Lance Thomas has a role with the Knicks — the veteran leader in the locker room, a trusted voice among the players. On the court, however, his role has been shrinking. He started the first five games, but between the Knicks going younger and being in need of reliable offense (Thomas is shooting 29.4 percent from three and with a troubling 46.9 true shooting percentage) coach David Fizdale has looked elsewhere.
Now the Knicks will be without him for a month.
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery of his left knee for removal of loose bodies. He’ll be re-evaluated in four weeks.
Look for Kevin Knox to be the biggest beneficiary in terms of minutes, but things were trending that way anyway. Knox is part of the young foundation Fizdale is trying to build in New York, something that can support the now sprintingKristaps Porzingis as well as potentially another star via free agency.
Knicks coach David Fizdale says Kristaps Porzingis isn’t yet sprinting, Porzingis posts photos of himself sprinting
David Fizdale said he thought Kristaps Porzingis’ Instagram post was a result of frustration over the perception that he wasn’t working hard during his ACL rehab. “He took it personally. It got to him that people would think that.” Again, Fizdale and Porzingis spoke this morning.
Friday night in Madison Square Garden, the Golden State Warriors will thrash take on the New York Knicks.
This is Kevin Durant‘s one-and-only trip to the island of Manhattan this season, but he’s been linked there as a possible free agent next summer, meaning Knicks fans are going all out to recruit him. Of course, that means a billboard.
If Durant is leaving, there’s some logic to heading to the Knicks. First, it would be his team, but there is some other talent there in Kristaps Porzingis (once he gets healthy) and potential quality role players such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kevin Knox. There is a well-respected coach there in David Fizdale now, who is trying to build a new, stop-skipping-steps culture for the Knicks. Durant would get out of the deep West (although Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Milwaukee are all serious threats). And, if you win in New York, it would be like winning nowhere else.
However, there are concerns (*cough* James Dolan) and Durant will have his choice of 28 teams that would love to recruit him (we can rule out Oklahoma City). Durant will have options, ones that could be more appealing than the Knicks. That might even include staying in the Bay Area.
But Knicks fans are already doing their part.
Report: Knicks’ Kevin Knox out 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle
This is a blow — not just for the Knicks on the court, or the development of the team’s new young star, but for Knicks fans. With Kristaps Porzingis out for the foreseeable future, promising rookie Kevin Knox was the reason for hope, the reason to tune in and watch every night.
Now he’s going to be out for a couple of weeks, and maybe a month.
Knox went down after Boston’s Terry Rozier tried to cut Knox off in transition and fouled him. Knox was in a lot of pain and had to be helped off the court.
Kevin Knox (left ankle sprain) will not return. X-Rays were negative.
“Every team was under consideration but obviously New York held a special place for me,” said Irving, who grew up about 15 miles away from MSG in West Orange, NJ. “Just being from Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent and ultimately taking a meeting and playing for (Knicks coach David Fizdale) and a great young core that they have here.
“Thinking about playing with (Kristaps Porzingis). That was a big thing before I made my decision just to plan on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah, of course, New York was a strong consideration.”
The Celtics are in a position to contend for a title this season and few more going forward (at least), which is what Irving said is the key reason he wants to stay. It doesn’t hurt that Boston can offer him five years, $190 million guaranteed, while the most the Knicks can offer is four years, $139 million. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.
By the way, the Celtics beat the Knicks 103-101 in MSG.