Should the Knicks be looking to deal Kevin Knox before start of 2021-22 season?

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

The story of Kevin Knox continues as the New York Knicks try to find a sufficient way to utilize his talent. Knox, who is disappointed since being drafted ninth overall in 2018, could be a trade candidate, and some believe he’s better off taking his talents elsewhere in return for draft capital.

Knox, who is only 22-years-old, has averaged just 8.5 points on 36.9% shooting during his career. His low rebound totals at 3.2 and 70% free-throw success rate only pile on to a career littered with deficiencies and slow development.

This upcoming season, Knox will be in the final year of his rookie contract before the team has to make a decision on his qualifying offer. The front office could present him with a $7.9 million qualifying offer for the 2022-23 season, but they would be incredibly silly to do so. In fact, he’s preparing to earn $5.8 million this upcoming year, which far overvalues his production.

Knox has continuously seen his production dwindle ever since being drafted. Last year, he averaged just 11 minutes per game, making 42 appearances. During Knox’s limited time on the floor, he posted 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds, and shot 39% from the field. Despite having deficiencies in multiple positions, the Knicks simply didn’t value his efforts enough to get him involved as a reserve.

After drafting Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride, it is extremely likely that Knox ends up either being traded or left off the active team. Now, it is fair to offer him one compliment, and that is in regard to his work ethic and energy on the bench. Knox was expected to appear during Summer League games but unfortunately was forced to miss the session due to COVID-19 protocols.

The addition of Evan Fournier and the retention of Alec Burks make Knox’s value close to zero. It will be extremely hard for him to crack the roster, let alone earn a spot on the bench this upcoming year. There is still hope he can blossom into a solid role player in the future, but another team will have to give him an opportunity as his opportunities in New York are quickly winding to an end.

I fully expect the front office to gauge trade options for him before the regular season commences, but it is entirely possible he rides the rest of his rookie contract out with the Knicks, which would be a waste of salary space.

What do you think the Knicks should do with Kevin Knox? Comment below!

Kevin Knox returns to NBA Summer League to lead Knicks

In 2018, NBA Summer League stud Kevin Knox was heralded as a future NBA star.

Three years later, Knox will return to Las Vegas not as a star but as a broken player.

Ian Begley of SNY reported that Knox asked the New York Knicks to include him on their Summer League roster.

He wants to play and repair his shattered confidence after bottoming out last season.

Knox will be the longest-tenured player in the Knicks’ Summer League roster and will be playing for the third time in the last four years. There was no NBA Summer League last year due to the pandemic.

In the 2019-20 Summer League, Knox averaged 16.8 points per game after making it to the All-NBA Summer League First Team in 2018, where he posted eye-popping numbers: 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over four games.

Joining Knox in the squad are incoming sophomores Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin, who jumped ahead of him in the rotation last season. Rookies Luca Vildoza, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, pick-and-stash Rokas Jokubaitis, and Jericho Sims will also make their Knicks debut.

The 20-year old Jokubaitis agreed to play for the Knicks this summer, but he’s expected to return to Europe to play for Barcelona next year.

Meanwhile, Vildoza’s arrival in Las Vegas is contingent on Argentina’s quarterfinal game against Australia Tuesday in the Tokyo Olympics.

If Argentina wins, Vildoza will have to stay in Tokyo until the medal round on Saturday. If they flame out, Vidoza will fly out Wednesday to rejoin the Knicks.

The NBA Summer League opens on Sunday with the Knicks scheduled to play the Toronto Raptors.

Rounding up the roster are NBA free agents trying out for Training Camp spots: Justin Patton, Reid Travis, Wayne Selden, Quinton Rose, MJ Walker, Tyler Hall, and Aamir Sims.

