Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

It has been a month since the David Fizdale Era has begun in Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks are 2-6. Though it isn't the best of starts, it is what most expected from this team going through their rebuilding stage. 

Here are some takeaways from the Knicks' first few games, and what to expect moving forward...

Fizdale has bought into the youth movement

When a head coach is brought in to win games, it can sometimes lead to a clash in agendas for a rebuilding team. More minutes going to veterans could mean a better chance of winning games in the current season, but at the cost of limiting in-game reps for younger players acquired in hopes for long-term success. We've seen this scenario play out at Madison Square Garden over the last decade.

David Fizdale isn't having it. Whether it's because of an emphasis on culture building, less pressure from the top down, or the roster simply lacking a swath of experienced NBA talent, he's embracing the long haul and throwing his young guys to the wolves.

The 20-year-old Frank Ntilikina has started every game for the Knicks. Damyean Dotson and Mitchell Robinson have joined him recently, the former averaging the third-most minutes on the team and the latter playing 14 minutes a night after missing a year of competitive hoops and being labeled a project. Allonzo Trier could have easily been Westchester-bound and replaced by a retread from free agency.

"I don't want to be jumping from game to game trying to hunt wins," Fizdale told the New York Post just a few nights ago. This is a serious change of pace from Knicks teams passed, a necessary one, and a fun one for fans wanting to watch this squad's future core develop.

The Knicks have depth?

Consider the Knicks have marched through this first month without Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee and Kevin Knox (for the most part.) Those are three pivotal rotation pieces, yet despite their record, it's fair to call this start to the season promising.

Only one of six losses have been a blowout, with competitive outings against juggernauts like the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics. As Fizdale has messed around with combinations and lineups, it's become clear that New York actually has a lot to work with.

Nobody outside of Tim Hardaway Jr. will be anywhere close to an All-Star selection, but guys like Mario Hezonja and Lance Thomas, two perfectly fine contributors, have been relegated to spot minutes. The Knicks have three players who can play the one spot and three who can play the five -- all moving up and down positions to see which lineups work best together.

They have fielded 10 players (not including the injured Knox and meh Ron Baker) who can bring positives on the court, with three cogs returning at some point this season. Decisions will have to be made about the rotation, which is a weird, unexpected and good problem to have on this team.



Tim Hardaway Jr. stepping up his game

Hardaway's $72 million over four years was a tough pill to swallow for some when the Knicks inked him in hopes of a leap from steadily improving role player to dependable offensive leader. Last year was a good start in proving those folks wrong, but Hardaway Jr. would have to keep improving his game to shut them up completely.

Thus far, he has not disappointed. THJ is just shy of top 10 in the league in points per game with 26, getting buckets in higher volume at a career-high efficiency. How?

By shooting lights out. His shot distribution and selection haven't actually changed materially, in fact he's shooting more pull-ups and fewer catch-and-shoot jumpers. He's fourth in three-point attempts this season, but as a result of more shots in general, not fewer from mid-range. He has gotten to the line significantly more, a big development for when his jumper isn't falling. In the meantime, he's hit 41 percent of his threes, a remarkable number given his attempts and 31 percent shooting last year.

That number likely isn't sustainable, but so long as Hardaway Jr. progresses in other areas, it's not a problem. His defense is still shoddy at times, but he's made strides with his playmaking. Hardaway Jr.'s assist rate has ballooned nearly five percentage points, thanks to better vision and willingness to pass. His turnovers have remained about the same, but while last season's were often Shaqtin' levels of terrible, his giveaways this season seem to have better processes behind them. Normally, he is trying to hit the weakside shooter or Robinson on a lob out of a pick-and-roll.

If Hardaway Jr. maintains and builds on this level of play, watch out.

Frank Ntilikina is a point guard, and New York's only real one

In today's NBA, your point guard does not need to be the floor general. Although Hardaway Jr. has improved on creating for others, this Knicks team is hard-pressed to find offense in the frontcourt when they aren't given direction. Turning to the lead guards, there's only one real option.

