Newly-acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay hinted he may be in the Knicks' starting lineup when New York returns from the All-Star break on Thursday against the Orlando Magic.
The 21-year-old Mudiay started 107 of 123 games with the Denver Nuggets from 2015 to 2017, but did not start any of the 42 games this season before he was part of a three-team deadline deal with New York.
Asked about the possibility of being a starter again, Mudiay told ESPN's Ian Begley: "I'm not going to take it for granted. I came in as a lottery pick so I was kind of handed the spot and stuff like that. So the fact that I'm in that position again it's a blessing. Thank God for it. I just have to take full advantage."
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek has not formally said whether Mudiay, rookie Frank Ntilikina or Trey Burke would be the team's starting point guard, however he has said veteran Jarrett Jack will have his minutes reduced in an effort to give the younger players more time on the court.
Hornacek said the 19-year-old Ntilikina, whom New York drafted eighth overall last summer, would eventually see increased playing time.
"I think he hit a little bit of a wall. The energy, and his knee (was hurting)," Hornacek said, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Hey, these kids come from another country. Now, all of a sudden, they're having to travel every other day, play in games, and do all this stuff and he just looked exhausted at some times."
Mudiay has averaged 8.6 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 45 games with the Knicks and Nuggets this season, while Ntilikina has averaged 5.2 points, 3.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 56 games.