The NBA’s first round of fan voting results was released Thursday and Derrick Rose was the lone Knicks representative in the top 10, ranking seventh among guards. But that wasn’t the best news of the day for him or the Knicks.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose has been cleared to begin rehab at the team’s training facility after his Dec. 22 right ankle surgery. While the initial projection was that he would be out six to eight weeks, getting back with the training staff is the first step.
"Do what you have to do," Thibodeau said. "Rehab is his game right now. He just got cleared to start his physical therapy. Everything is going well. Take it day by day. Put everything you have into that. Once it’s good for him to get out there, he’ll get out."
Kemba still sidelined
Kemba Walker missed his fourth straight game with what the team has called a sore left knee. Thibodeau said he has been doing a little more work on the court each day.
Asked if Walker’s odd workload — sitting out 10 straight games, playing nearly 39 minutes per game in the next five and playing 19 minutes in his final game before the team reported that he tweaked the knee in pregame warmups in Oklahoma City — could have affected him or if it will change the way he is used when he returns to action, Thibodeau said the circumstances are different.
When Walker re-entered the lineup in Boston on Dec. 18, the Knicks were shorthanded, missing Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes. Now the Knicks have no players left in protocols and have added Ryan Arcidiacono to the roster on a 10-day contract.
"Whatever he can handle, that’s what he’ll get," Thibodeau said of Walker. "We’ll go from there. We were down bodies and now we got guys back and I like the depth at that position."
Ten day, second try
Arcidiacono was signed to a 10-day hardship exemption Tuesday, but the deal was disallowed by the league when the Knicks had players come out of health and safety protocols, taking away their ability to sign a hardship player.
With the deadline arriving to sign normal 10-day contracts Thursday, the Knicks came to terms on a 10-day contract with the former Villanova and Chicago Bulls guard.
Arcidiacono was unavailable Thursday as he rehabilitates a sprained left ankle.
"Our scouts have been following him," Thibodeau said. "They like him a lot. I watched him when he was playing with the Bulls and I followed his career at Villanova. We’ll see how it goes. I like the things that he does. We’ll see what he can add to the team. So it’s a plus."
Asked if Arcidiacono’s contract could extend beyond 10 days, he added, "We’ll see. We obviously like him. That’s why we brought him in. We’ll see how it unfolds."