Apr 3, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks forward Mario Hezonja (8) fist pumps after a three point basket against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Apr 3, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks forward Mario Hezonja (8) fist pumps after a three point basket against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Mario Hezonja wants to be a Knick next year. 

The pending free agent, whom David Fizdale said will continue to play point guard the final two games, has hopes of returning with the Knicks for the 2019-20 season. 

"I'm ready to talk to [James] Dolan," he said, per Stefan Bondy of the Daily News. "If he gives me that call on July 1, we're done."

While the Knicks may be busy with a few other free agents that date, the 24-year-old is doing everything he can to leave a lasting impression as he heads into free agency. 

Hezonja has played some of the best basketball of his career the past three games, two of which the 6-8 forward has played at point guard due to the injuries at that position that have piled up for the Knicks. 

He had a triple-double in a loss against the Rockets on Friday and led the Knicks to a 113-110 victory on Sunday over the Wizards with a career-high 30 points, including six rebounds and five assists. 

While it has been just a small sample size, the former fifth overall pick of the NBA Draft hopes that teams take notice of his versatility and potential to play at point guard over the last few games. 

"Yeah, why not?" he said. "A lot of teams run the positionless basketball that we decided to do this year, so yeah why not?"

Hezonja, who has averaged nine points and 4.1 rebounds in 57 games this season, wishes he played more point guard to help some of the younger guys on the team. 

"In terms of involving them and making them better, yes," he said. "But then we have to understand if I get the ball, where is [Emmanuel] Mudiay going to be, where is Dennis [Smith Jr.] going to be? They have to play too. They're young too. 

"Mudiay is probably younger than me too. So I could've done that and maybe it would've been better for Kevin [Knox] and Mitchell [Robinson], Mitchell especially. But where would they play? Because I can play five positions on the court."

Tags: Mario Hezonja
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Dec 14, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) reacts after missing a possible game winning shot in the closing seconds of the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. The Knicks won in overtime 126-124. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Sharpe)
Dec 14, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) reacts after missing a possible game winning shot in the closing seconds of the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. The Knicks won in overtime 126-124. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Sharpe)

The Knicks appear to be freeing up as much cap space as possible for the upcoming free agency frenzy.

Sources confirmed to SNY Insider Ian Begley on Wednesday that the Knicks will not extend qualifying offers to Emmanuel Mudiay or Luke Kornet.

Bergley notes that the Knicks never had any plans to extend a qualifying offer to Mudiay because it would have prohibited them from having enough cap space for two max players.

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Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacts during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacts during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Knicks center Enes Kanter was once one of the biggest Kevin Durant-to-New York supporters.

Now, he's singing a different tune.

Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, the current Blazer Kanter was asked about a possible Durant-Knicks union, but he believes a different destination is more likely for the coveted free agent. 

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Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier controls the ball during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier controls the ball during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks are "keeping an eye on" Celtics restricted free agent Terry Rozier in case Boston rescinds his rights as free agency nears, sources told SNY's Ian Begley.

New York is focused on signing top-tier free agents like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, Begley and The Athletic's Shams Charania have reported, however Rozier could be among the players the Knicks pursue if they miss out on their top targets.

Currently a restricted free agent, the Celtics can match any offer sheet Rozier receives from an outside team. But Boston, which has been linnked to Kemba Walker, among other free agents, could face a tumultuous offseason given Irving and Al Horford are both now unrestricted free agents as well.

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Knicks and Nets free agency 00:00:58
Ian Begley looks at Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the likelihood of the Knicks signing one or both, all signs point to Brooklyn.

The Knicks will meet with both Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard when free agency begins Sunday night, according to The Athletic's Frank Isola.

According to SNY's Ian Begley, there are multiple teams who have interest in pairing Leonard and fellow free agent Jimmy Butler.

New York, which has enough cap space (approximately $70 million) to sign two free agents to max contracts, has its sights set on Durant, Leonard and Kyrie Irving, who has reportedly indicated his willingness to sign with the Nets.

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Eastern Michigan Eagles guard Tim Bond (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
Eastern Michigan Eagles guard Tim Bond (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks fans will get an early look at some of the team's young talent during the Summer League schedule. Here are the latest news and notes concerning the Knicks' summer schedule ...