Trier and Trey Burke don't dribble with their head on a swivel, let alone manage an offense to get everyone their shots. The debate on Ntilikina is close to over: He's most effective with the ball in his hands, and the Knicks need it there.

Since Fizdale moved Burke and Enes Kanter to the bench, New York won its first game over an actual opponent behind Ntilikina's breakout stretch. When cemented to the corners, the second-year guard offered close to no value on offense, while a stagnant high screen or isolation was New York's go-to when the initial set broke down. With the opportunities, Ntilikina directs his teammates when the offense dies and makes reads out of the pick-and-roll that may not have translated to assist numbers yet, but are damned impressive from a 20-year-old.



His long arms allow for crafty interior passes into Kanter or Robinson off penetration, and his eye for weak-side shooters will pay off if defenses begin respecting his scoring. The offense has direction with him at the helm, and there's no reason he shouldn't stay there.

Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson are NBA players

Trier and Robinson look good. The former was undrafted, the latter a second-round pick mystery. The Knicks have seen the best (Jeremy Lin) and worst (Landry Fields) of outcomes from banking on what were thought to be diamonds in the rough, so it's hard to tell where these two go from here. At the very least, they belong.

Trier didn't look very impressive in Summer League, sans the scoring outbursts Knicks fans have fallen in love with. He couldn't pass well and had a tough time defensively, so he focused on getting buckets and began trying his butt off on defense and it has paid dividends. He'll put down multiple shots in a row that shouldn't even work, but do anyway.

Trier's herky-jerky handling and step-back moves coupled with his athleticism and shooting (also a rough spot in Summer League) has made him a capable option against second units and a serious prospect going forward.

Robinson might be the most enticing player on this roster. Right out of Las Vegas, he looked way more ready than he should have been, and he's now starting on a nightly basis with success. Touted as a potential DeAndre Jordan, Robinson plays exactly to that role and masterfully. His lobs are an imminent threat to any defense, and his tree branch arms swat everything.

The Knicks' points allowed per possession with Robinson on the court would net them the fourth-best defense in the game. Let that one sink in.

Noah Vonleh was a free agency coup

Vonleh has just been a force. On the glass, on defense, on the poor, poor rims when he decides to elevate. The Knicks have many-a-young player trying to find their niche and build on their game, it's only fitting to have a guy like Vonleh - who struggled through his career doing the same thing - come in and provide a consistent impact.

He can defend multiple positions, finish and rebound with the best of them, and yet dabbles with other parts of his game enough to raise eyebrows and think there may be more coming, but not enough to kill the flow of the team.

Tags: Courtney Lee, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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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)

The Knicks will reportedly explore the idea of trading former top-10 pick Frank Ntilikina for another draft pick, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Ntilikina, the last first-round pick under the Phil Jackson regime, has averaged just 5.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 121 games since the Knicks drafted him eighth overall two years ago.

Over the past couple of weeks, he and several other Knicks players have been included in trade rumors amid the Knicks' potential interest in Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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UCF's Tacko Fall blocks a Zion Williamson shot in the NCAA Tournament. (Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)
UCF's Tacko Fall blocks a Zion Williamson shot in the NCAA Tournament. (Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)

Tacko Fall, the 7-foot-7 UCF product who was introduced to most of the nation during the Knights' game against Duke in the NCAA Tournament, had a strong showing at the NBA Combine in Chicago. And he now might be of interest to the Knicks.

According to the New York Post, Fall is now on the Knicks' "radar" as a possible second-round pick in the NBA Draft. The Knicks, who hold the No. 3 overall selection, own the No. 55 pick, the sixth-to-last pick in the draft.

The Knicks didn't know if Fall was an NBA-quality player entering this week, according to the report, but they and other teams might see the big man worthy of a second-round selection.

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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) drives to the basket as Michigan State Spartans forward Aaron Henry (11) defends in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) drives to the basket as Michigan State Spartans forward Aaron Henry (11) defends in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

One former member of the Knicks' front office and coaching staff thinks the Knicks would be making a mistake if they didn't select RJ Barrett at No. 3 in the NBA Draft -- assuming he's on the board.

"They better pick him if he's there,'' Brendan Suhr, the Knicks' director of player personnel and assistant coach from 2004-07, told the New York Post. "RJ has potential to be as good a scoring guard as we've had come into the league in the last 10 years. He's very versatile, with a mentality to score. He's dominated every level, dominated at the FIBA [International Basketball Federation] level. And he's got great size. He's a winner, comes from great basketball and athletic family. You're getting a great kid. He's the strongest candidate for that pick.''

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Oct 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Celtics 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Celtics 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

If the Knicks are unable to sign Kyrie Irving and need to move to a contingency plan, perhaps they should look at restricted free agent Terry Rozier

The 25-year-old point guard, who has emerged as a key figure on the Celtics over the last two seasons, has shown he is capable of being a starting point guard in the league when filling in for an injured Irving. 

While the Knicks have not yet been heavily linked to Rozier, he was still asked about envisioning playing in New York during an apperance on "Jalen and Jacoby" earlier this week. 

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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)

Perhaps winning the third pick in the NBA Draft could actually help the Knicks' chances of signing free agent Kevin Durant

A video produced by the sports network Overtime from at least a year ago recently resurfaced via the TheKnickofTime podcast that showed the Warriors forward watching tape of top high school prospects and singing praises for guard RJ Barrett, whom the Knicks are expected to take with the third pick in the draft on June 20. 

"Kid I've been hearing a lot about," Durant said. "I haven't gotten a chance to watch him as much. I know he's a lefty out of Canada, I think. He's another one of those 6-7 wings who probably do everything, that can guard one through four that can play a long time in the NBA, especially in the NBA today."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Since the Knicks were given the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, only Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas have said something about missing out on the top selection and Zion Williamson

That is until team president Steve Mills spoke up at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Friday. 

Though he didn't talk for long, Mills said the team is excited to use their No. 3 pick to further their rebuilding process...

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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...


May 17, 5:09 PM:

Knicks team president Steve Mills spoke for the first time since his team was awarded the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and he says he's excited about the opportunity despite not getting the top selection. 

"We're excited about where we are," Mills told The Post's Marc Berman. "We know we'll get a good player at 3. So it's something we're excited about and look forward to."

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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets power forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After the Knicks failed to land the number one pick in Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery, the attention quickly shifted back to whether or not the team could swing a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

According to a report from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily news, the Pelicans "are not high on Kevin Knox," according to a source.

Earlier this week, SNY Insider Ian Begley reported that the Pelicans had been "quietly gathering some intel on Knox recently," and while information gathering isn't anything new or out of the ordinary within league circles, it could have signaled that the Pelicans would want Knox included as part of any trade package.

Tags: Kevin Knox
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Dec 9, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Dec 9, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, informing the team he has no interest in re-signing. With news of Davis wanting out came reports that the Knicks have strong interest in trading for him. Here are the latest rumors...


May 17, 4:09 PM:

Pelicans owner Gayle Benson told Fletcher Mackel of WDSU News that the reported "To the Lakers, over my dead body" statement is "totally absurd" and "completely untrue."

Mackel also added that the Pelicans front office believes this latest allegation is "coming from the same people who said Zion may not want to come to New Orleans."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Nov 24, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks fans cheer against the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Nov 24, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks fans cheer against the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Former Knick David Lee believes the key to success in New York is for everyone - the organization, fans and media - to take a patient approach. 

"Everybody, whether it be the fans or the media in New York, want to get everything done overnight," Lee said in an interview on Anthony Donahue's podcast, 33rd and 7th. 