Here’s the Knicks’ NBA Summer League broadcast schedule (all in Eastern Time):

Aug. 8 vs. Raptors 4:30 pm ESPN2

Aug. 11 vs. Lakers 10 pm ESPN2

Aug. 13 vs. Pistons 8 pm NBA TV

Aug. 14 vs. Cavs 8 pm NBA TV

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks News, 7/16: Kevin Knox’s future is clear-cut, avoid Dennis Schroder

knicks, kevin knox, theo pinson

The New York Knicks likely have a shortlist of point guards they will target this off-season, especially with the market flush with talent. Until players like Chris Paul decide on their player options and alternative clubs present big offer sheets to restricted free agents, we won’t know entirely where the Knicks stand in their pursuit of a point guard, but there are a few options that should be left off the list.

This week, a connection between New York and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder was presented, but it seems as if the Knicks have their name involved with every available PG on the market. Creating a sense of urgency and confusion, this will hopefully provide them with leverage during negotiations.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated that the Knicks could be interested in Schroder, but what a mistake that would be:

“League sources expect Chicago and New York to emerge as Schroder suitors, and both could be conducted via sign-and-trade—although Knicks certainly have the cap space to sign him outright. New York will likely have north of $50 million to spend this summer.”

Schroder is seeking a massive deal worth $20+ million per season, and while he is an adequate point guard, statistics do not justify his demands. Schroder is about to turn 28 years old, averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, and shot 43.7% from the field last year, detailing a player that’s commanding far more than his worth. Having been with three teams over the past four seasons, Dennis has proved to be a consistent player via health, but his production has leveled off, and his potential might’ve hit its max.

If the Knicks are looking to overpay for a player that won’t blow them away and really elevate the team, Dennis is their guy, but there are so many other options that could present more value at a lower price point. Even trading for Collin Sexton might be a more efficient move, given his scoring production and $6.3 million salary hit for next season.

The Knicks are going to have to utilize Kevin Knox and his value this off-season:

Every year that Knox spends sitting on the bench is another year the Knicks missed out on trading him away. His minutes per game has quickly fallen to a minimum since his inception into the NBA three years ago. He averaged just 3.9 points over 11 minutes last season, and if New York is still unwilling to part ways with Knox, they are simply hurting themselves. He has one year remaining on his deal at $5.8 million before his qualifying offer kicks in, which will be avoided like the plague.

In fact, most teams may not even see him worthy of earning $5.8 million, to begin with, so it will be tough to package him in a deal and expect value in return. However, at 21 years old, there is still potential to unearth, and another team might see a strategy to unlocking it. One way or another, we will see how good President Leon Rose is with his negotiating skills.

Report: Collin Sexton will cost Knicks Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox and 2021 1st rd pick

collin sexton, knicks

Another offseason day, another point guard has been linked to the New York Knicks.

According to The Athletic report on Tuesday, the Knicks have emerged as the most aggressive trade suitor for Cleveland Cavaliers scoring guard Collin Sexton.

SB Nation’s Fear of the Sword Editor Evan Dammarell poured more fuel to the fire when he floated that a package of Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and one of the Knicks’ 2021 first rounders appears to be an option.

If the reports are true, Brock Aller’s imprint should be all over it.

After all, Aller, the Knicks VP for Basketball and Strategic Planning, started his career in Cleveland. He served as Dan Gilbert’s personal assistant before transitioning to a front office role, where he raised his profile as one of the finest capologists around the league.

Aller was part of the Cavaliers’ front office that drafted Sexton in 2018 using the eighth pick, the key piece in the Kyrie Irving trade with the Boston Celtics.

On top of landing Sexton, the Knicks would also open up an additional $4.6 million in cap space.

Sexton has blossomed into one of the better scoring guards in the league, increasing his scoring, assists, and efficiency throughout his first three years with the Cavaliers. But there was a red flag raised by another The Athletic report on May that painted him a “ball hog.”

“Various Cavs players still grow frustrated by the way Sexton dominates the ball, and opponents taunt them by saying during games, ‘You know he’s not going to pass you the ball,” Cavaliers’ insider Joe Vardon wrote.