June 26, 7:46 PM:

The Knicks added former Eastern Michigan guard Tim Bond to their Summer League roster, the school announced.

Bond, the 2018 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 9.2 poinnts, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals in 35 games as a senior in the 2017-18 season for the Eagles.

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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant smiles during warm ups before game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs against the LA Clippers at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant smiles during warm ups before game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs against the LA Clippers at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks may have good odds to land Kevin Durant, but there is still one team in front. 

The Nets have the best odds out of the top teams in pursuit of Durant, as Odds Shark puts them even. The Knicks, then, come in second at +300 with the Warriors at the same odds as well. 

These new odds come after Durant officially declined his $31.5 million option with Golden State, and became a free agent. Now, with four days left until free agency kicks off, teams will be gearing up for their pitches to entice the 10-time All-Star. 

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Something that could impact the Knicks and Nets: Multiple teams have expressed interest in pairing Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler together in free agency this summer, per league sources familiar with the matter.

Those teams, obviously, would need to create the cap space required to sign both players. The teams interested in Butler and Leonard believe they would have interest in playing on the same team, per league sources.

This doesn't suggest that Leonard is seeking to team up with any other player; that doesn't fit his persona. But teams interested in pairing Leonard and Butler believe they would have interest in playing together.

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April 30, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the third quarter in game two of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-109. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
April 30, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the third quarter in game two of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-109. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Kevin Durant is officially a free agent, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski says he has declined his $31.5 million option to return to the Warriors next season. 

Before Durant's Achilles injury, this move was basically 100 percent going to happen. But there was the thought that he might want to opt back into his deal with Golden State following his surgery, and then hit the market next season. 

However, Woj added that opting in would be Durant's "last resorts, as teams have still shown tremendous interest in arguably the best player in the league, even though he is likely out all of next season. SNY's Ian Begley has been reporting the Knicks believe they are among the desired teams in Durant's camp...

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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 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."

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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Here's what we know about the Knicks heading into free agency: they feel like they are in on Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. They don't plan to offer long-term contracts to anyone who is not on their top list of free agents, which includes the three players above.

If they miss out on Durant, Leonard and Irving, they'd prefer to use their cap space on players who agree to short-term deals. You can be sure that they will look to bring in some veterans to help younger players like R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier along.

With that in mind, here's a look at a few free agents this summer who New York may look at:

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Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the St. John's Red Storm during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the St. John's Red Storm during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Don Nelson's coaching tenure with the Knicks was short-lived, lasting not even one season when he was fired in March of 1996 despite a 34-25 record. 

The reason?

He wanted to trade Patrick Ewing. 

The former NBA head coach confirmed that this was true in an HBO Real Sports interview with Bryant Gumbel this week, explaining that he wanted to trade Ewing so the team could pursue Shaquille O'Neal. 

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Team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, and the rest of the Knicks' front office has been working hard to prepare for free agency that kicks off officially this Sunday at 6 p.m. It's a summer that could bring immediate change to the franchise that been stuck in the mud for more than a decade. 

And as Knicks fans are well aware of by now, two max free agent slots are in New York's possession to use if they so choose. Some of the top players -- Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving to name a few -- could fill those holes. 

But there are some lower level free agents that can still make an impact next season. According to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, the Knicks have shown some interest in Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, both players that have ties to Perry during his time with the Magic. DeMarcus Cousins, Markieff Morris, and Marcus Morris are on the radar as well as Julius Randle

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent Kawhi Leonard will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers on July 2, according to The Athletic's Frank Isola.

While the Knicks are planning an "aggressive" pursuit of Leonard, as SNY's Ian Begley has reported, the two-time NBA Finals MVP reportedly has his sights set on the Clippers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week.

That said, Leonard is also "seriously considering" re-signing with the NBA champion Raptors, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, as Toronto is the only team that can offer him a five-year max deal.

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Dec 5, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) and Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett (5) high five during the second half against the Hartford Hawks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)
Dec 5, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) and Duke Blue Devils forward R.J. Barrett (5) high five during the second half against the Hartford Hawks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)

The Knicks may have lost out on the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, but the man they drafted instead believes he could one day lure him to New York. 

Knicks' first-round draft pick RJ Barrett, who was Williamson's teammate at Duke, said on The Michael Kay Show Monday that he hopes to one day play together with Williamson. 

"Hopefully, one day we'll be on the same team," Barrett said. "That's my brother, I'll try and recruit him over."

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The longest-tenured Knick is a big fan of the newest one.

Lance Thomas watched fellow Duke player R.J. Barrett several times during the season and came away impressed.

"He's a force. He can get to that cup whenever he wants and he finishes above the rim," Thomas said at a pop-up event last Wednesday to promote his Slangmagic clothing line, named after his competitve fishing team. "He finishes with a good floater, strong kid."

Tags: Lance Thomas, Ian Begley
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Apr 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Apr 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Andre Iguodala is tired of hearing about the Knicks landing top free agents this summer. 

The Knicks have been linked to several top targets on the market, including Iguodala's teammate Kevin Durant. But he can't see anyone choosing to go play for New York at all. 

"Nobody's going to the Knicks, sorry," Iguodala said on CNBC on Monday.

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Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The NBA fined the Knicks organization $50,000 for violating the league's rules regarding equal access to media after it banned the New York Daily News from their post-draft press conference last Friday.

"The Knicks acknowledge that we did not comply with the NBA's media policy, and made an error in interpreting Friday's announcement as an invite only event," the Knicks said in a statement. "As we do throughout the year, we have and will continue to provide access to credentialed media as per the League's policy."

While other media orgainzations were in attendance for RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis' introductory news conference, the Daily News did not have a credential.

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May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 6, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Knicks' betting odds to sign free agent Kevin Durant have taken a dip, according to Caesars, with New York now the third-likeliest landing spot for the star. The favorite? That would be the Brooklyn Nets.

Here are the new odds that were released Monday by Caesars:

Nets: -125

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Jan 26, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) works against Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half of a 115-111 victory by Golden State at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Jan 26, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) works against Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half of a 115-111 victory by Golden State at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

As the Knicks and the rest of the NBA wait for the free agent frenzy that will begin in less than a week, a new report says two of the biggest names -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- "have met twice in recent weeks" to discuss their "desire" to join the same team this summer.

The talk of Durant and Irving possibly linking up is nothing new, but news of their two recent meetings should turn some heads.

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, the first meeting took place while Durant was out during the playoffs with a strained calf, with the second meeting taking place in New York shortly after Durant had surgery on his ruptured Achilles.

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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

With free agency less than a week away from kicking off in the NBA, the Knicks have been closely related with some of the top players on the market, including Kawhi Leonard

But, according to the latest odds released by Odds Shark, New York isn't at the top of the list when it comes to who will land the dyanmic All-Star.

The Knicks' odds come in at +1400, which is fourth on the list. The Raptors remain the favorite with -225 odds. Here's how the list shakes out...

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May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball during practice for the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball during practice for the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has declined his player option to become an unrestricted free agent, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes.

The Knicks, who have enough salary cap space to sign two free agents to max deals, are planning an "aggressive" pursuit of Leonard, according to SNY's Ian Begley, however Leonard, according to Haynes, is "seriously considering" re-signing with the NBA champion Raptors.

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Mar 21, 2019; Des Moines, IA, United States; Michigan Wolverines forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) celebrates with guard Zavier Simpson (3) and forward Isaiah Livers (4) during the second half against the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports (Jeffrey Becker)
Mar 21, 2019; Des Moines, IA, United States; Michigan Wolverines forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) celebrates with guard Zavier Simpson (3) and forward Isaiah Livers (4) during the second half against the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports (Jeffrey Becker)

In case you missed it on at the NBA Draft on Thursday, the New York Knicks made a splash. They drafted a Canadian sharpshooter with no shortage of confidence and expectations to make an immediate impact to the organization.

Oh, and they drafted RJ Barrett, too.

The Knicks' second-round pick, Ignas "Iggy" Brazdeikis, may not have received all the attention that his countryman Barrett has garnered, but that doesn't mean Knicks fans shouldn't know his name. In fact, his coaches say it won't be long before everyone in New York knows exactly who Brazdeikis is.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Las Vegas Summer League is just two weeks away, and with it comes a chance for Knicks fans to take in their newly-upgraded young core for the first time.

