Knicks reportedly won’t sign second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Sam Spiegelman

The Knicks’ trade to acquire Quincy Acy and retain him on the roster does not bode well for second-round draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo and his chances of earning a spot on the roster.

According to Real GM, Antetokounmpo is deciding between joining the Knicks’ D-League team is Westchester or a deal to remain in Italy/Spain.

Acy’s contract becomes guaranteed on August 15, and unless the team decides not to keep him on the roster then Antetokounmpo will not be a part of the 2014-15 squad.

In order for New York to keep his rights, they must extend him a required tender by September 6.

Pro Basketball Talk laid out the team’s options in regards to the future of their second-round pick:  To read more of this story, click here

Cleanthony Early gets some love from his peers

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Earlier this week, the NBA gathered its first-year players at the Knicks’ training facility for the annual Rookie Photo Shoot. As Knicks’ rookies Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo had some fun, a selection of the young guns were invited to participate in the year Rookie Survey as well.

As fate would have it, each of the rookies in New York’s duo got some love from their peers. In all, thirty-eight players participated in the survey itself.

Despite being selected in the second-round, Early seems to be one of the more talked about and hyped incoming first-year players, at least according to his fellow rookies. His name can be found all over the survey.

The No. 34 overall selection of the 2014 NBA Draft was among those “Others Receiving Votes” in categories pertaining to the most overlooked rookies, and ones who are poised to have the best career.

What’s more, the high-flying swingman was also recognized as the fourth most athletic player in his draft class. Apparently Early has a sense of humor, because he was voted the fourth funniest rookie as well.

At this point, it’s unknown whether or not Antetokounmpo will be playing for the Knicks, the D-League, or an international team next season. Still, that didn’t shut the 51st over pick out from the survey, either. An All-Defensive Third Team selection out of the NBA D-League last season, the young gun was among those “Others Receiving Votes” as the best defensive player from his draft class.

Interestingly enough, Carmelo Anthony’s name also came up in the survey as well. The Knicks’ star was recognized as one of the favorite players in the league of the draft class. He came in fourth, behind the likes of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.

What will Quincy Acy bring to the table for the Knicks?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

It’s hard not to love the Knicks’ recent trade with the Kings. They turned nothing into something, as Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy could both end up making positive contributions this year. In any event, New York had nothing to lose either way with a deal like this.

At this point, Outlaw is a well-known veteran. What you see is what you get. Unfortunately, while that could sometimes means double-digit scoring off the bench, it may also mean inconsistent play from a player battling injuries. He’s the wild card and/or X-Factor in this deal, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Knicks are assumedly excited about Acy, who brings along with him some much needed toughness, intensity, and defensive grit. He’s an explosive player down low who likes to get into the face of his opponent.

Much of that was on display during  NBA Summer League last month, which is where Steve Mills (on a conference call late Tuesday evening) said the Knicks got a closer look at Acy. Perhaps they had a chance to catch this ferocious dunk from the video below:  To read more of this story, click here

Ex-Knick Felton suspended four games

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Knicks trade Ellington, Tyler for Quincy Acy, Travis Outlaw

The Knicks will send Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Tyler and a second-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft to the Kings in exchange for Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw (Amick, August 6).

New York will pay Outlaw $3 million next season, while the Nets owe him $4 million from his deal that was amnestied in 2011. The Knicks have informed Acy they will guarantee his deal for next season. Acy makes $915,000 (Amick, August 6).

New York has reportedly been trying to deal Ellington, who they acquired in the Tyson Chandler/Raymond Felton-for-Jose Calderon swap earlier this offseason.

Per the report, Sacramento will waive Tyler and use the stretch provision of Ellington to help create salary cap relief.

Acy, a 6-foot-7 small forward, averaged 2.7 points per game in 15 minutes per night last season for the Kings.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

If anyone is looking to point a finger at Phil Jackson for making a bad move thus far, he’s making their job incredibly difficult.

Jackson has followed up the Knicks’ offseason trade with the Mavericks by making smaller but savvy moves along the way. This deal with the Kings is no different.

On the surface, turning Ellington, a player who figured to get little to no minutes while donning orange and blue, into anything more productive, is a plus.

