LAS VEGAS - Jordan Hill took part in his first practice as a Knick yesterday just a few short hours after the eighth overall pick signed his rookie contract. The 6-10 forward signed the typical rookie scale three-year deal worth $6.65 million, with a fourth-year team option for a 27 percent raise. Hill has the height and athleticism the Knicks sorely lacked last season and also possesses a decent midrange game. It will take some developing before he becomes a go-to threat on the post, but he is expected to compete for a key spot in Mike D'Antoni's rotation this season. The team's other first round pick (29th overall), guard Toney Douglas, signed his contract on Thursday.
Curry expected today The Knicks are planning for Eddy Curry to arrive here today for a workout with the summer league team that will be closely watched by Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni. Jerry Powell, a Long Island-based trainer hired to work closely with the 6-11 center, said Curry has already lost almost 50 pounds from an offseason workout and diet regimen. D'Antoni was pleased to hear about the progress, but wants to see it for himself. "He's got a ways to go and I think he knows that, but it's been a great start," D'Antoni said. "I think he spent a whole month doing what he's supposed to be doing. I think it's encouraging . . . and we're really rooting for him."
Jump shots Patrick Ewing Jr. was on the original summer league roster but will not be able to play because of lingering effects of a knee injury he suffered at the end of the D-League season . . . Jared Jeffries showed up at the morning practice carrying some noticeable musculature on his upper body. He is quite aware that the Knicks would prefer to move his contract ($6.8 million in 2010-11) off the ledger before next summer. One possible destination could be his former team, the Washington Wizards.