Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Knicks head coach David Fizdale has noticed a difference in Kevin Knox during offseason workouts.
"His walk is different, I think he's got a little more confidence about him knowing what's coming now," Fizdale said on Monday in an interview with MSG Network's "MSG 150."
Fizdale and Knicks assistant Kaleb Canales spent time working out with Knox at the team practice facility recently. This is a significant offseason for the 19-year-old forward, selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
If the Knicks sign two max free agents and are looking to trade for a veteran, opposing teams are likely to inquire about including Knox in any trade package. If New York signs those max free agents and doesn't include Knox in a trade, the club will count on the former Kentucky star to produce in meaningful games next season.
Fizdale, for one, has been impressed by what he's seen from Knox thus far in offseason workouts.
"We just really talked about building out his (offensive) game and knowing his game," Fizdale said. "'How do I get to that place (where I can be effective as a scorer) and what do I do when I get there?'"
Knox averaged 12.8 points on 37 percent shooting as a rookie, but his shooting improved over the final six weeks of the season. Fizdale said he plans to work directly with Knox throughout the offseason.
Fizdale will bring young Knicks to conference finals
Knox is going to be one of several Knicks attending conference finals games with members of the coaching staff. Fizdale said on MSG 150 that several young Knicks will go to Eastern and Western Conference Finals games with coaches to get a feel for the intensity of the playoffs.
It seems like those Knicks won't be going to Boston, though. Kyrie Irving and the Celtics trail the Milwaukee Bucks 3-1 in their second-round series. That's probably good news for New York, which is considered by opposing execs to be one of the most likely destinations for Irving in free agency.
Perry looking for best player available in draft?
Since he took over as general manager, Scott Perry has said the Knicks are looking to stockpile as much young talent as possible, regardless of position. This summer is different. New York hopes to sign two max free agents -- one of which is Kevin Durant -- and that may change how they approach the draft in June. Perry was asked on MSG 150 if he'd look to draft the best player available or try to fill a specific position via the draft.
"I think where we're at right now, talent is important," he said. "If it's very close, then obviously you may lean toward a position of need. But if there's a clear delineation between the talent and the talent of the position in need, I think you always err on the side of talent."
The Knicks will find out during next Tuesday's draft lottery where they pick. New York, the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers all have a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick and the chance to select Duke's Zion Williamson.