, 11:39 AM:

Durant has declined his $31.5 million player option for the 2019-20 season, making him an unrestricted free agent, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

According to Wojnarowski, Durant and manger Rich Kleiman are currently in New York "evaluating free agency options."

June 26, 11:34 AM:

James Dolan wants to see Durant's medical report before potentially offering him the max this summer, reports Stephen A. Smith of ESPN

SNY's Ian Begley reported on June 21 that the Knicks planned to seek more information about the nature of Durant's Achilles injury.

June 24, 2:46 PM:

The Nets are exploring the possibility of signing DeAndre Jordan with the hope that it could make Brooklyn an even more enticing landing spot for Durant, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times. Jordan is close friends with Durant, and the Knicks traded for him last season and have considered trying to re-sign him.  

June 12, 9:36 AM:

While many thought Durant opting in to the $31.5 million option with the Warriors for 2019-20 was likely in the wake of his Achilles injury, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday that it would be the "last resort."

"That's really if you couldn't find any other team to commit to you on a contract," Wojnarowski said, adding that he still thinks there will be a market for Durant to get a "max or near-max contract."

Wojnarowski noted that despite the injury, he still expects there to be a market for Durant, adding that if it came down to signing a two-year deal elsewhere (with the yearly salary starting around $38 million), Durant would rather do that than return to the Warriors on the one-year opt-in. 

June 11, 2:24 AM:

Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors expect Tuesday's MRI to confirm a right Achilles tendon tear. 

June 11, 12:13 AM:

Warriors GM Bob Myers announced after Game 5 that Durant has an Achilles injury. The extent is still unknown. 

June 10, 10:55 PM:

Durant left Game 5 of the NBA Finals early in the second quarter with a lower leg injury. He will not return and will be scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning. 

Durant, who returned to the court for the first time in a month due to a right calf strain, grabbed his right leg after he planted his foot. He was helped off the court and into the locker room with team medical staff and teammates.

He left Scotiabank Arena on crutches and with a walking boot on, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

In 12 minutes of play, he scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting and recorded two rebounds, one block and two fouls. The Warriors led Game 5 39-34 with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter at the time of Durant's injury.

June 10, 2:52 PM:

Durant is expected to be back out on the court for the Warriors in a do-or-die Game 5 on Monday night, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. It is still a game-time decision, according to the team, but reports have since surfaced from Poole's original tweet that say Durant is going to suit up. 

This will be the first time he plays since injuring his calf back in the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets. He was cleared to practice before tonight, and hasn't complained about the ailment during those sessions. While this is good news for the Warriors, who desperately need help down 3-1, it's also good news for the Knicks. 

June 9, 5:37 PM:

Durant practiced on Sunday for the first time since suffering a right calf strain on May 8, however his status for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Monday is questionable, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Durant, according to ESPN, had ice packs wrapped around his right Achilles and lower right calf on Sunday. Golden State, which is seeking its third consecutive championship, trails Toronto 3-1 in the series. 

June 4, 7:55 PM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, if his own report of Kyrie Irving preferring to go to the Nets is true, Durant may decide to stay in Golden State if they do not win the NBA Finals. Smith said Durant could still go to the Knicks without Irving, convince Irving to come or opt for somebody else such as Kemba Walker. 

Smith, who said he had not spoken to Irving or Durant, had previously said there was a "95 percent" chance Irving and Durant will both join the Knicks, with the only hiccup being Durant changing his mind. 

May 30, 12:37 PM: 

As the Warriors head into Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight in Oakland, they will continue to be without Durant. And it looks like that will be the case for Game 2 as well. 

Head coach Steve Kerr told Bleacher Report that it is a "long shot" he will be cleared for practice before Game 2. Durant is still dealing with his calf strain that he suffered during the Rockets series. As the Finals games go, Knicks fans will continue to watch to see if Durant actually makes an appearance.

May 25, 6:57 PM:

It can't be Durant alone.

So says Knicks legend Bernard King, who feels if Durant is going to join the Knicks he must bring a second superstar with him, or else he risks going through a Patrick Ewing-like era which ends without a championship.

"I think that given the fact they have space for two max contracts, he needs someone else to come along,'' King told the New York Post. "That's what you see around the league. Superstars playing together. Who that other player that would be -- Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard -- I don't know. But if (Durant) decides to play in New York, he needs another superstar beside him. That's what happened with Patrick. He had very good players in Charles Oakley and John Starks, but he didn't have another superstar to play with him."

