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)

Due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Basketball Players Association has told agents to anticipate a large reduction in BRI (Basketball Related Income) for 2021, SNY's Ian Begley reports.

However, the salary cap for the subsequent season is expected to be calculated "fairly" and it should not be triggered based off a 2020 springboard number.

According to Begley, that means that the salary cap this summer and next summer is unlikely to drop significantly from current projections. The 2020 cap is currently projected at $115 million, per ESPN. The messaging from the union suggests that the NBPA and the NBA will work together to avoid a significant drop in the cap in the wake of a BRI reduction. Cap expert Albert Nahmad explores the different options to come to such an agreement here

 

Presumably, the NBPA believes the BRI will decrease due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA has temporarily suspended its season amid the coronavirus crisis and is exploring different options to resume play. 

If the NBA doesn't resume the season and cancels all games, players could be forced to forgo salary if the NBA cancels games under the Force Majeure clause. Roughly 25 percent of player salaries would be reduced if the rest of the 2019-20 season is canceled, the union said. 

The union said it is considering several options in a potential approach to withholding salary if the Force Majeure clause is invoked. Among those options is graduating the reductions over time.

Additionally, the union pointed out that draft-eligible players and agents are prohibited from making at-home workout videos and sending them to teams, and in-person pre-draft workouts will likely be prohibited. The Athletic earlier reported those draft developments.

Video: SNY Out of Office Replies: Ian believes in RJ Barrett

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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 person one who wants to see the 6-foot-7 guard in blue and orange next season. 

Addressed in his most recent Knicks mailbag, Begley is hearing from sources that there are others in LaMelo Ball's circle -- outside of LaVar -- who would love to see him end up in New York. It's unknown who exactly that is, but LaMelo to the Knicks would make a lot of sense. 

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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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 (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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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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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

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


@mdavidsoniv: What is the overall sense within the org. of what the Knicks really got in the drafting of RJ Barrett? Now that they have 50+ games of film to dissect, do they feel he can be the star they hoped?

I haven't polled everyone in the organization but the sense you get is that everyone is generally optimistic about RJ Barrett's future. It seemed like he met all of the realistic expectations for his rookie season in 2019-20. 

I don't think anyone can predict whether Barrett, who was selected third overall in the 2019 draft, will become a star in the league. But people around the Knicks were impressed by Barrett's consistent approach to the job and his work ethic. Some scouts I spoke with were impressed by Barrett's ability to impact the game as a rebounder and defender fairly consistently in his first season. Those scouts think that if Barrett can improve his perimeter shooting and continue to progress as a defender, he'll have a long, successful NBA career. 

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Here is the Sports Squared crossword puzzle for Sunday, May 10, called Madison Square Moments: History of the World's Most Famous Arena...

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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

With a 21-45 record before the NBA season was put on hold, the Knicks currently have the sixth-best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

But if the ping pong balls don't fall their way, would the Knicks be willing to trade up to that first spot to land their top player? One NBA Insider seems to think so. 

Appearing recently as a guest on the Locked on Warriors podcast, Chad Ford speculated that the Knicks could be willing to trade up, if need be, to select LaMelo Ball.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If he gets the opportunity to coach again, Mark Jackson -- a potential Knicks coaching candidate -- says he'll be sure to have more regular communication with his general manager and owner. 

"I was a guy that always was told to stay in your place. So as a coach (with the Warriors), I wasn't trying to get in the business of the general manager or the ownership," Jackson said during an interview with ESPN's First Take this week. "Old school. If the coach is in the owner's office or the coach is in somebody else's office, it's almost like, you can muddy the waters. So I think the relationships of general managers and ownership (is something I'd take a different approach with). And I have a great relationship with (Warriors GM) Bob Myers. There's no question about that. Forget about what you heard. Do me a favor: on the record ask Bob Myers what he thinks of Mark Jackson. On the record, not behind the scenes, ask (Warriors owner) Joe Lacob about the relationship that I had with him. So I wouldn't say better relationships, I would say more dialogue across the board." 