"You saw it the other night (during the NBA Draft Lottery) with the Zion Williamson situation.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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Charles Oakley has NY advice 00:00:07
Knicks legend Charles Oakley says that if NBA free agents want to be happy in New York, they should talk to him first.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Former Knicks great Charles Oakley hopes free agents who are interested in joining the Knicks reach out to him for guidance.

"What do I tell free agents? They need to be talk to me, No. 1, if they want to be happy in New York," Oakley said at CC Sabathia's celebrity softball event on Thursday. "They need to talk to me."

When asked specifically about Kevin Durant, Oakley said, "If he comes to New York, I wish he'd reach out and talk to me, have a dinner or something."

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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 can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...


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.

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Apr 6, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Jarrett Culver (23) drives to the basket against Michigan State Spartans forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half in the semifinals of the 2019 men's Final Four at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Apr 6, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Jarrett Culver (23) drives to the basket against Michigan State Spartans forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half in the semifinals of the 2019 men's Final Four at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver met with the Knicks on Wednesday morning in Chicago, one of ten prospects to talk to New York's management/coaches at the NBA Draft Combine.

Most people who are paid to analyze the NBA Draft see Culver as outside of this year's top three prospects.

When asked about making teams in the top three who might pass on him regret the decision, Culver smiled.

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Reddish, Morant prep for draft 00:00:49
Some of the top NBA Draft prospects are in Chicago ahead of the NBA Draft. Morant and Reddish talked to the media today.

As the NBA Combine kicked off in Chicago, some of the top prospects in this year's draft class were on hand to tackle the national media for the first time. And, as one would expect, there were large crowds surrounding Ja Morant and Cam Reddish

Morant is the top point guard in the Draft, and reports have stated that the Grizzlies will take him with the No. 2 overall pick come June 20. As for Reddish, he could go anywhere from No. 3 to the Knicks to No. 6 in the Suns depending on how high he ranks on teams' draft boards. 

But both players believe they are ready to make a major impact on whatever franchise calls their name on Draft night...

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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)

It appears the Grizzlies want Murray State's Ja Morant at No. 2 overall in the NBA Draft, and that suits RJ Barrett just fine.

Barrett prefers to slip past Memphis and end up with either the Knicks at No. 3 or the Lakers at No. 4, according to the New York Post

On Wednesday, ESPN reported Memphis has begun informing other parties that the team is locked in on Morant with the second pick.

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Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; The NBA championship trophy and rings are seen during the ring ceremony and banner raising ceremony before a game against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports  (Rick Osentoski)
Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; The NBA championship trophy and rings are seen during the ring ceremony and banner raising ceremony before a game against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The growing optimism that the Knicks will land Kevin Durant and a second max free agent this summer is being reflected in their odds to win the NBA Title next season.

In the most recent odds released by Caesars, the Knicks (+1200) are tied with the Clippers and Rockets for the third-best odds of any NBA team.

The only teams ahead of the Knicks are the Warriors (+200) and Bucks (+400).

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Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett speaks in a press conference during practice for the East Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. (Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett speaks in a press conference during practice for the East Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. (Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Duke forward RJ Barrett is projected to be the No. 3 pick in next month's NBA draft to the Knicks. 

Asked what he feels he needs to do to improve at the next level, he kept it simple:

"Everything," Barrett told The Athletic's Shams Charania. "No one is perfect in one area of the game, so just continue to work on everything and be a complete player."

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Mar 14, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts after a dunk in the first half against the Syracuse Orange in the ACC conference tournament at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Mar 14, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts after a dunk in the first half against the Syracuse Orange in the ACC conference tournament at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Zion Williamson was excited about the prospect of playing for the Knicks before Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery.

That, coupled with the ever-present amateur body language readers on social media, led to speculation on Wednesday that Williamson wasn't happy about the possibility of landing with the Pelicans.

The speculation was even talked about among some opposing executives on Wednesday.

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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) drives to the basket as Michigan State Spartans forward Aaron Henry (11) defends in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) drives to the basket as Michigan State Spartans forward Aaron Henry (11) defends in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Duke's RJ Barrett will reportedly be there for the Knicks at No. 3 on draft night.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Grizzlies, barring something unforeseen, "appear to have locked in" on selecting Murray State's Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The report states that Memphis has begun informing other parties of its decision.