 

May 25, 10:06 AM:

After three seasons and two NBA Finals titles with the Warriors, Durant still feels he is perceived as an outsider to the organization. The forward, who addressed reporters for the first time on Friday since his calf strain, took exception to the phrasing of a question about "their" play.

"Our play," Durant said. He was then asked about that perception of still being viewed as an outsider. 

"It's been that way since I got here - the Warriors and KD," he said. "I understand that. I feel like my teammates and organization know exactly what I've done here on and off the floor to become part of the culture. I've stamped my flag on this culture and organization."

May 23, 2:34 PM:

Durant is unlikely to return for the beginning of the NBA Finals, but the Warriors hope to have him back before the Finals end, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic

If the Warriors make quick work of whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference, it's possible we've seen the last of Durant in a Warriors uniform.

May 22, 1:20 PM:

As the ridiculous feud between Durant and reporter Chris Broussard drags on (with the two now arguing over whether they text), two Knicks players -- Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson -- have reacted. 

May 21, 9:22 PM:

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, he has heard from "smart, plugged-in people" within the last month that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an "equally dangerous threat" to the Knicks in being able to sign Durant. 

Stein, however, noted that during the season he had trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant planned to join the Knicks but suggested it could very well still be a mystery on where he will sign. 

May 21, 7:52 PM:

Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, told Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay that contrary to other reports the Warriors forward is "100 percent undecided" on where he is playing next year. 

"That is 100 percent undecided and I'm waiting on Kevin and that's the truth," he said. "I think there's a feeling this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out, but when somebody gets to the level of basketball like that you can't juggle focus like that ... I think it's frustrating, honestly, at times."

May 20, 3:15 PM:

Durant is "recruiting guys to go to New York with him, right now," reports Chris Broussard, who adds "If we hear that, you can't tell me the Warriors players don't hear that."

The pending free agent, who spent part of his Monday firing back at Broussard on Twitter after Broussard claimed the Warriors winning the title without him would be his "worst nightmare," remains on the sidelines as Golden State is on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals.

May 17, 9:15 AM:

Durant's calf strain that he suffered in Golden State's second-round series against the Rockets is "more serious than we thought," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after a Game 2 win over the Trail Blazers. 

The Warriors already ruled Durant out for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals, but Kerr said the team is in "wait and see" mode in the meantime.

May 14, 1:24 PM:

There may be a "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York, but there's "100 percent" chance that at least KD is joining the Knicks -- at least, that's what Colin Cowherd said he's been told.

According to "The Herd" host, a veteran NBA player sent him a direct message saying that the superstar going to the Knicks is "100 percent done" and he's also made calls to other players.

May 13, 11:52 AM:

According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, there is "95 percent chance" that Durant and Irving are planning to come to New York. He adds the only thing stopping this from happening is if Durant changes his mind. 

May 9, 3:26 PM: It has been confirmed that Durant doesn't have an Achilles injury, and instead he suffered a mild right calf strain, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He will be re-evaluated next week by the team, but it looks as if he will miss the rest of the Warriors-Rockets series. 

May 9, 12:36 AM: Knicks fans watching Game 5 of the Warriors vs. Rockets probably didn't breathe for about five minutes when Durant pulled up on his right leg, and began limping his way off the court. The way the injury looked in the replay, it appeared he may have suffered a devastating Achilles injury. 

However, it was confirmed to be a right calf sprain they said on the TNT broadcast. We do not know the severity of the injury, but KD will not return in Game 5.

May 6, 9:25 AM:

The Warriors are preparing for a "possibly seismic change" this summer, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Whispers over the last few months have painted the Warriors as less optimistic about keeping Durant, and it now seems they're preparing for the possibility of both Durant and Klay Thompson leaving via free agency. 

April 30, 1:14 PM: 

Former NBA center Kendrick Perkins joined Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports' "Undisputed" on Tuesday, and dished out what he knows about Durant and Kyrie Irving

"They have been talking a lot lately," he said. "...I could only imagine KD and Kyrie in New York. I might move to New York. I'd have to buy some tickets."

Perkins played with Irving during his stint with the Cavaliers, so he could still be connected to the dynamic floor general. The notion of Durant and Irving linking up in New York would be music to Knicks' fans ears, as those are the top two expected free agents this summer.  