At Thursday's NBA Draft, New York selected R.J. Barrett with the third overall pick, then Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round. These two rookies will be making their debut in the blue-and-orange, and we'll see some returning faces there to show off their offseason improvements. As always, the team will bring in some undrafted rookies and vagabond free agents to seek out a diamond in the rough.

Here is how the Knicks' Summer League roster appears to be shaping up in what will surely be a fun overlap with free agency come July.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Ignas Brazdeikis was asked on Friday to describe his game. His answer is probably something that will endear him to the Knick fan base. 

"I'm a relentless player. I don't fear anyone or anything. I don't back down from anyone either," Brazdeikis, the Knicks' second-round pick, said. "I'm very confident in my abilities as well. I go as hard as I can every single game to help the team win. I'm aggressive. I feel like I l know who I am as a basketball player."

The Knicks traded up in the second round to select Brazdeikis, a 20-year-old freshman forward from Michigan. They sent cash and the 55th pick to Sacramento in exchange for the 47th pick. 

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Get to know RJ Barrett 00:01:31
The Knicks' third overall draft pick RJ Barrett talks about his personalities on and off the court with SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley.

RJ Barrett was officially introduced as a Knick on Friday.

Speaking with SNY Insider Ian Begley, Barrett talked about what life's been like since finding out he'd be going to New York as the third-overall pick, his on-the-court mentality, and more.

"It's been a lot to take in," said Barrett. "A lot of excitement, a lot of celebration, so it's been fun."

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Knicks president Steve Mills didn't want to talk about free agency during the introductory press conference for Knicks rookies RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis.

"Today is not the day to talk about free agency," Mills said. "We're here to celebrate and enjoy having these guys join our team."

But when he was asked what the Knicks' message to their fans is at the moment, Mills preached patience.

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Barrett, Brazdeikis introduced 00:02:11
RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis met with the NY media. Hear what RJ responded when asked if he was ready to 'carry the Knicks'

Thursday night's Knicks draft picks RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis were introduced to the New York media on Friday, while Steve Mills, Scott Perry, and David Fizdale also fielded questions. Here are the key quotes...


Is Barrett ready to "carry" the franchise?

"Carry? I wouldn't say carry -- I'd say it's gonna be a great group of guys that are gonna be together. We're all excited to play for coach Fizdale, this is the biggest stage. So yeah, I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to play. But I haven't even played a game yet, so how are you gonna ask me a question like that?" It should be noted that Barrett laughed when delivering the final line...

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Louisville Cardinals forward VJ King shoots the ball past Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola during the second half of the game at Donald L. Tucker Center. (Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports)
Louisville Cardinals forward VJ King shoots the ball past Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola during the second half of the game at Donald L. Tucker Center. (Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports)

After drafting Duke's RJ Barrett third overall and Michigan's Ignas Brazdeikis 47th overall in Thursday's NBA draft, the Knicks continued to make moves by signing several undrafted free agents.

New York signed UCLA forward Kris Wilkes to a two-way deal and also agreed to terms with Louisville forward V.J. King and Shaw University guard Amir Hinton, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed.

King, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior, averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 32 games for the Cardinals, while Hinton, a 6-foot-5 guard, led all of Division II in scoring, averaging 29.4 points per game as a junior.

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RJ Barrett drafted by Knicks 00:01:01
RJ Barrett's personality was on display as he spoke to the media after being drafted third overall by the Knicks. He's ready to play at MSG.

About an hour after the Knicks took him with the third pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, RJ Barrett delivered a straightforward message to the city. 

"New Yorkers, I'm here. I love you. Let's try to get back to that championship way," Barrett said late Thursday. 

After all of the last-minute workouts with other players, New York made the expected move in taking Barrett with the third overall pick. 

 

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Knicks GM welcomes RJ Barrett 00:01:46
New York Knicks GM Scott Perry explains why the team was happy to hold onto their 3rd pick in the NBA Draft so they could select RJ Barrett.

The Knicks stayed at No. 3 and selected RJ Barrett out of Duke -- a move many saw the team doing. 

Of course, GM Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills kept their phone lines open to see if there was a good trade package to potentially move down in the Draft. But during a conference call with New York media after the pick, Perry said they knew the talent level was different at the top of the prospect list. 

Barrett was ranked very highly by the Knicks, and staying at No. 3 was the best move in their eyes for the team. 