If Memphis takes Morant at No. 2, that would leave Barrett available for the Knicks at No. 3.

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Mar 30, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons former player Isiah Thomas during a halftime show against the Portland Trail Blazers at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Mar 30, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons former player Isiah Thomas during a halftime show against the Portland Trail Blazers at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Hall of Fame guard and former Knicks president Isiah Thomas believes New York has a chance to turn things around quickly this summer.

"They're positioned well for free agency because they have cap space and they can go out and pitch themselves," Thomas said at an event to announce a partnership between his Cheurlin champagne company and the NBPA. "...They're positioned to have a great summer. But it depends on luck. If they're lucky enough, it can become a great summer."

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Only Pelicans executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin - and maybe a select few others close to him - knows exactly what New Orleans wants in a potential Anthony Davis trade.

Griffin reiterated on Tuesday that he's committed to trying to keep Davis in New Orleans. Landing the No. 1 overall pick in June gives him another potential selling point for Davis, but the smart money says he will still want to leave New Orleans. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported as much shortly after the Lottery.

So, assuming New Orleans has to deal Davis this summer, which teams can make the best offers? And how can the Knicks push themselves to the front of that group?

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Apr 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson (21) during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Apr 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson (21) during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

Knicks SG Damyean Dotson underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed on Wednesday. 

Before he underwent surgery, the expectation was that Dotson would be sidelined for roughly two months due to the shoulder ailment, per sources. Dotson is not expected to miss time next year and the belief is he'll be ready for the start of training camp, as The Athletic reports.

Head coach David Fizdale is leading the Knicks' rebuilding process, and his development of his young core was seen through Dotson among others this season. He gave him 27.5 minutes per game on the hardwood compared to 10.8 in his rookie season, and it paid off.

Tags: Damyean Dotson
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Knicks fans react to Lottery 00:00:59
Live through Knicks fans angst leading up to the draw and after when they found out they?d get the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft.

There was an 86 percent chance the Knicks and their fans were going to be disappointed after the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.

And while total disaster didn't strike -- the Knicks got the No. 3 pick -- they will not be able to select Zion Williamson

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Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

One of the biggest questions for the Knicks in the aftermath of Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery? How does landing the No. 3 pick -- and New Orleans landing the top pick -- impact New York's chances of trading for Anthony Davis?

From a New Orleans perspective, Pelicans lead executive David Griffin seemed hopeful that the No. 1 pick would help entice Davis to stay in the Big Easy.

"It's the same situation," Griffin said. "We want to create an environment players are attracted to. We feel very strongly Anthony in totality will be attracted to what we can build and what we can offer. It's the same for all players. We're going to stand for something. We hope that repeats itself."

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May 14, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; NBA top prospect Zion Williamson (middle left) is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at the Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
May 14, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; NBA top prospect Zion Williamson (middle left) is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at the Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson was on hand in Chicago for the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. And just how he has always been since his first game at Duke, Williamson was all smiles when he joined ESPN's crew to talk about what team he might be going to once the Lottery was 

When all the cards were shown to the masses, it was the New Orleans Pelicans that came out with the No. 1 pick in a wild drawing of teams. And it appears Williamson wasn't the biggest fan of that. 

ESPN's Marc. J. Spears was first to say that the 6-foot-7 forward was "quickly whisked out of the room" following the Pelicans' winning the Lottery. A source told him that Williamson was "rooting to go to New York."

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Knicks get the 3rd pick 00:01:26
SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley explains what the #3 pick means for the Knicks, and what it means in relation to a potential Anthony Davis trade.

The results of Tuesday's NBA Lottery weren't a disaster for the Knicks, but they certainly weren't ideal. 

New York finished with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, earning the chance to select a top college player or to try to trade the pick for an established star. 