It may also be one of the reasons why the Cavaliers are reluctant to keep him with his rookie extension on the horizon. But Aller’s valuable direct intel on Sexton could be the key in the Knicks pushing for a deal.

But to Collins’ defense, he played with a bad Cavaliers’ roster devoid of an elite offensive threat.

If the reported package is true, it’s going to be a low-risk, high-reward move for the Knicks akin to the Derrick Rose mid-season trade.

The bet is for Sexton’s ball-dominant style of play to impact winning and create space for Julius Randle. Sexton’s 28.6 usage rate this season ranked 17th among guards in the league, per NBA.com. Meanwhile, Randle’s 28.5 usage rate this season ranked 15th among forwards, per NBA.com.

There’s no question Sexton’s shotmaking and toughness, despite being undersized, will be a huge upgrade over Elfrid Payton. But the question is can he thrive more as a facilitator next to Randle?

Sexton will be aiming to raise his stock to get the rookie max extension he wants, which is roughly $168 million over five years.

At the very least, he can shot up his value next season while running the Knicks offense, hopefully back to the playoffs. Sexton’s value would still be relatively higher than Knox, Toppin, and the 19th or 21st pick combined. Then the Knicks will have to decide whether to keep him long-term or flip him in a sign-and-trade deal. Sexton’s value would still be relatively higher than Knox, Toppin, and the 19th or 21st pick combined in any deal next summer. At best, he becomes the Knicks’ best point guard in a long while.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

The Knicks are leaving Kevin Knox behind as they develop without him

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

The New York Knicks have created a new identity under head coach Tom Thibodeau, playing suffocating defense. They currently rank first in the NBA in points allowed per game with 104.7, nearly a two-point difference between the 2nd ranked Los Angeles Lakers.

With their shift and mentality, some players have lost favor with management and the coaching staff based on their style of play, and one of them is Kevin Knox, who is averaging just 11.6 minutes per game this season in 39 appearances. He hasn’t earned a single start this year and has only started four games over the past two seasons.

Knox’s only real opportunity came when he was 19 years old as a rookie, earning 28.8 minutes per contest and playing in 75 games. He shot .370 from the field and averaged 12.8 points per game but underwhelmed in most categories based on his live-action.

Now, the Knicks are simply trying to find a way to utilize him, and I imagine he will be traded at some point if he doesn’t carve out a role for himself with Thibodeau. However, the reality might be difficult, as the Knicks play such aggressive defense that requires them to always be running and moving, something that Knox isn’t entirely great at.

According to the New York Post, Knox doesn’t show enough motor to earn significant playing time in Thibodeau‘s unit and with the team surprising everybody and currently sitting in the 4th seat in the Eastern Conference, Thibs is not giving away minutes for fun. This is a competitive team that must play their best players if they want to make the playoffs and compete against some of the best teams in the league, and Knox simply doesn’t fit that equation any longer.

The question is, what value does Knox hold as a trade piece, considering he hasn’t offered much on defense or offense the past few seasons? Despite not earning much playing time, Knox has been a great teammate on the bench, rooting his squad on despite the lack of playing time. When he’s on the floor, though, it is clear that he lacks aggressive this on defense, which is a big no-no for Thibs.

“They’re great teammates,’’ RJ Barrett said. “Frank is one of my closest friends. … They’ve been great teammates as well. They work extremely hard. I just saw Kevin out there on the court dripping in sweat getting the work in. When they’ve gotten their opportunity they’ve done extremely well.’’

Deciding the fate of Knicks players on the bubble ahead of the trade deadline

New York Knicks, Austin Rivers

The All-Star weekend is officially in the books as teams are now fully focused on the second half of the NBA season. The New York Knicks are in a really good spot for a change, as they sit at the 5th seed in the East with a record of 19-18.

The fact that they are in the playoff race, let alone a game above .500 this late into the season, is nothing short of remarkable considering the expectations heading into this year. This is a huge testament to the work of head coach Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the coaching staff, as they have this Knicks team playing hard every night and outworking their opponents, especially on the defensive end as they currently rank second in defensive rating at 108.8.