April 30, 10:27 a.m. 

Durant already has a television show -- "The Boardroom" -- that airs on ESPN. But could the Knicks use the idea of a personal television show to lure the media-inclined Durant? 

Industry sources have indicated to the New York Post's Marc Berman that this could certainly be the case. In fact, the speculation maintains that if Durant were to sign with the Knicks, he'd host his own show on MSG Network. 

April 29, 2:11 PM:

Celebrity chef and Warriors fan Guy Fieri is getting desperate when it comes to attempting to try to keep Durant from leaving Golden State.

"Tell me what you need," Fieri recently told GQ about helping to keep Durant with the Warriors. "If there is a such thing as an inspiration dinner that I need to cook to bring all the dignitaries together-all the players, his team, his mom, you name it-well, consider that meal cooked."

April 26, 11:10 AM:

Durant's childhood friend NaVorro Bowman, the former Niners linebacker, told the New York Post that KD "needs" the Knicks. 

When asked if the Knicks are a fit for Durant, Bowman said: "It's the Big Apple. I think it's a place where Kevin needs to go to solidify Kevin Durant. I hate to say it, but LeBron (James), he's a got a way about the people. His legacy is huge right now.

"Kevin's right there. I don't see who's ahead of who. But if he goes to New York and does what I know he's capable of, he'll go down as one of the best to ever play the game."

April 26, 11:00 AM:

There's more smoke around Durant heading to the Knicks, with ESPN's Ian Begley reporting that some former and current teammates expecting it to happen. He wrote that some around the star "told people with a rooting interest in the New York Knicks to stay patient amid the losses." 

Begley wrote: "It's easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn't think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July."

April 22, 11:21 AM:

Durant explains to NBC Sports Bay Area why he will be the one who controls the message of where he signs for his impending free agency. 

"After a while, players are starting to see how so many random people want to run with their messages and spin it around," he said.

April 8, 2:28 PM:

With rumors continuing to swirl that the Knicks are the favorites to sign Durant, Frank Isola of The Athletic reported Monday that some NBA executives and agents are so sure Durant and Kyrie Irving will team up in New York that one agent said Durant and Irving "are debating on who will sign first."

The reason that matters, according to Isola, is that the player who signs second will look like the follower.

April 4, 2:41 PM:

Durant's decision to sign with the Knicks as a free agent after the season is "done," Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report said on Wednesday.

"From everything I've heard, it's done," Bucher said during an appearance on The Herd. "Yes, he's leaving. ... If he so much as gets [the Knicks] into the Conference Finals, he will be beloved there like he never has been at Golden State after two championships."

April 3, 1:08 PM:

Rival executives say "without hesitation" that Durant is "bound for the Knicks" and that Irving is "likely to join him," writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Beck goes on to note that "virtually everyone" believes Durant is leaving the Warriors. 

Mar. 27, 4:28 PM:

While speaking on WFAN with Mike Francesa, The Ringer's Bill Simmons said he would "bet the house" that Durant will land with the Knicks this offseason. He even went a step further to say, "I'd bet it's Kyrie [Irving] and Durant together."

Mar. 6, 12:52 PM:

There are members of the Warriors organization "concerned that Durant's behavior is a sign that he's already got one foot out the door," reports Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo! Sports

Feb. 21, 9:06 AM:

"We have no idea what he's going to do," a Warriors source told Frank Isola of The Athletic about Durant's pending free agency, adding that "there's not much more we can sell him on."

If Durant leaves the Warriors this offseason, the "general consensus" among NBA executives, players, and coaches is that he will land with the Knicks, reports Isola.  

Isola notes that a "dark horse" in the Durant sweepstakes could be the Lakers, but suggests that Durant joining LeBron James doesn't make much sense given the fact that he's trying to create his own legacy. 

Feb. 14, 10:36 AM:

Ethan Strauss of The Athletic -- who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters -- said during his podcast Thursday that "There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York -- if we're just completely real about it."

Feb. 12, 10:49 AM:

Durant's company, Thirty Five Ventures, is moving into a New York City office. This news broke along with an ESPN cover story detailing how Durant -- who recently suggested he just wants to talk about basketball -- has become a mogul. 