R.J. Barrett, who could be on the board when the Knicks select on June 20, will meet with New York on Wednesday in Chicago ahead of the NBA Draft Combine, per SNY's Adam Zagoria.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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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)

Yes, the Knicks didn't land the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft. And while fans mourn their loss of Zion Williamson to the Pelicans -- the team that did land the first pick -- the gears shift to a very important free agency period for New York. 

In all reality, free agency has always been the Knicks' top priority enter this offseason. The No. 1 pick would have been amazing, but filling those two max free agent slots are more important for the team's rebuiliding process. 

And they have become even more crucial now. 

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Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson reacts against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the semifinals of the East Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson reacts against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the semifinals of the East Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks didn't get the No. 1 pick on Tuesday night at the NBA Draft Lottery. That isn't a disaster -- they have the No. 3 pick and can either land Ja Morant or RJ Barrett (or trade the pick as part of a package for Anthony Davis).

New York could have fallen to No. 4 or No. 5. Getting the No. 3 pick is good. But the New York back pages treated it as a tragedy.

Click below to see...

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Knicks fans react to Lottery 00:00:59
Live through Knicks fans angst leading up to the draw and after when they found out they?d get the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft.

The Knicks' dreams of drafting Zion Williamson went out the door on Tuesday when they drew the No. 3 pick during the NBA Draft Lottery.

Of course, it was just another chapter of heartbreak for Knicks fans and another opportunity for those on social media to rib Knicks fans for getting their hopes up. 

Here are just some highlights to the reaction of the Knicks getting the third pick in the NBA Draft:

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Ja Morant talks NBA future 00:00:51
Ja Morant talks to reporters following the NBA Draft Lottery about the chip on his shoulder, and his plans to make an impact in the NBA

With the Knicks drawing the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, they will likely land either Murray State guard Ja Morant or Duke guard R.J. Barrett

Morant was in attendance at the NBA Draft Lottery and spoke with reporters on how he plans to make an impact on whichever NBA team selects him. 

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Patrick Ewing on Knicks pick 00:00:39
Knicks legend Patrick Ewing talks about representing the team at the NBA Draft Lottery, where the Knicks got the 3rd pick in the draft.

Knicks fans were let down on Tuesday night when it was revealed they will have the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

So that means Duke freshman phenom Zion Williamson won't be wearing blue and orange next season. But that doesn't mean all hope is lost. 

Patrick Ewing, who represented the Knicks on the dais in Chicago, thinks the fans should be happy with who team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry decide to choose come June 20. 

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Would Knicks trade #1 pick? 00:01:33
New York Knicks could possibly get the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. SNY's Ian Begley reports there is 'no consensus' they would trade it.

Anthony Davis would certainly consider re-signing with the Knicks if he felt he could be successful in New York, per SNY sources familiar with the matter. And here's how a Davis to New York trade could work:

Since the goal would likely be to pair Davis with two other stars, the Knicks would first sign their two max free agents in early July, using nearly all of their $70-plus million in cap space.

They would then have to send out roughly $21.6 million in salary to satisfy NBA trade rules in a swap for Davis, who is making $27 million in 2019.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Would Knicks trade #1 pick? 00:01:33
New York Knicks could possibly get the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. SNY's Ian Begley reports there is 'no consensus' they would trade it.

If the Knicks win the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night -- and a chance to draft Zion Williamson -- they will shift their focus toward a potential trade for Pelicans star Anthony Davis, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic

However, SNY's Ian Begley doesn't believe there is a consensus that the Knicks would include the No. 1 pick in a Davis deal. 

Any trade for Davis could potentially involve the Knicks' top pick and more, and the Pelicans recently gathered intel on Kevin Knox, according to Begley

Davis, 26, is under contract through the 2020-21 season, earning $27.1 million next season and $28.7 million in 2020-21. 

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Apr 5, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches the Indiana Pacers shoot a free throw during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Apr 5, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) watches the Indiana Pacers shoot a free throw during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Celtics star Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...


