New York Knicks: Leon Rose lauds team’s young core

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

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New York Knicks president Leon Rose was interviewed by MSG Networks’ Mike Breen Wednesday night on the “MSG 150 At Home.” The interview marked the first time Rose spoke publicly/virtually since joining the organization in February.

Among the many topics discussed were the team’s roster, which includes several young players and/or lottery selections. Rose said RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ 2019 first-round pick, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks’ 2018 second-round pick, are “two young core pieces.”



Barrett averaged 14.3 points, five rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from beyond the arc this season. Robinson averaged 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting an NBA-best 74.2 percent from the field.

Rose expressed excitement about some of the team’s other young players.

“I look forward to working with Kevin [Knox]. I think he’s just starting to scratch the surface,” Rose said. “Frank Ntilikina, given the right circumstances, I think can really prosper. And Dennis Smith, that’s a special talent right there.”

Knox, the Knicks’ 2018 first-round pick, averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Ntilikina, the Knicks’ 2017 first-round pick, averaged 6.3 points and three assists per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Smith, acquired as part of the Knicks’ return in last season’s trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 34.1 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Rose also referred to Julius Randle, who just finished the first season of a three-year, $63 million deal, as one of “some solid veterans” likely returning for the 2020-21 NBA season. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 27.7 percent from beyond the arc.

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