Feb. 10, 9:58 PM:

The Knicks issued a statement regarding a picture of Durant (in game action against Mitchell Robinson) being used to promote ticket sales for the 2019-20 season. "Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes, but given everything going on, we took precaution of taking the photo down," the Knicks said. "To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website."

Feb. 7, 8:20 AM:

After not speaking to the media for over a week, Durant ripped them over their recent coverage of him -- while not actually shutting down rumors that he could be headed to the Knicks.

"I have nothing to do with the Knicks," he said. "I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in here every day. Ask me about free agency. Ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying. And now when I don't want to talk to y'all, that's a problem on me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up."

Feb. 1, 9:34 AM:

Knicks officials are highly optimistic about signing Durant this summer and are thought to have a "strong chance" to land him if he chooses to opt out of his deal with the Warriors. 

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Feb 21, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 21, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks weren't able to land any high-profile free agents this past summer, which led to now ex-team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry signing a group of veterans to short, expendable deals. 

Now, with a new vision in the front office with Leon Rose the team president, those players -- and even some others -- might be on the chopping block. 

In this series, we'll look at whether or not the Knicks should let these players stay -- or let them walk. We'll focus this time on point guard Frank Ntilikina...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks' coaching search may officially start later this week.

The NBA Board of Governors is expected to approve a plan Thursday to re-start the season that doesn't include New York, according to ESPN.

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James Dolan
James Dolan

The day after sending an email to employees explaining why Madison Square Garden teams have remained silent regarding the death of George Floyd and protests against police brutality and racial injustice that have been taking place in the United States, Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan sent another email to employees seeking to clarify his prior stance.

The letter, obtained by SNY, reads as follows:

Yesterday, I made a sincere attempt to provide my perspective on a very difficult issue, one that has no easy answers. I know how important this topic is to so many, and I do not want there to be any confusion about where I as an individual, or we as a company stand. So let me be clear: we vehemently condemn and reject racism against anyone, period. It is against every value that we hold dear.

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Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks owner James Dolan watches during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks owner James Dolan watches during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

All across the United States -- and even overseas -- protests against police brutality and racial injustice have been taking place following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The sports world has been lending their voice to the cause, with the likes of prominent athletes in LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Derek Jeter among them.

There have also been teams doing the same. However, the Knicks and Spurs are the only two teams that haven't released an official statement on the matter. San Antonio's head coach Gregg Popovich did, however, discuss the matter in an interview. 

According to ESPN's Pablo Torre, Knicks players and employees are "furious" no statement has been made by ownership. Owner James Dolan addressed that frustration in a Madison Square Garden Company-wide e-mail that SNY has obtained, and it probably didn't help curb it. 

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There's been a lot of buzz recently about the Knicks and LaMelo Ball, arguably the top guard prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft.

But what at the odds that the Knicks actually land him?

SNY's Maria Marino and Chris Williamson discuss during the latest edition of What are the Odds?

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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and discussions are ongoing about the potential resumption of the season.

Here's the latest...

 

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Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)
Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)

The Knicks announced on Friday afternoon that they have reopened their training facility in Westchester county for voluntary player workouts.

"As the safety of our players and staff remains our priority, we will continue to follow the guidelines established by the State of New York and the NBA," the Knicks said in a brief statement.

The Knicks join the Nets in reopening their training facilities, as the Nets did so on Tuesday. 

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Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)
Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks were 24 games under .500 when the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season. When your record is that bad, your team usually has several significant holes to fill.

The obvious one for New York this season was outside shooting. That's why some in the organization see finding a lead guard who can knock down a shot as a priority for the offseason.

But that's not the only area that could use an upgrade.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you want to gain insight about LaMelo Ball's season in Australia, you talk to Corey 'Homicide' Williams. As an analyst for the National Basketball League, Williams watched Ball closely last season. He spent time around the Ball's team and the teams and coaches competing against the 18-year-old.

And Williams' basketball opinions are informed.

This isn't like asking Bob Costas to break down a players' strengths and weaknesses. (No disrespect intended to Bob Costas).

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is expected to interview for the Knicks' head coaching position, SNY sources confirm.

Atkinson, interim head coach Mike Miller and Tom Thibodeau are among the candidates who will get consideration for the job. 

"That's the plan," one source with knowledge of the proceedings said of Atkinson and the Knicks. 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks president Leon Rose officially announced additions to his front office on Wednesday. 

