Updated: Feb 29
Knicks have a 2 game road winning streak... 3 days before the trade deadline.
The rotation looked pretty similar to the last couple weeks with Dennis Smith Jr getting a large chunk of playing time.
Frank Ntilikina actually saw some minutes as well but likely just to get him some actual reps since the Knicks know what pieces they want to move.
We will get back to DSJ in a minute but first notable player on my list to watch is:
Big shot Bob has been just that. Hitting plenty of long range jumpers and being a solid defensive piece (especially on the glass), Portis looks to be a great trade chip, likely for a draft pick as it is far fetched to think we will get a building block back for him. Just as well, too. We still have Kenny Wooten waiting in the wings for his moment!
Crazy, right? I know.
Randle has been playing really well on both sides of the ball which has garnered him some interest on the market. The question here is what do the Knicks value. Trading him for Terry Rozier and a shot at a “legitimate” point guard or do we hold on to him and watch him grow and develop into what potential we saw in the offseason?
If you asked me that question 6 weeks ago, I say ship him off to China and I’ll buy the flight. Today is a much different answer. Unless he is going to bring back a HIGH first round pick (Golden State, Atlanta, Cleveland) I say keep him. He looks like he is finally finding his way and I like what I’m seeing.
DENNIS SMITH JR.
DSJ is an enigma. I can’t read him or his emotions. Is he really ready to move on? Was it all speculation because nobody believed he was actually injured? Can he make it here? Do we want him here taking minutes from Frank?
All great questions. I’ll answer them.
I do believe that DSJ is ready to find a team that is going to make him the #1 Point Guard. What I do not believe is that he faked an injury to pressure the Knicks to find a trade partner for him.
If Smith does stay, between him, Payton and Frank. There’s just too much. Frank is growing and playing well recently and I find myself getting excited when he shoots the ball and not screaming at my TV “Why, God? WHYY?”
So that’s been nice.
I unfortunately don’t think there’s room here for Smith Jr anymore. And with a (likely) top 5 pick in the draft, Cole Anthony and LaMelo Ball are high priority. DSJ is the odd man out unfortunately.
Finally, KEVIN KNOX
I really do not want to see him go. Growth and development are tough wins to get in New York given the "win now" attitude we all have but Kev just needs some TLC and focus (from himself as well as the coaching staff). He’s got a solid game that just needs to see more minutes and if he ends up in Golden State in a D’Angelo Russell trade, it will come back to bite us in the long run.
Trade deadline is Thursday 3pm Eastern...