Knicks on the clock to do something in busy early season
Buy and Sell
It’s normally not that busy at the start of the season, but already one coach has been fired (Earl Watson) in Phoenix, two high-profile players could be moved at any time (Eric Bledsoe and Jahlil Okafor) and the Knicks are on the clock to do something.
Joakim Noah comes off the suspended list Nov. 13. The Knicks have to clear a roster spot by then since they have 16 players on the team. Jarrett Jack has a non-guaranteed deal but his play as the starting point guard should keep him with the Knicks.
If so, they would have to trade a veteran for a second-round pick or do a two-for-one swap or cut a player with a guaranteed contract.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Ramon Sessions and Michael Beasley are the lowest paid players on expiring deals. Kuzminskas hasn’t been active for a single game yet. But the Knicks would rather make a deal and get an asset back than eat a contract.
Okafor, picked one spot ahead of Porzingis, is out of the rotation in Philadelphia and has requested a buyout. But the 76ers, too, would like to get an asset for the No. 3 pick three years ago.
* Knicks 19-year-old rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina had five steals Wednesday against the Rockets, setting an NBA record for the most in a game by teenager who didn’t start.
* After Suns center Tyson Chandler said that Porzingis “has a chance to be the best player in the league,” the Knicks said it’s nice to hear and to have the respect of his peers. But, Porzingis added, “All I need is the respect from refs to get those calls.”
* Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, who came to Indiana in the Paul George trade, shot 28-for-29 from the field in Indiana’s first four wins of the season.
* With his 57-point masterpiece, James joined Kobe Bryant as the only players over the past 50 seasons to score 50 points in a game in their 15th season or later.
Porzingis has an endorsement with sports drink BodyArmor and recently partnered with Seattle-based nutritional bar company Zing.
After Porzingis admitted he “didn’t feel great” in Wednesday’s subpar performance against the Rockets, he showed he can be a good pitchman.
“Not enough Zing Bars and BodyArmor,” Porzingis said.
No so Cavalier
It’s obvious the Cavaliers miss Kyrie Irving and you could see their chemistry is all off. They really didn’t replace Irving, not with Isaiah Thomas sidelined until at least January with a hip injury. No one is stepping up and LeBron James, if possible, has had to do more.
He did that when the Cavs ended a four-game skid Friday in Washington as James matched Irving’s franchise record with 57 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. The losing streak had been the most lopsided James’ career.
The four losses – which included defeats to the Knicks and Nets - were by a combined 63 points. His rookie season in 2004, the Cavaliers lost four in a row by 61 points.
One game doesn’t cure the Cavaliers, who lost by 17 to the Pacers Wednesday after an air-clearing team meeting one day earlier. They’re still expected to be the last team standing in the East, but James is going to need more help, at least until Thomas is healthy.