Brock Aller will be Rose's vice president of basketball and strategic planning, Walt Perrin will be an assistant general manager overseeing college scouting, and Frank Zanin will be an assistant general manager overseeing pro scouting. 

The Knicks also announced that GM Scott Perry has agreed to a one-year extension for 2020-21 to remain in that role. 

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 (Russell Isabella)
(Russell Isabella)

The Knicks weren't able to land any high-profile free agents this past summer, which led to now ex-team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry signing a group of veterans to short, expendable deals. 

Now, with a new vision in the front office with Leon Rose the team president, those players -- and even some others -- might be on the chopping block. 

In this series, we'll look at whether or not the Knicks should let these players stay -- or let them walk. We'll focus this time on center Taj Gibson:

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Since the inception of the team in 1946, the Knicks have taken fans on a wild ride that has included eight trips to the NBA Finals, two championships, some runs of dominance, and some dry spells.

When it comes to putting together the Knicks' All-Time team, some of the names can be added to the roster by simply glancing up at the rafters at Madison Square Garden. Other players are much tougher to decide on, and choosing who's on the first team and the second team is no picnic.

Without further ado...

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Danny Abriano
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SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley looks at the development of Knicks forward Kevin Knox and reveals what some scouts have said about his future.

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Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)
Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)

The Knicks have given their fans tons of incredible moments through the years, including two NBA titles, six other trips to the NBA Finals, and performances from stars such as Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, and Carmelo Anthony.

Here are nine of the best moments in Knicks history...

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Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Knicks legend and current Georgetown men's basketball head coach Patrick Ewing has tested positive for coronavirus, the school announced in a statement on Friday evening. 

"I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. The virus is serious and should not be taken lightly," Ewing said. "I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. I'll be fine and we will all get through this."

Georgetown also announced in the statement that Ewing is isolated at a local hospital, and that he is the only member of the men's basketball program to test positive for the virus. 

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Dec 7, 2018; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Spire Institute guard LaMelo Ball warms up prior to facing Bella Vista Prep at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Dec 7, 2018; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Spire Institute guard LaMelo Ball warms up prior to facing Bella Vista Prep at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here's our weekly Knicks mailbag with SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley...


We got a few questions about LaMelo Ball and the possibility of the Knicks moving up in the draft: 

@PrimeCarmelo: Do you think the Knicks trade up for Lamelo if they don't move up in the lottery?

@Jiggyx_1: How would the lottery results for this draft affect our motivation to trade up?? Is there a specific player they key in on?? How likely is that?

This shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed the 2020 draft class, but the Knicks have LaMelo Ball ranked as the top point guard on their draft board. One opposing scout said he assumed most teams have Ball at the top. But since @PrimeCarmelo asked specifically about LaMelo, it's worth pointing out that Knicks people think highly of the young guard. 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret the Ball family wants to see LaMelo in a Knicks uniform when the 2020 NBA Draft ends. 

LaVar Ball has made that very clear recently, saying that his son would be a perfect fit under the bright city lights in New York. 

And according to SNY's Ian Begley, LaVar isn't the only one who wants to see the 6-foot-7 guard in blue and orange next season. 

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Feb 12, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 12, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the NBA is nearing a potential return to its 2020 season, some Knicks players have been told recently to be ready to report to train in early June, sources tell SNY's Ian Begley. However, where that exact location will be is still a mystery. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement Sunday that stated all professional sports teams are now allowed to begin training camps in the state could impact this development for the Knicks. As long as it adheres to health protocols, Cuomo is saying teams like the Knicks can restart their process of getting back to the season.

While that might make sense for all the Knicks to return to New York, there is the ESPN report that says some teams from regions with more regulations amid this coronavirus pandemic, like the Big Apple, are wondering if they could head down to Walt Disney World in Orlando -- the proposed destination for NBA resumption -- right away. 

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Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks have LaMelo Ball -- who is expected to go early in the 2020 NBA Draft -- as the top-rated point guard on their board, a source confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley.

"I'd guess most teams do," an opposing scout said of the 18-year-old, who played in the NBL in Australia this past season, averaging 17.0 points. 6.8 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals while playing 31.3 minutes per game in 12 games played for Illawara.

The New York Post first reported the news Saturday morning.

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Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Knicks legend and current Georgetown men's basketball head coach Patrick Ewing has tested positive for coronavirus, the school announced in a statement on Friday evening. 