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Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks after the final pick of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks after the final pick of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver provided some league updates on a call with players on Friday evening. 

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Silver touched on a few key topics, including a decision on resuming the season potentially not being made until June, action resuming without fans in attendance, and how playing in one or two arenas would be the safer option than playing in all teams' home cities.

With the MLB and NHL both discussing similar hub city ideas, Silver mentioned that playing in one or two locations, such as a Disney World in Orlando and Las Vegas, could be the safer way for play to resume, at least at the start, per The Athletic. 

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Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominated the NBA throughout the 1990s. But today's NBA game is a different one, with seemingly less of an emphasis on defense and added importance to three-point shooting.

So if Jordan was in his prime today, would he average 40 points per game? The Loud Mouths crew tackles that question ...

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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 | 

Friday is the 50th anniversary of the night the Knicks won their first NBA championship. The 1969-70 team beat the Lakers in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on May 8 - a night that would immortalize Willis Reed and see Walt 'Clyde' Frazier dominate. 

Frazier, Reed and Bill Bradley were interviewed by MSG Network's Mike Breen in advance of the anniversary. 

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

As NBA facilities in certain states begin to reopen, teams will now be allowed to administer coronavirus tests to asymptomatic players and staff members, so long as there is readily available testing for local at-risk healthcare workers.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, teams such as the Lakers, Clippers, and Magic will be allowed to test every single player and staff member that enters for individual workouts, even if those employees are not showing any Covid-19 symptoms.

According to ESPN, the league had initially put in place guidelines against testing asymptomatic players, put now a "limited exception" to those guidelines has been invoked, meaning the NBA will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a "robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers" in the local community.

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SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley discussed whether the Knicks should trade Mitchell Robinson with an eye on drafting James Wiseman.

"I don't think any player on this roster is untouchable, but I think (RJ) Barrett and Robinson would be the two players the Knicks would probably only include in deals that brought back a bonafide star to come to their market," Begley explained.

Watch Begley's full answer above...

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you follow the NBA, you know that one of the criticisms of Tom Thibodeau is something like this: his intensity and his approach to practices/playing time wear players out. 

Whether that's true or not depends on who you talk to and what their perspective is on the matter. 

Thibodeau, a strong candidate for the Knicks' head coaching job if interim head coach Mike Miller isn't retained, addressed those criticisms in an interview on ESPN's First Take earlier this week

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Jul 2, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Killer 3s coach Charles Oakley looks on during the game against Power at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Jul 2, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Killer 3s coach Charles Oakley looks on during the game against Power at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In recent interviews, Knicks great Charles Oakley has criticized Patrick Ewing for his approach as a teammate and for the Knicks' failure to win a title in Ewing's tenure

Ewing took the high road last month when asked about the criticism. The Hall of Fame center did the same thing on Thursday when asked on SN 590 The Fan's The Good Show about criticisms from Oakley. 

"I have nothing to say about what Charles has to say," Ewing said on the show when asked about Oakley's thoughts, per a transcription from Daily Knicks. "He's one of my best teammates. We went into a lot of wars and a lot of wars against the Bulls. So everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I love Charles Oakley. I still consider him a friend, but everybody is entitled to think or say what they want."

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Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan were both legends of the game, and though friends off the court, their rivalry on it was as heated as they come. (AP)
Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan were both legends of the game, and though friends off the court, their rivalry on it was as heated as they come. (AP)

As the Michael Jordan/Bulls documentary The Last Dance on ESPN nears its end, one of the opposing players featured -- Knicks legend Patrick Ewing -- will not be watching.

"I had to live through that. ... now y'all have a documentary to keep rubbing it in my face. ... I don't need to watch," Ewing said on The Dan Patrick Show.

And you can forgive Ewing for not wanting to relive the main reason why his Knicks teams were never able to win that elusive NBA title.

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