While Outlaw has been plagued with injuries and has otherwise underachieved throughout his career, he still represents a guy who can hop off the bench and potentially score double-figures on a given night. He’s a tough player who can help pace New York’s second unit defensively. If healthy, the swingman could really bolster the the team’s depth.

To read more of this story, click here

Why maintaining roster flexibility remains a priority for the Knicks

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

When selling Carmelo Anthony on the team’s future, Phil Jackson & Co. obviously stressed the summer of 2015 as a period where the Knicks could potentially make some noise in the free agent market. Until then, the season ahead was/is expected to be one of transition as the team awaits further flexibility and cap space.

Having said that, being forced to play the waiting game hasn’t exactly stood in Jackson’s way this summer. He’s been able to make changes, some more drastic than others. The likes of Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton have already been shipped out of town, whereas players such as Jose Calderon, Cleanthony Early, Jason Smith, Samuel Dalembert and Shane Larkin figure to be among those new faces donning orange and blue next season.

USATSI_7813999_110579513_lowresDon’t be surprised if Jackson still isn’t done.

The whole point to bringing someone of the thirteen-time NBA champion’s caliber aboard is so that the team can employ him to right the ship. Changes will be made accordingly as Jackson continues to experiment and explore potential moves that he believes will help improve the team along the way.

Without much flexibility to be had, Jackson figures to leave no potential stone unturned in hopes of putting his own spin on this team to the fullest. Maximizing any and all potential avenues for such flexibility is a must.

And that’s exactly why New York is already beginning to shop sharpshooter Wayne Ellington. Acquired in the trade with Dallas, the guard has impressive offensive prowess from deep, but is displaced amongst the rest of the Knicks’ players at the position. What’s more, his contact also makes him somewhat of a worthwhile commodity in a deal.

With Early officially signed, Ellington stands to be the odd man out with the roster at a steady fifteen players once again. Jeremy Tyler’s (currently on a non-guaranteed contract through September) future with the Knicks is also still up in the air. Each player has talent, but also stand to be easiest to cut/trade, should Jackson prefer someone else in either one’s spot.

To read more of this story, click here

Pablo Prigioni

Knicks trying to trade Pablo Prigioni, Wayne Ellington

The Knicks’ roster makeover may not be over. They’re considering dealing guards Pablo Prigioni and Wayne Ellington to create roster space (Stein, Aug. 5).

Prigioni, 37, has played the last two seasons with the Knicks and has been one of their more popular players.

Ellington came from Dallas in the draft-day deal that sent center Tyson Chandler and guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks for guard Jose Calderón, center Samuel Dalembert, Ellington, guard Shane Larkin and two second-round picks.

The Knicks used those picks to select swingmen Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

In addition to emerging as a fan-favorite over the last two seasons, Prigioni has also served as a little bit of a leader for this team. He’s been depended on in crucial moments and has previously been trusted to run the floor with the Knicks’ first unit. A seasoned-veteran of international competition, Prigioni is one of the most intelligent and mature players currently donning orange and blue. He’s a steady floor general on a team that otherwise looked lost last season.

Needless to say, he’s someone Coach Derek Fisher can depend on in the triangle offense.

Potentially including the point guard in any sort of package-deal with Ellington is more so about the Knicks’ priority to create roster space/flexibility, and less about any sort of displeasure they may have with Prigioni.

Phil Jackson is expected to make drastic improvements and changes to this roster. Without much cap flexibility until 2015, he needs to continue getting creative in attempting to do so. Should the Knicks still have their eye on a potential leftover free agent or two, creating such space is a necessity.

Prigioni is a quality player with a very reasonable (and short) contract, arguably making him one of New York’s more desirable (and not to mention, easily movable) commodities at this point.

It just comes down to who else may be out there, and whether or not the Knicks prioritize such prospective players higher than Prigioni.

Tim Hardaway Jr. throws out first pitch at Mets Game

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The throw was probably a little too high and outside for Terry Collins’ tastes, but as Tim Hardaway Jr. put it on Instagram, “Thank the Lord I didn’t pull a @50cent.”

The Knicks’ guard threw out the first pitch at the Mets game Monday and spoke to youngsters from New York City’s YMCA as part of the Citi Kids Program. Take a look below to see his baseball skills.