Morning Knicks 7/3: NBA Wants Bubble for Non Playoff Teams, Knicks Considering Not Participating, and More
-ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA was close to finalizing a second bubble in Chicago for the eight teams not included in the NBA's restart. The purpose would be to let these teams have minicamps and play in games. However, the Knicks may choose not to join. Our own Jonathan Macri reported that the Knicks and at least one other team would consider not participating in these events. He also heard from a source that the Knicks "have a strong preference to engage in a training camp at home later in the summer." The Knicks did not participate in yesterday's call about this plan, although SNY's Ian Begley said it was because the team was conducting coaching interviews.
Decisions on this matter from both the league and the Knicks are far from set in stone, but it's completely understandable why the Knicks would not want to get behind this idea. They have several players with second year contract options and young players who they may not want to risk injury. There's also the fact that a good amount of NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, and there is growing concern with the original NBA bubble.
-LaMelo Ball has become the top point guard prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, but Killian Hayes is right behind him with the potential to be a great future floor general. As the Knicks sit at sixth in the lottery odds, it may be unlikely they get a chance at Hayes. But our own Jonathan Macri made the case for several teams ahead of the Knicks to pass on Hayes, leaving the Frenchman for New York, even if they don't get any lottery luck.
-Plenty of NBA players were prodigies at a young age. The Knicks may have finally found one - he's just not a player. One of Leon Rose's front office additions, scout Alex Kline, has been successful in the basketball world since he was in high school. Kline has been making connections and breaking news long before the average NBA executive does, and now he'll have his chance to prove what he can bring to the Knicks. For more on Kline, you can check out The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov's piece on Kline's background and steady rise.
-Even though the Nets are part of the NBA's restart and the Knicks are not, the rivalry over New York is not dormant. Mitchell Robinson posted a picture of himself wearing a custom shirt of him blocking Spencer Dinwiddie's shot. The Nets' guard responded, saying “I would’ve put em on a shoe, but ima need him to not lead the league in fouls before I do that.” It's likely Robinson had no ill intentions, and if he wanted a shirt of himself blocking a shot, someone had to be the victim. During a time of no basketball, it's fun to reignite the rivalry. You can read more about the feud from Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
-MSG's schedule of Knicks' replays rolls on, and next week is a big one. The network will be broadcasting some of Patrick Ewing's best games, both at Georgetown and in New York. There will also be an interview with Ewing toward the end of the programming. If you've been enjoying all the past Knicks games being broadcasted during this time of no live basketball, next week will be a can't miss.