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Feb 13, 2019; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kris Wilkes (13) takes a three-point shot as California Golden Bears guard Matt Bradley (20) defends in the second half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Feb 13, 2019; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kris Wilkes (13) takes a three-point shot as California Golden Bears guard Matt Bradley (20) defends in the second half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

The Knicks were not done making moves once the NBA Draft was over. 

The franchise also signed UCLA F Kris Wilkes to a two-way contract, first reported by Tim Bontemps of ESPN and confirmed by SNY's Ian Begley. 

Wilkes is a lanky 6-foot-8 wing who has a mix of athleticism and jump-shooting ability. 

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The Knicks traded up from the 55th to 47th pick to select Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis.

Sources confirmed to SNY Insider Ian Begley that the Knicks sent the 55th overall pick and cash considerations to the Kings in order to move up. The Kings selected Brazdeikis with the 47th pick since the trade had not yet been finalized, but the deal was made official later in the night.

Listed at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, Brazdeikis played one season at Michigan. With the Wolverines, Brazdeikis averaged 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game.

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Begley reacts to Knicks draft 00:01:19
SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley breaks down the big night for RJ Barrett and also answers the question of what's next for the Knicks.

With the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Duke G RJ Barrett in a move everyone was expecting. 

The Draft went according to plan, with the Pelicans taking Barrett's Blue Devils teammate Zion Williamson and the Grizzlies nabbing Ja Morant at No. 2. That saw Barrett fall into the Knicks' laps, and they jumped on the opportunity to add the dynamic guard to their roster. 

Barrett has expressed his desire to play for New York next season. The Knicks were the only team that he worked out for, and that was done by design.

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Knicks fans react to RJ Barrett 00:00:59
Knicks fans were super excited to hear that RJ Barrett is headed to the Garden. They definitely feel like the Knicks won the trade.

The Knicks selected RJ Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick, and he was immediately showered with cheers in Barclays Center as he made his way to the stage. 

Knicks fans are ecstatic that Barrett will don the blue and orange next season, and they let us know exactly how they felt after the pick was made...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The first three picks fell into place the way most people thought they would, and the Knicks selected RJ Barrett, the player they had seemingly targeted throughout the draft process, with the third-overall pick.

Players and fans alike seemed to all be in agreement with the selection. Here's a look at some of the reaction to Barrett becoming the newest member of the Knicks ...

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RJ Barrett is going to be a Knick. 

SNY's Ian Begley is hearing from a source that the Knicks don't expect any surprises, and they will remain at No. 3 to select Barrett. The Athletic's Shams Charania also reported that the first three picks of the Draft are set with Zion Williamson going to the Pelicans first overall, and Ja Morant to the Grizzlies at No. 2.

Begley has been reporting all week that Barrett is the Knicks' man if they didn't get rid of the No. 3 pick in a potential trade-down scenario. The only workout he had with any team this offseason was with the Knicks, as he has aspirations to begin his career in New York. 

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Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

After the Knicks get through the draft on Thursday night, their attention will turn fully to free agency.

We know that the Knicks will still have interest in Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss next season as he rehabs from an Achilles injury.

They are also going to be aggressive in their pursuit of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

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Top 5: Knicks Best Draft Steals 00:01:19
As the New York Knicks get ready for Thursday's NBA Draft, SNY looks at the biggest steals for the Knicks in their draft history.

As the Knicks prepare to use their two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft tonight at Barclays Center, here's a look back at their Top 5 Draft steals in franchise history...

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Feb 26, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Marques Bolden (20) looks to pass while being defended by Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Thomas Shroyer)
Feb 26, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Marques Bolden (20) looks to pass while being defended by Virginia Tech Hokies forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Thomas Shroyer)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

We know that the Knicks are settled on taking RJ Barrett at the No. 3 pick if he's available, but what will they do with their second round pick?

New York owns the No. 55 pick in the second round, and has worked out several prospects who would fall in that range. Below are a look at a few prospects who the Knicks may look at with their late second-round selection:

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North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White dribbles the ball against the Auburn Tigers in the semifinals of the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White dribbles the ball against the Auburn Tigers in the semifinals of the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks held a private workout with UNC guard Coby White on Thursday, hours before the NBA draft, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed.