Usually once the trade deadline rolls around Knicks fans are already scrolling through mock drafts and familiarizing themselves with prospects in the upcoming draft. The Knicks themselves are usually trying to sell guys for draft compensation or searching the bargain bin for anyone they can take a chance on.

This year is totally different, as the Knicks will probably look to be buyers over the next few weeks, and as usual, they have been connected to almost every name out there. This also means a number of guys on the team already have been connected to trade rumors as well, so we could possibly see a roster that looks significantly different once the March 25th deadline passes. With that, let’s dive into a few current Knicks who are on the bubble and see if they are likely to remain in orange and blue, or if their time as a Knick could be over rather quick (how did I do, Clyde?):

Four players the New York Knicks could decide on at the March 25 deadline: 

Austin Rivers

I really feel bad for Austin Rivers. I do. He went from being a guy who immediately cemented himself as a vocal leader on the team and had Knicks fans excited, to a guy who fell out of the rotation and hasn’t seen the court in weeks unless it’s garbage time.

That being said, Rivers has been playing very inconsistently for much of the season. He is a hot-and-cold type of player and is a very streaky shooter. It seemed that Rivers was trying to do too much when he was on the court, and he was failing to find the guys around him when they had open looks far too often.

After the Derrick Rose trade, it seemed like the writing was on the wall for Rivers. The second unit has largely performed much better with Rose, and even when Rose was out the last couple of games due to health and safety protocols Rivers still didn’t see any playing time.

Rivers can still be a valuable trade piece because of his experience, veteran presence, and team-friendly contract. There should definitely a few teams who are interested in bringing in a guy like Rivers to bolster their scoring off the bench, including the team coached by his father, who had also shown interest in him during the offseason along with the Knicks. The Knicks might be able to get themselves a second-round pick or two for Rivers if they move him, and it is all but guaranteed at this point that they will do so.

Prediction: Gone

Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox has suffered a similar fate to that of Rivers, as the 2018 ninth overall pick has also fallen out of the rotation and has only seen the court sparingly recently. In just over 15 minutes played he’s averaging only 5 points, 2 rebounds and under 1 assist per game.

Early on in the season Knox showed an improved shooting touch, particularly from behind the three-point line, although Coach Thibodeau must not have liked what he saw from him in other areas of his game and phased him out of the rotation pretty early on.

The Knicks have reportedly been shopping Knox, although they were unwilling to part ways with him in the Rose trade last month. Nevertheless, it’s likely that team president Leon Rose and the rest of the front office were looking to save Knox for a future trade down the line, and I doubt he is untouchable now by any means.

Knox still could provide some value to a team looking to take a chance on a young guy and see if they can try and unlock something that the Knicks were not able to. He could also be an attractive throw-in piece as part of a bigger trade, but no matter what the trade looks like the likelihood is that Knox’s time as a Knick is coming to an end.

Prediction: Gone

Frank Ntilikina

Ah, the beloved French Prince. A man who will forever unite and capture the hearts of Knicks fans across the globe. After his early-season injury and COVID scare, we thought Frank Ntilikina was pretty much done as a Knick as he was forced to the bench alongside Knox and Rivers once he returned. But alas, an opportunity presented itself once injuries struck, and Ntilikina was the one Thibodeau called on to step up to the plate, which shows that he trusts him.

Ntilikina has done a solid job this season overall, especially since he returned to the rotation the last few games before the All-Star break. He hasn’t lit up the scoreboard, but that’s never been his game. He’s shot the ball selectively but more efficiently this season, and he’s continued to affect the game greatly with his suffocating defense. The offense as a whole has also seemed to flow better when he’s on the court, as he’s been able to help move the ball around while doing a good job of getting his teammates involved.

