Longtime Phil Jackson confidant offers prospective on Knicks’ future

Charley Rosen, a longtime Phil Jackson confidant, suggested that the Knicks need a center with a bigger butt than what Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Towns provides. (New York Post, March 29).

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Rosen also asserted that he really hadn’t gotten a chance to see many of this year’s top prospects, so take that analysis for what it’s worth.

If he’s right about one thing, it’s that the center position should be a priority for the Knicks, even as small ball becomes all the more prevalent in the NBA.

Talented big men are very difficult to come by, and even if a team is able to acquire one, it usually comes at an expensive price. With that in mind, should the Knicks come away with the number one or two pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, selecting Anthony-Towns or Duke’s Jahil Okafor should be a no-brainer. It’s a worthwhile longterm investment, and likely saves them more money in the short-term. A player like Greg Monroe (who Rosen says would be a great fit in the triangle offense) is surely to cost the Knicks more than a quality guard or forward will this offseason.

Should New York slip down to a later pick, the likes of D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay will be available. Either one would be a quality selection, but this would mean the team would in fact have to target Monroe or someone similar soon after. Acquiring a big man in the draft would go a long way towards building a steady foundation for Carmelo Anthony and Co. to work with.

Kevin Whitted fired as Knicks’ D-League coach

The Westchester Knicks have fired Kevin Whitted as the team’s head coach.

Craig Hodges will serve as interim head coach for remainder of season, the team said.

Whitted led the Westchester team to a 10-36 record in their first season. The team has four more games left this season.

Jackson rebuilding from the ‘#groundup’

With 60 defeats this season, the New York Knicks have the highest total losses in the franchise’s 69-year history, so team president Phil Jackson took to Twitter to explain himself (ESPN, March 30).

Knicks re-sign Ricky Ledo

The Knicks have re-signed Ricky Ledo to a second ten-day contract, Phil Jackson announced on Sunday afternoon.

Ledo is averaging 7.2 points and 2.2 rebounds over 18.5 minutes in five games with the Knicks.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The Knicks don’t have much to lose here as the end of the season nears. Having an extended look at Ledo won’t hurt anybody.

New York obviously wants more time before making a more concrete decision on Ledo’s future, which if he’s retained, could mean a stint with the team in NBA Summer League and a partially guaranteed option for next season.

Given how much flexibility the Knicks will have this coming summer, it’ll probably prove more worthwhile to keep their options (and respective roster spots) open. Ledo will likely be available come later in the offseason as well.

So far with the Knicks, Ledo’s rawness as a prospect has been on display with erratic mannerisms on the offensive end and questionable decision-making on the court.

In case you missed it…

The Knicks made the kind of history you don’t want with Saturday’s loss to the Bulls. The Knicks lost their 60th game this season, a franchise record and are now 14-60 (Isola, March 29).

Ricky Ledo’s 10-contract is up on Sunday, Derek Fisher isn’t sure yet if the club will sign him to another 10-day deal (Berman, March 28).

A Q & A with Walt Fraizer, who turns 70 on Sunday, and NY Post columnist Steve Serby (Serby, March 28)


Game Recap: Bulls 111 — Knicks 80

Recap The Knicks set the franchise record for most losses in a season (60) as they lost their seventh in a row.

Need to know: The Knicks have lost 25 of their last 28 at the United Center, including the last eight in a row.

The Clippers beat the Knicks by the same score Wednesday at the Garden.

Pau Gasol (19 points, 12 rebounds) has 48 double-doubles so far this season. That’s not only a career high, but three more than he recorded in the previous two seasons combined with the Lakers (45).

Nikola Mirotic had 24 points to lead the Bulls, who led 28-17 after the first quarter and 54-34 at halftime. Jimmy Butler had 18 for the Bulls, who had six in double figures.

Andrea Bargnani led the Knicks with 14 points.

Links: AP recap | Box Score

What’s Next: The Knicks visit the Nets Wednesday (7:30 p.m.).