While the Knicks are "locked in" on selecting Duke's RJ Barrett with the third pick, according to Begley, they have held pre-draft workouts with White and Vanderbilt's Darius Garland in the days leading up to the draft.

White, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound point guard, averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 35 games for the Tar Heels as a freshman last season.

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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) races after a basket during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) races after a basket during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)

Something worth noting for the Knicks as Thursday's NBA Draft approaches: teams in touch with the Memphis Grizzlies recently are under the impression that they would need to be presented with an incredibly strong offer to trade the No. 2 pick, per SNY sources.

Those teams believe the Grizzlies are happy with their draft position and the opportunity to select Murray State's Ja Morant, sources say. That scenario became all the more likely on Wednesday when Memphis agreed to trade Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz.

This is all relevant to the Knicks, of course, because they have the No. 3 pick, right after the Grizzlies. And teams have reportedly been calling Memphis about trades for the No. 2 pick.

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RJ Barrett ready for New York 00:01:47
RJ Barrett talked to the media ahead of the NBA draft. He's ready to join the Knicks, with or without Kevin Durant.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

If the Knicks draft him, RJ Barrett knows he'd be responsible for helping turn around a franchise that has won just one playoff series in the last 19 years. And he's OK with that.

"I feel like that would be a challenge that I'm willing to accept," Barrett said on Wednesday at the NBA's media availability for projected lottery picks.

The Knicks have met with Ja Morant and Cam Reddish, and worked out Darius Garland and Jarrett Culver. But the consensus among opposing execs is that they will take Barrett at No. 3 if they hold on to the pick. It's hard to say how likely a trade down is, but it would make sense for the Knicks to listen to offers until they are ready to make a pick.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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A crucial crossroads for Knicks 00:02:04
With a high draft pick and cap space, SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley asks if the Knicks are finally ready to take steps towards success.

The Knicks have the tools to reshape their roster and build a contender.

But will they be able to make it happen?

SNY Insider Ian Begley details what the Knicks can look to do this summer, starting with the NBA Draft and moving into free agency.

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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

Vanderbilt's Darius Garland said his solo workout with the Knicks on Wednesday went well and he got no indication that the club wouldn't consider taking him with the No. 3 pick.

"If they called me in for a workout I believe so," Garland said Wednesday when asked if he thought the Knicks may take him at three.

Obviously, the Knicks would have no reason to tip their hand a little more than 24 hours before Thursday's NBA Draft.

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Top 5: Worst Duke NBA Players 00:01:16
The New York Knicks could take Duke's RJ Barrett with the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft. Hopefully he pans out unlike these former Duke stars.

With the Knicks projected to take Duke's R.J. Barrett with the third-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, here's a look at some of the most notable names to come out of Duke who never panned out in the NBA.

Knicks fans are hoping that Barrett won't end up with the other players on this list.

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May 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) warms up before playing against the Golden State Warriors before game six of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
May 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) warms up before playing against the Golden State Warriors before game six of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

With the rumors swirling around Chris Paul leaving the Rockets, teams that could absorb his contract like the Knicks were immediately brought up. 

However, it doesn't look like New York will be Paul's new home. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has heard from sources that the Rockets have actually reached out to the Knicks about Paul. But the Knicks "refused" to delve into a potential trade. 

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May 16, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Ja Morant after speaking to the media during day one of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)
May 16, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Ja Morant after speaking to the media during day one of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)

NBA Draft season is upon us, and the Knicks were awarded the No. 3 overall pick following the NBA Draft Lottery. As June 20 approaches to them being on the clock, here is the latest about the top prospects in this year's Draft class as it pertains to the Knicks...


June 19, 11:52 AM:

Ja Morant is basically a lock at the No. 2 pick, as the Grizzlies have traded their veteran point guard Mike Conley to the Jazz, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. In turn, it looks as if RJ Barrett could also be a lock for the Knicks at No. 3. 

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

It's logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm.

Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks' willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Top 5: Best Duke NBA Players 00:01:09
The New York Knicks are projected to take Duke's RJ Barrett with the 3rd overall pick in the NBA Draft. Whose footsteps could he follow in?

With the Knicks projected to take Duke's R.J. Barrett with the third-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, now's the perfect time to look at the best Duke players in NBA history.

Could Barrett be the next great Duke player at the NBA level?

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