Could this mean that maybe the Knicks won’t trade Frank after all? He is a free agent after this season, and it was thought that the Knicks were looking to move on from him. They could possibly look to trade him and then re-sign him in the offseason. However, the Knicks would lose his Bird Rights, and they might want to see if he continues to improve the rest of the season. He would probably be affordable to re-sign as well, which would be appealing.

This is really a toss-up, it can go either way, but I’m going to lean towards the Knicks holding onto him and the Frank Ntilikina experiment continuing… for now.

Prediction: Stay

Elfrid Payton

We now go from the most beloved Knick to the most criticized Knick. Elfrid Payton seems like a great guy and is a solid player, he just can’t catch a break with Knicks fans. He isn’t a starting point guard, and even though he hasn’t been terrible he hasn’t been great either. He’s been good getting to the basket and even in the mid-range with a strong floater game, but his inability to shoot the ball has limited what the Knicks have been able to do offensively. He’s held his own defensively as well, but he’s been underwhelming getting his teammates involved as he’s averaged a career-low 3.7 assists this season.

Fans have been calling for Derrick Rose to replace Payton as the starting point guard ever since he came on board, but Thibodeau keeps standing by Payton and it doesn’t seem like he’s planning on taking him out of the starting role. That being said, you never know with Thibodeau, and Rose has played well as the starter in the games Payton missed with a hamstring injury.

When you combine that with guards like Ntilikina and rookie phenom Immanuel Quickley coming off the bench, it makes Payton more expendable. Plus, there have been rumblings of Payton drawing some interest from other teams. But, at the end of the day, while it is possible that Payton could moved at the deadline, there has been nothing that gives off the impression that it’s likely to happen.

Prediction: Stay

New York Knicks: Calipari explains Payne’s impact on Randle’s All-Star rise

The New York Knicks‘ status as a real playoff contender will be legitimized by a Julius Randle selection in the NBA All-Star Game.

Randle is knocking on the All-Star Game door after an impressive start to the season. He’s dragging a young Knicks team to the playoffs conversations in a season many analysts thought would be a lottery year.

Randle is in the midst of a career year in the NBA — 23.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 40.7 percent from deep, all career-highs. And more importantly, as Tom Thibodeau pointed out, Randle has impacted winning in New York.

With Randle leading the way, the Knicks have won 14 of their first 30 games, good for the seventh spot in the East. Barring any second-half meltdown, the Knicks are on pace to outplay ESPN‘s projections (24.7 average wins and 2% playoff chances).

Randle’s Herculean effort hasn’t gone unnoticed as he finished seventh in the Eastern Conference frontcourt starters voting — seventh in fans votes, eighth in players votes, and fifth in media votes.

The coaches are set to pick the seven reserves, which will be announced on Tuesday.

Comfortable being uncomfortable

Randle revealed in the Old Man and the Three podcast yesterday that the Knicks executive vice president William Wesley called him in the offseason and asked him what he needs to go to the next level.

His response foreshadowed what is happening right now: “I need a coach who will push me and hold me accountable.”

Tom Thibodeau is what Randle has ordered. But he got more than what he bargained.

Kenny Payne, the man responsible for whipping Randle and a slew of Kentucky big men into becoming an NBA lottery pick, also came on board.

“One of the things that I told the Knicks when they were considering Kenny is that: ‘Understand now, if you want to see what Julius can be — he’s a good guy because they have a great relationship and Kenny will push him and make him uncomfortable until he’s comfortable being uncomfortable.’ You know how it’s done,” Kentucky coach John Calipari told Empire Sports Media via zoom call.

Unlocking Knox

Calipari also sold Payne to the Knicks as the key to unlocking their other underwhelming Kentucky product.

“And I also told them Kevin Knox, who was playing really good early, you’re gonna find out what he is,” Calipari said.

For the early part of the season, when injuries ravaged the Knicks, Knox had his moments. At one point, he was leading the league in corner three-pointers. However, it was short-lived as the team got healthy and Knox got buried under the Knicks’ new-found depth.