May 14, 4:05 PM:

After Marc Stein said (with the caveat that it was "third-hand stuff") that he heard that Durant and Irving would look just as hard at the Nets as the Knicks, Stephen A. Smith (during his show) interjected and said the following:

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Oct 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Celtics 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 19, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Celtics 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

It's no secret the Knicks covet free-agent-to-be Kyrie Iriving, who reportedly has reciprocated the interest

But the Knicks also remain interested in a pair of Irving's Boston teammates that will also be free agents this summer: Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier

According to NBC Sports Boston, the Knicks' interest in Rozier picked up last year during the playoffs, when the guard helped carry the Celtics within one game of the NBA Finals despite Irving's absence.

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Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Patrick Ewing knows all about fortuitous lottery outcomes. 

The Knicks won the 1985 lottery and selected the former Georgetown star -- and current Hoyas coach -- with the top pick. While tall tales detailing frozen envelopes that guaranteed the Knicks with the top pick that year exist, Ewing laughed off such a premise Tuesday during his appearance on The Dan Patrick Show

Then Patrick asked -- mostly in jest -- if he and the Knicks worked up a plan to secure the top pick this time around. 

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May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

With the Knicks entering Tuesday night's NBA Draft lottery with a 14 percent chance of securing the No. 1 overall pick, the team already has plenty to occupy itself with before worrying about where other teams are selecting. 

They will, however, be keeping an eye on whether the Mavericks earn a top five pick. If Dallas -- which has the eighth-best lottery odds (six percent chance at the top selection) -- drops below fifth, the Knicks can pick up a pair of first round picks. 

The first would be an unprotected first-rounder in 2021, followed by a 2023 first round pick that is top 10 protected. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Moments after the original NBA Draft Lottery, back when the basketball gods or conspiracy or whatever you want to believe gifted Patrick Ewing to the Knicks, Dave DeBusschere talked about how antsy he got before it all played out. 

"I couldn't listen to the commissioner; I was very nervous," the then-Knicks exec said on the television broadcast. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony McCarron
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May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Knicks GM Scott Perry says the team is prepared for any and all possibilities heading into the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. 

"Whatever is in the cards for us (Tuesday), we'll be more than able and willing to handle that and execute the draft position that we have," Perry said Monday in an interview on ESPN Radio's Golic & Wingo Show. 

The Knicks, Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each have a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick on Tuesday night. All three clubs also have a 40 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and a 52 percent chance of landing a top-four pick. The Knicks will pick no lower than fifth since they finished with the league's worst record (17-65). 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Could NY land Zion and Kawhi? 00:01:23
New York Knicks have a lot of cap room and a top 5 draft pick, could we possibly see both Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson at MSG?

The Knicks have a lot of cap room and a top-five pick in the NBA draft.

Sure, this year's free-agent class will also feature Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

But would it be possible for New York to land both Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson?

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Sep 25, 2017; Greenburgh, NY, USA; New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 25, 2017; Greenburgh, NY, USA; New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter

Knicks GM Scott Perry was asked about free agency on Monday on ESPN Radio's Golic & Wingo Show. The Knicks have enough cap space to sign two max free agents. Kevin Durant will be a top target. During the regular season, multiple players who played with Durant in the past and currently play with him in Golden State told friends that they expect him to sign with the Knicks, per sources. The Knicks, along with every other team with enough cap space to pay him, would love to sign Kawhi Leonard.

Perry didn't feed into the Durant/Leonard hype during his interview on Monday, as you'd expect.

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May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) watches his game winning basket go in against the Philadelphia 76ers during game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto defeated Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
May 12, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) watches his game winning basket go in against the Philadelphia 76ers during game seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto defeated Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Things can change quickly in the NBA, but the general consensus around the league at the moment is that neither the Knicks nor the Nets have a strong chance to sign Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported, the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors are seen as the strongest suitors for Leonard.

But it seems logical that both New York teams could at least get a meeting with Leonard in early July. Before Leonard's trade demand from San Antonio became public last June, people around Leonard had talked about New York as an attractive destination for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Latvian police have provided an update regarding the altercation involving former Knick Kristaps Porzingis over the weekend.

According to the police, two people were sent to the hospital after the altercation. The police used pepper spray to "resolve the conflict." And police have reportedly launched criminal proceedings to investigate to determine what caused the conflict and the circumstances surrounding it; though, they reportedly aren't focused on one individual person.

In a video in the aftermath of the altercation, Porzingis is seen with a ripped shirt and what appears to be blood on his forehead, and -- as can be seen in the video -- he shoved a woman who was apparently trying to keep him calm.

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With turmoil swirling around the Lakers -- including Magic Johnson's departure, the botched Ty Lue pursuit, and a protest by the fans -- some are calling on LeBron James to demand a trade.

And while there is no indication that James has any desire to leave Los Angeles, that didn't stop Bovada from releasing fresh odds regarding where James will open the 2019-20 season.

Those odds:

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Feb 27, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Feb 27, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Former Knicks coach Mike Woodson and former Nets coach Lionel Hollins have been informed that they are among the head coaches on the Lakers' radar, league sources confirmed to SNY.

The Lakers' coaching search re-opened earlier this week when negotiations between Tyronn Lue and Los Angeles reportedly fell apart.

The organization communicated its interest in both Woodson and Hollins in the wake of things falling apart with Lue, per sources. It is unknown if a meeting between the Lakers, and either coach has been scheduled yet.

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New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter

Here's what's known about the Knicks and Anthony Davis

New York discussed a potential Davis deal before the February trade deadline. It didn't come to fruition, in part, over uncertainty surrounding Kristaps Porzingis' potential long-term future in New Orleans. 

Based on those discussions in February, it seems logical that the Knicks will at least place a call to new Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin about a Davis trade in the coming weeks. 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis
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Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson goes up for a dunk against the Syracuse Orange in the first half in the ACC tournament at Spectrum Center. (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson goes up for a dunk against the Syracuse Orange in the first half in the ACC tournament at Spectrum Center. (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

For as much as Zion Williamson, the presumed No. 1 pick in next month's NBA draft, dominated in college, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim thinks he'll face some tougher challenges at the professional level.

"He's physical and you can't match him. I think the NBA will match him a little bit better," Boeheim said on MSG Network, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "I think he won't be able to do some of the things he did in college."

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Mike Francesa has a bold idea for the Knicks. 

The WFAN host proposed on his radio show Thursday evening that if the Knicks win the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday, they should trade that pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for LeBron James instead of drafting 19-year-old Duke star Zion Williamson

"The question is: Do you want LeBron James or not? I understand what teams you have but do you want LeBron James or not?" he asks a caller in a clip on Twitter posted by the Funhouse account.  

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Strickland talks Kyrie, Knicks 00:01:30
Former NBA point guard Rod Strickland discusses his godson's, Kyrie Irving, future as well as the Knicks being able to land big name players

Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter

Rod Strickland played in the NBA for 17 years. He's coached Division I college basketball and is currently the program manager of the NBA G League's professional path.

Strickland is also Kyrie Irving's godfather. So he has a unique perspective when it comes to Irving's season, which ended on Wednesday in a second-round loss to the Bucks.

"Well obviously it was disappointing to finish up the way they finished up. Proud of him, had a great year. Now it's back to the drawing board," Strickland said in an interview with SNY Thursday when asked about Irving's season at an event unveiling for Budweiser's NBA Draft Lottery promotion. "As far as his future, I want him to go wherever or stay wherever he feels comfortable and he's happy. That's what this is all about. Being happy and being competitive. He's done a lot things in his short time in the NBA. Twenty-seven years old, he's accomplished a lot of things. And so now I just hope that he finds a place, whether it's Boston or whether it's somewhere else, that he's having fun and he's doing his thing."

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