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Knicks Links: Draft Combine Fever!

Also: Porzingis wants to be a Knick and Melo’s son can beat me in one-on-one

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks
Phil Jackson and Steve Mills are in Phil’s old stomping grounds for the week.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What up my glip-glops?

It’s the NBA Draft Combine this week, so two guys projected to go in the lottery and a bunch of other dudes are in Chicago showing off their big butts and triangle acumen for a few days. Naturally, our intrepid Knicks front office is on the scene, so we’ve got some robust links today!

First, here’s something to listen to:

I kinda envision that as the theme song of having a meeting with Phil Jackson.

So what’s going on in Chicago?

So we already mentioned that President Phil is in the building, but who did he bring in his posse, and who is he hanging with?

— The Knicks are scheduled to meet with Purdue PF/C Caleb Swanigan today:

Interesting, since in most mocks Swanigan is projected to go around the end of the first round. Maybe Phil has something in the works to move back into the first round?

(More than likely, though, they’re just doing their due diligence in case he’s available at one of their two second round picks.)

— Marc Berman of the NY Post wrote about the Knicks’ activities on day one of the Combine, including this:

Markelle Fultz is here. Lonzo Ball and his $495 sneakers are not.


— Steve Popper of the Bergen Record also wrote about the Knicks at the Combine.

— For those interested in watching the various stuff going on at the Combine, Bleacher Report put together a nice little viewing guide.

Non-Combine links

— Since Ian Begley of ESPN NY works for the Worldwide Leader, he interviewed ESPN college basketball experts Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Goodman about some of the Knicks’ supposed top targets in the Draft: Frank Ntilikina, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Definitely worth the read, and here’s a couple highlights:


He can make decisions well. He shoots it well. He's athletic. He could be a good defender. And you're also looking at a kid who's still 18 years old. His long-term potential as an NBA player is very good... He doesn't have the polish of a Fultz or Ball or the speed and athleticism or raw athleticism of Fox or Smith, but he has the look and feel of an NBA guard when he grows up.


I just would say quickly that obviously De'Aaron Fox's speed and athleticism, given the way the NBA game is at the moment — that’s going to trump the fact that he has to continue to improve his shot.

I think he's only helped by his character, too. I mean, high-character kid, shined when it mattered in the NCAA tournament, for the most part. I think you're looking at a guy who's certainly going to go in the top 10 and could go as high as 5.


I think Malik, once he settles into his NBA career, is going to be a scorer off the bench... He can put the ball in the basket. There's no doubt about it. But the fact that he's undersized, with a below-average wingspan for the position, he is going to have to become what I call a technician. He is really going to have to work on NBA footwork, creating space and separation.

All in all, a really good read from some smart dudes. Definitely recommend it.

— Begley brought the goods today, as he also has an exclusive interview with Kristaps Porzingis’ brother and confidant Janis. I’m fairly certain now that Janis has been the source for all of Begley’s KP scoops lately. But here’s a really good line:

"Kris wants to stay in New York; he feels at home there. There is no question about it. The only thing he wants is for the Knicks to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win," Janis Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN. "If he were traded, he would play out his contract and head into free agency, where he can choose his own destiny."

Maybe I’m reading a bit much into the subtext, but this says to me that A) Porzingis would probably sign a rookie extension here and B) he’s intentionally trying to keep teams from even calling Phil about trading for him by saying he’d opt to hit free agency. Which is nice to hear.

— A couple “What should the Knicks do this offseason?” pieces:

Bobby Marks of The Vertical breaks down the Knicks’ offseason priorities, and since he’s the “salary cap guy” at The Vertical, he gives a nice, detailed analysis of the Knicks’ cap situation this summer.

Nekias Duncan of FanRag Sports talks with Kyle Maggio of The Knicks Wall about the Knicks’ offseason plans. Nice, lighthearted interview.

— Draymond Green remains a twat, boasting on his podcast that he is sure that Kristaps Porzingis was lying about his Twitter being hacked last week. Hey Draymond, suck it:

— Mike D’Antoni took some time to once again reiterate that he left the Knicks because of butting heads with Carmelo. My man, your team is in the Western Conference Semis fighting for a date with the Warriors. I think you’ve got bigger things to worry about.

— Melo’s son Kiyan would probably kick my ass in a game of one-on-one: