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Some interesting Knicks tidbits were dropped on Zach Lowe’s podcast

Howard Beck and Ian Begley were the guests. It’s worth a listen!

New York Knicks Press Conference Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

As the headline and sub-headline imply, Howard Beck and Ian Begley were guests on Zach Lowe’s podcast The Lowe Post today. The episode was entirely Knicks-based, so... lots of doom and gloom. To that end, much of the podcast was dedicated to talking about how the Knicks got to the low point at which they are, which isn’t something I want to rehash. But they also gave us some intriguing information about the state of the Knicks and their players, which is worth disseminating! So I’ve paraphrased those bits of info for your consumption. That said, please please please listen to the podcast yourself, for two reasons: first, to get the information directly from the reporters themselves; and second, because everyone involved worked very hard on that podcast, and they don’t deserve to lose traffic just because some doofus decided to write some of the most interesting stuff down.

On the Carmelo Anthony trade talks

  • The Knicks and the Rockets are working hard to get a deal done, but as of this morning, the Knicks haven’t been offered a package that fits what they’re looking for (young players and/or picks).
  • The Rockets have not yet been able to convince a single other team to take on Ryan Anderson’s contract unless they also give that team two future first round picks, which the Rockets are loathe to do. Beck, Lowe, and Begley didn’t make it clear whether the Rockets would be willing to give up one first rounder, but I imagine based on context that they would.
  • The Knicks would be happy to trade Melo to the Blazers instead of the Rockets, but it’s currently very unlikely that Melo accepts that trade. However, there’s a small chance Melo changes his tune later in the summer, because...
  • Melo could not be any less interested in starting next year with the Knicks, and the Knicks are similarly uninterested in him starting the year on the team. None of the reporters envision Melo making it to training camp with the Knicks, even if New York needs to budge a bit on their current trade demands.
  • Melo’s issues with the franchise are not limited to what Phil Jackson said about him, as many other front office members said similar things in private.
  • The Knicks expect, ultimately, to receive a veteran point guard as part of the Melo trade, which is why they haven’t been scrambling to sign one in free agency.

On the Front Office Shakeup/the Draft

  • Phil Jackson preferred Frank Ntilikina over Dennis Smith, Jr. and Malik Monk because of his triangle fit (yuck), but many other members of the front office preferred Ntilikina for other reasons, and the remaining staff members don’t regret the pick.
  • The front office was roughly evenly split between Ntilikina and Monk on draft day, with a few people arguing in favor of Donovan Mitchell.
  • None of the reporters know which player Steve Mills preferred (probably for the best, in case it wasn’t Frank).
  • The reason Dennis Smith, Jr. wasn’t really in consideration was that the Knicks were never granted access to his medical records. This is the same reason his workout with the team was abruptly canceled. The reporters speculated that Smith’s agent may not have wanted the Knicks to draft him.
  • David Griffin wanted either to be made President of Basketball Operations or, at the very least, share the title with Steve Mills to take the job.
  • A common rumor in NBA circles is that Mills signed Tim Hardaway, Jr. before hiring a General Manager in an attempt to make a splash and show Jim Dolan that he deserved the President of Basketball Operations position.

On the relationship between the Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis

  • Like Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis’s problems with the organization aren’t limited to things Phil Jackson said about him. Therefore, the relationship between Kristaps and the team is still a bit frosty.
  • Mills overstated how often he and Porzingis have communicated this summer, unless by “hectic texting relationship” Mills meant he’s sending texts and Kristaps is mostly not responding (They weren’t reporting that Kristaps is ignoring Mills, I don’t think, just that the two haven’t talked a ton).
  • If Porzingis were to, theoretically, accept the Qualifying Offer, then a year later become an unrestricted free agent and leave the team, Willy Hernangomez would absolutely leave with him. They weren’t reporting that Kristaps leaving is a legitimate possibility at the moment, though.

That’s all I got. Nothing super positive, unfortunately. But at least we know that Carmelo Anthony is almost definitely not coming back to the Knicks next year! (Which, we kinda knew that already, but it was never as concrete as it is now.)

Again, please take some time to listen to the podcast itself. Then, after that, go freak out about Kristaps still being mad at the Knicks!