“They’re not playing [Kevin] as much because they’re trying over guys to play snippets and trying to figure out who’s who. But I think it’s been great,” Calipari said.

Big man’s whisperer

At Kentucky, Payne was the good cop to Calipari’s bad cop. In New York, Payne does the dirty work for Thibodeau.

Payne is always on the ears of the Knicks’ big men. Clips of him personally training the Knicks’ frontcourt — from Randle to Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin — went viral in the offseason. Oftentimes, on the MSG broadcast, you catch him in the pregame, stretching out Randle and assisting in his shootaround. During the games, you see him barking instructions or explaining the game situations to players from the sidelines.

Randle’s reunion with Payne made his transformation under the very detailed and hard Thibodeau coaching more effective.

“Julius is having an All-Star year. And the Knicks, if they stay in this playoff hunt, and they’re in there, there’s no reason — Julius in the biggest market had averaged in double-double just dragging the team and motivating his team and doing what he’s doing — for that not to happen for him personally,” Calipari said.

If it does happen, thanks in large part to Payne.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Rumors: New York Knicks ‘saving’ Kevin Knox for a bigger deal as trade bait

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

The New York Knicks have been active in the market, recently acquiring Derrick Rose in a trade with the Detroit Pistons and signing Taj Gibson, a veteran center that has familiarity with head coach Tom Thibodeau. Some would say that Thibodeau is putting the old band back together, but his plan is clearly working as the Knicks have won three straight games and recently tortured the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 in a win on Monday evening.

The injection of Rose and Gibson has helped the Knicks stabilize, as Julius Randle put together a 44 point performance in the victory, including nine rebounds. RJ Barrett also posted 21 points and Immanuel Quickley 16, showing that their youth is also getting involved.

Are the New York Knicks close to being a ‘quality’ team?

You could make the argument that the Knicks are one star player away from being a quality team, which brings up the idea of striking another trade in the coming days. If they were able to acquire a star player, there’s a good chance the Knicks could make the post-season this year, which would be a minor miracle for most fans who’ve been waiting patiently for things to turn around.

There are a few assets the team can part ways with in a trade, and it starts with Kevin Knox, who is only 21 years old.

The Knicks haven’t parted ways with Knox just yet, as they are looking for the right deal to include him in. He’s only played in 22 games this year, averaging 16.9 minutes per, 5.6 points, and 2.2 total rebounds. His production doesn’t exactly scream efficiency, but considering his youth, there will be a team out there that believes they can develop him and make him an adequate player. The reality is, he doesn’t fit the Knicks’ system right now, as they are playing more small ball with Rose and Quickley in the backcourt.

Marc Berman of the NY Post stated:

The Pistons preferred Knox be included in the Rose trade, but the Knicks may be saving him for another deal.

Luckily, the Knicks do have plenty of cap space to utilize in the future and assets to part ways with in a potential deal for a star. I believe they’re scouring the market, as names like Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine have both bubbled to the surface in recent weeks. When something happens, it will likely happen out of nowhere, as the team continues to push forward and string together victories.

Kevin Knox plots plan to earn his way back into Knicks rotation

Kevin Knox is trying his best to stay positive after another fall from grace.

The third-year forward was a healthy scratch in the New York Knicks‘ last two games, preceded by two consecutive scoreless performances. He’s become the latest casualty of Tom Thibodeau’s win-now mentality.

Recurring nightmare

He had similar nightmares last year. And Knox is drawing strength from last season’s harrowing experience where his minutes were sporadic.

“Last year was a little low, but I really learned a lot from last year being ready at any given time. Just continue to work no matter how much playing time you get,” Knox told reporters via zoom call after Wednesday’s shootaround in Chicago.

With the Knicks’ veteran wings Reggie Bullock, Austin Rivers, and Alec Burks all healthy, Knox’s path to earning minutes is slim to none as Thibodeau prioritizes winning over his development.

“I know we have a lof great players, and our rotations can get tight. Coach makes a lot of decisions. He’s the head coach, so whatever decision he makes, I gotta respect it,” Knox said.

Best teammate

With Knox back in the doghouse, the former Kentucky Wildcat hopes to earn his way back into the rotation by buying into the team concept.

“I think that’s very important right now — just being the best teammate that I can be no matter how much playing time I get,” Knox said. 

“Just encouraging my guys, making sure I help some of the young guys — Obi (Toppin), Quick (Immanuel Quickley), and even some of the older guys if I see something from the sideline. But I’ll always stay ready, working hard in practice, going 100 percent because you’ll never know when my number will be called.”

Even if Thibodeau explained that Knox’s role with the team remains fluid and situational, unlike the case of Dennis Smith Jr., who requested to play in the G League, it’s obvious that the 2018 ninth overall pick’s stock has hit rock-bottom.

View from the bottom

There was a stretch in January when Knox led the league in corner 3, but he has since cooled off. He’s been struggling in the last seven games before his benching, shooting just 3-for-14 from deep.

Knox said he’d got a different view of the game from the bench, taking notes that he hopes to carry on the court when another chance — whenever that maybe — would come.

“You feel a lot of different things from the sideline, honestly. You see a lot of little things that you don’t really see on the court. I think a lot of people can say the same thing,” Knox said.

Vanishing chances

But four of the players who were picked after him in the 2018 NBA Draft can’t say the same thing.

Mikal Bridges has developed into Phoenix Suns’ swiss-knife army, often tasked to shadow the opposing team’s best player and still has the energy to hunt for his offense.

Knox’s Kentucky teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has become the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder rebuild, while Miles Bridges has been playing a pivotal role in Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Porter Jr. is an emerging star in Denver.

While his Draft batchmates are flourishing, Knox’s chances are vanishing.

“I’m just going to continue to keep working defensively, keep moving without the basketball offensively. Just run around and be aggressive all the time. Like I said, being ready to go in there to play hard, get rebounds, get steals, just make hustle plays, make winning plays so I can get to see my minutes increased.”

“But like what I said, whether I play or not, I just have to be the best teammate that I can be and work hard in practice and workouts. And on off days, make sure I can get shots up and continue to get my reps up,” Knox said about his plans moving forward.

Will these things be enough to earn his way back?

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Bullock’s injury forces Knicks to shake up starting lineup

Reggie Bullock of the New York Knicks

As the games keep on coming, the injury bug also keeps on hitting the New York Knicks.

Starter Reggie Bullock will not play Monday night in Charlotte due to a sore right hip, the Knicks announced.

Bullock has been averaging 28.7 minutes producing 8.5 points on 33.3 percent on threes, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

His outside shooting and defense will be sorely missed as Tom Thibodeau’s wing rotation is getting thinner.

The timing couldn’t have come at the worst time with the Knicks in the midst of a two-game losing streak. They have their plate full this week with a four-game schedule, including Monday night’s match against the streaking Hornets.

Bullock joins the Knicks’ injury list that also includes rookie Obi Toppin (strained right calf), Frank Ntilikina (sprained right knee), Alec Burks (sprained left ankle), and new signee Taj Gibson who is still undergoing health protocols before joining the team.

The Knicks are expected to bring Austin Rivers up to the starting unit to replace Bullock. But there’s also a chance that Kevin Knox will get the starting nod if Thibodeau opts to have a veteran leader on the floor for his second unit.

Meanwhile, Toppin is making progress with his recovery, although he hasn’t been cleared for contact.

“Right now, it’s 1-on-0, with some movement, jumping, change of direction, and that sort of thing,” Thibodeau said last Sunday.

“Then he’ll progress to 2-on-2, 3-on-3, and get to the point where he can get to 5-on-5 and get through practice,” he continued.

Toppin hasn’t seen action since the season opener.

Burks, on the other hand, is closing to re-evaluation later this week. The veteran wingman had been on a walking boot since Wednesday last week. He was initially given a 7-10 day timetable before he can be re-evaluated.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo