The Knicks have yet to start their regular season, and according to SNY's Ian Begley, there are already some "grumblings" about minutes and roles going on inside the locker room. It shouldn't come as a surprise considering Knicks brass brought in many players in free agency on deals with just one year guaranteed.
It's been a battle, then, this preseason to make the best of playing time. There are nine Knicks that have expiring contracts after this season, so one could understand why things could feel tense in the locker room.
But Marcus Morris, one of those new Knicks on a short-term deal, is saying everything is copasetic for the Knicks right now. And he's a pretty good source on locker room dysfunction.
Playing with both the Celtics and Suns during hard times, Morris isn't viewing the Knicks situation the same way -- the main reason being the absence of a star player.
"The teams are different," he told The Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "We don't have that one guy where it's like, okay, he's first."
In Boston, that was Kyrie Irving last season.
"No knock on Ky, but obviously he's a superstar, he's first," Morris said. "Sometimes his emotions were put in front of the team. I think here, we're all transparent with each other. We can all go up to each other and be honest with each other."
So, while the Knicks don't have that star player that many expected would land in The Garden this summer, it could work out for New York anyway. Having players that are not only competing to stay with the Knicks next season, but can share the wealth on the floor and play team basketball goes a long way.
But what happens if the Knicks start losing the way experts believe they will?
Take Morris' small forward position for example. The Knicks want to develop their young talent, and their 2018 first-round pick in Kevin Knox is also a small forward. He is part of this Knicks rebuild more than Morris -- at least at the moment. Morris wants to be a leader on this squad, and that could develop into something the front office cherishes. But Knox' development is crucial for this squad, which takes priority -- especially in a losing season.
For other positions like power forward that includes players like Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson, the want for playing time could boil over during the regular season if one player is favored over another.
It will be a tough task for head coach David Fizdale to divvy up the minutes, but his job is to capture wins while helping develop these Knicks youngsters into a legitimate playoff contender down the road. To do that, playing team basketball is a necessity, and that's what Morris sees happening for his new team.
"In this situation, we're all hungry. And everybody is ready," Morris said. "At the end of the day, nobody is bigger than the team."