"I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. The virus is serious and should not be taken lightly," Ewing said. "I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. I'll be fine and we will all get through this."

Georgetown also announced in the statement that Ewing is isolated at a local hospital, and that he is the only member of the men's basketball program to test positive for the virus. 

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Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)
Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

As Knicks president Leon Rose continues to build his team off the court, one of the things Tom Thibodeau recently talked about was the size of team staffs in the modern NBA. 

"Your assistant coaches, your player development guys, your interns, your video guys, your analytics people, your sports scientists, your strength and conditioning people. It's a very large amount of people," Thibodeau, a potential Knicks coaching candidate, said on The Woj Pod with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "So everyone has to be communicating and working together to make the best possible decision."

Rose and the Knicks have received praise from opposing execs and scouts for adding Brock Aller, Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin to their front office thus far. The way rivals have talked about all three men leads you to believe the Knicks can work together to, as Thibodeau says, make the best decision possible -- and avoid the factions that plagued previous Knicks administrations. 

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Kristaps Porzingis (Kevin Jairaj)
Kristaps Porzingis (Kevin Jairaj)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In an interview with WFAN's Moose and Maggie on Wednesday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he was stunned when former Knick Kristaps Porzingis was made available via trade in 2019.

"Very (shocked). It happens in the NBA," Cuban said in the interview.

"It's like the James Harden trade. James Harden got traded from OKC to the Rockets and I'm like, 'Damn, why didn't we even get that offered to us? We weren't in the mix, nobody was. It was Just like one phone call and the Rockets said, 'Yes.' And this was our phone call."

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Dec 1, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)
Dec 1, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks candidate Tom Thibodeau joined ESPN's The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski and talked about what he learned from traveling around and observing different teams over the past NBA season.

One aspect that stuck out to him? How teams manage practices in the era of load management.

"It's interesting because the way everyone's managing with load management and where your team is, sports scientists, it's different," Thibodeau said on the podcast. "If your team is young and you're in a rebuild, you're probably practicing more than an older veteran team. In some cases where the team is mixed, there's almost two practices going on in one, where your young guys are getting the work that they need, and the older vets might be in the weight room getting strength and conditioning and then they flip it and then the vets will get their work… and then they come together for a short period of time to do something together at the end and maybe they'll watch film together at the end."

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Leon Rose continued to reshape the Knicks front office this week by adding Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin as assistant general managers, league sources said.

Perrin will be in charge of college scouting and Zanin will oversee pro personnel.

Here are notes on both executives...

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

RJ Barrett says he's taking some important lessons from The Last Dance, ESPN's 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan

"I kind of grew up after all this happened. But for me, it's cool to be able to listen to Mike speak and hear how he thinks," Barrett said in an interview on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt that aired Monday night. "'Cause to me, he was kind of this machine. So to see, whether it's how he came into a franchise and completely changed the culture, or his leadership abilities, his work ethic -- I'm soaking it all in."

Barrett was born in 2000. So he didn't see any of Jordan's six NBA titles. But he says his father, former St. John's star Rowan Barrett, told him to study Jordan growing up. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on after the Lakers defeat of the Utah Jazz 101-96 at Staples Center in Bryant's final game of his career. Bryant scored 60 points in the game. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on after the Lakers defeat of the Utah Jazz 101-96 at Staples Center in Bryant's final game of his career. Bryant scored 60 points in the game. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

New Knicks front office hire Frank Zanin played against the late Kobe Bryant when the two were at rival high schools in the Philadelphia area, and Bryant once came out in support of Zanin's future as an NBA executive.

"Hope to see you in the GM seat for the @BrooklynNets @F1E2Z you have a great basketball mind and it's time you get your shot #gogetit," Bryant tweeted on Jan. 26, 2016

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Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

A day after adding Walt Perrin as assistant GM, Knicks president Leon Rose has made another front office addition.

New York is hiring Frank Zanin in a front office role, league sources confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley.

Zanin had been working as a scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder since 2016, and has also worked as an assistant GM for the Brooklyn Nets.

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Walt Perrin (Utah Jazz on YouTube)
Walt Perrin (Utah Jazz on YouTube)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are expected to add longtime Utah Jazz executive Walt Perrin to the front office.

Perrin is currently the Vice President of Player Personnel for Utah, where he has spent the past 19 seasons, beginning in a lead scouting role.

In addition to Perrin, Knicks president Leon Rose has hired Brock Aller from the Cleveland Cavaliers in an executive vice president role that will cover a wide range of areas for the Knicks. Rose has also retained Scott Perry as his general manager for the 2020-21 season.

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Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)
Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here's our weekly Knicks mailbag with SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley...


@Boujeecoujee: Are the Knicks in a relatively good position with the salary cap projected to go down, and a lot of younger assets under contract for 2-3 years along with stockpiling picks? Could this stoppage potentially help a rebuild in some ways compared to other teams

The short answer? A cap decrease could help the Knicks. But it's unclear how or if it will at this point.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Giannis Antetokounmpo (Jerome Miron)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Jerome Miron)

The Knicks will be among teams looking deeply into Giannis Antetokounmpo's market in free agency following the 2020-21 season. But they might have missed their shot already with arguably the best player in the NBA because of their relationship with his older brother, Thanasis. 

In 2013, the Knicks drafted Thanasis in the second round with the 51st overall pick. But the elder Antetokounmpo never made a splash in New York, playing only two games (on a 10-day contract) over two years before being released. He would quickly join his brother on the Bucks. 

Then, in 2015, Antetokounmpo was vocal about how the Knicks didn't give his brother a fair chance at making it in the league when the Bucks and Knicks were playing in London. That right there, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman, could definitely hurt the Knicks' chances at signing him. 

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SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley analyzes both sides of the Knicks' point guard future to decide if drafting or signing one is the best option.

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SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley looks at the possibility of the Knicks trading RJ Barrett in a potential deal for Pacers guard Victor Oladipo.

Earlier this season, Oladipo and the Pacers had brief talks about a potential extension, according to Begley, which didn't come to fruition.

That's one reason some teams are keeping an eye on the Pacers -- who have big money committed to several players -- regarding potential trades.

Begley delves into if a trade involving Barrett and Oladipo is possible above.

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The Knicks haven't had the type of success team-wise in the last three decades that's resulted in an NBA title. Though, the 1990s did see them in the playoffs every year with two NBA Finals appearances. Since the 2000-01 season, things have been much worse, as the Knicks have won just one playoff series.

They have had some individual stars on the roster over the years, though, with players like Patrick Ewing, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Kristaps Porzingis among other big names. 

But through the ups and downs of the last three decades, there have been some players who were underrated during their time with the Knicks. 

Here's a list of seven of the most underrated Knicks of the last 30 years, with some honorable mentions as well…

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis
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 (Russell Isabella)
(Russell Isabella)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks center and Brooklyn native Taj Gibson provided lunch on Thursday to NYCHA workers at the Ingersoll Houses, where he was raised. 

"Thank you. Your support, your hard work every day goes unnoticed. But we see it," Gibson said at the event in Fort Greene, per WABC. "We really appreciate you."

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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

One of the questions hanging over pro sports leagues grappling with the decision to play games amid the coronavirus is: how much of a risk are we willing to take to get back on the field of play?

This is something the NBA -- players and executives -- are thinking about as they sift through scenarios to resume the 2019-20 season.

Adam Silver said on a conference call with players last week that there is no need for a final decision on the season this month, sources confirmed to SNY. The decision-making window was first reported by ESPN.

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SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley considers the possibility of the Knicks hiring Mark Jackson to fill the head coaching job in New York.

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Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Basketball player LaMelo Ball in attendance of the New Orleans Pelicans against the New York Knicks game during the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lavar Ball has not been shy about anything ever, and one of the things he's talked up is how the Knicks are a perfect fit for his son, LaMelo, who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on April 29.

Speaking Wednesday on the Load Management podcast, Lavar continued to talk about the potential of LaMelo going to the Knicks. And he added his sons and LaMelo's brothers, Lonzo and LiAngelo, into the equation for good measure.

"I think so," the elder Ball said about the Knicks being a great fit for LaMelo. "The bright lights, East Coast. If everything lines up right, the Knicks get the first pick and get LaMelo and LiAngelo with him and somehow get Lonzo in the long run. Shoot - The Triple B's. The Ball Brothers on Broadway."

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Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain

Did you know the Knicks almost landed legendary center Wilt Chamberlain

The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov uncovered a New York Times gem on Tuesday, where he found an article from 1975 that chronicled the Knicks' failed attempt at trying to add a then-39-year-old Chamberlain. 

The story goes like this: MSG president Mike Burke and GM Eddie Donovan were out seeking a new center to add to their team before the 1975-76 season began. While they had other players like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and George McGinnis in mind, they couldn't make it happen. So outside the box thinking brought Chamberlain to the table, as the Knicks were looking to bring him out of retirement. 

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Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson has already established himself as an elite presence in the paint on both sides of the ball. And his potential would go through the roof if he developed a legit outside shot.

It seems like he might be doing just that during the coronavirus pause.

Robinson, in a video that is reportedly from Tuesday, is seen draining a straightaway three. He then displays some slick ball-handling before hitting a step-back three. 

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Danny Abriano
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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If the NBA cancels the rest of the regular season and resumes with a 16-team playoff format, the Knicks will finish with the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

That would give New York a nine percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick and a 36 percent chance of getting a pick in the top four in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Obviously, the Knicks could also slide back in the lottery. If they finish with the sixth-worst record, New York could move all the way back to ninth depending on how the ping pong balls bounce. (Technically, there is a very small chance that they'd slide back to 10th).

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Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)
Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a call with the Board of Governors on Tuesday, and it sounds like momentum is continuing to build toward the NBA season resuming play.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, members left the call "feeling positive" about the NBA starting games again.

One of the big takeaways from the call, per ESPN, is the league and players needing to be "comfortable" with some potential future positive coronavirus tests, not needing to shut down again once play does resume.

Of course, the entire league was shut down in mid-March following Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert (and later guard Donovan Mitchell) testing positive for the virus. 

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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The NBA and NBPA will be creating a group to discuss "return-to-play strategies" during a call on Tuesday, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Among the group is NBPA president Chris Paul as well as prominent players like Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry, Jayson Tatum and Dwight Powell. 

But that's not all. According to Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes, Paul previously arranged a call with stars like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steph Curry to create a "united front" to resume the season. They all agreed that with the right safety precautions, the league should return to play. 

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Mitchell Robinson dunks during Knicks game
Mitchell Robinson dunks during Knicks game

The Knicks were 21-45 when the NBA season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, 9.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But if the regular season resumes, they could automatically be in a play-in playoff tournament.

A source confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley that a play-in plan is under consideration, but cautioned that there are many hurdles to get past with that plan -- including the potential impact it would have on the order for the NBA Draft Lottery.

The source added that "everything remains on the table."

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Elfrid Payton (Treated Image by SNY)
Elfrid Payton (Treated Image by SNY)

The Knicks weren't able to land any high-profile free agents this past summer, which led to now ex-team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry signing a group of veterans to short, expendable deals. 

Now, with a new vision in the front office with Leon Rose the team president, those players -- and even some others -- might be on the chopping block. 

In this series, we'll look at whether or not the Knicks should let these players stay -- or let them walk. We'll focus this time on point guard Elfrid Payton:

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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Patrick Ewing towers over Knicks VP Dave DeBusschere as he tries on New York Knicks jersey for size, with David Stern alongside. (Willie Anderson/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Patrick Ewing towers over Knicks VP Dave DeBusschere as he tries on New York Knicks jersey for size, with David Stern alongside. (Willie Anderson/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Back on May 12, 1985, the NBA conducted its very first Draft Lottery that is still used to this day. 

And the Knicks were the first winners of the No. 1 overall draft pick using the new system. 

With tensions high, then-GM Dave DeBusschere was relieved to hear the Pacers had the second overall pick, meaning his Knicks team would get that first pick. There was a clear consensus pick at that slot, too. 

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SNY's Jeane Coakley asked former Bull Scott Burrell for his thoughts on Episode 7 of The Last Dance and if he could strike out Michael Jordan.

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A general view of Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game (Adam Hunger)
A general view of Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game (Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks have offered 2019-20 season-ticket holders an option to get refunds for the remaining regular season games on the schedule amid the coronavirus crisis.

The club also offered season ticket holders the option to put money spent on the unused tickets toward a season ticket package for 2020-21. If the fans choose that option, they can receive credits to the team store or concessions at Madison Square Garden or they can receive an RJ Barrett jersey.

The options were communicated in a letter to season ticket holders sent on Monday and obtained by SNY. The offers were first reported by the New York Post

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Former Knicks star Patrick Ewing talks about how Michael Jordan and Bulls cost the Knicks a ring, says he'd leave college early in this era, and more.

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