The NBA commerce deadline is quick approaching on Thursday, and the Knicks discover themselves fading farther from playoff competition following their two most up-to-date highway losses in Boston and Milwaukee.
Whereas the Knicks started play Saturday 4 video games behind No. eight Philadelphia within the East, Enes Kanter echoed Kristaps Porzingis’ plea final week to maintain the group collectively for an more and more unbelievable playoff push.
“I feel proper now, our solely purpose is making the playoffs,” Kanter stated after apply, forward of Sunday’s sport towards Atlanta at MSG. “No matter guys they transfer or they don’t transfer, my factor is simply deal with the playoffs.
“Clearly, I like each man on our group. I’d wish to play with all the blokes for the remainder of my season and profession as a result of they’re simply good locker room. … Clearly, it’s a enterprise in the long run. It’s not my name, so I’m simply enjoying for this group. I feel the GM and the president are going to make the most effective selections for us. I don’t even wish to take note of who’s going to go or not, as a result of in the long run, I like each man. I’ve no drawback with anyone.”
Whereas the Knicks are prone to encounter issues discovering a taker for banished middle Joakim Noah’s remaining contract, veterans reminiscent of Kanter, Courtney Lee and Kyle O’Quinn definitely might be enticing to contending groups on the deadline.
Kanter, who can choose out of his $18.6 million contract for subsequent season this summer season, was moved from Utah to Oklahoma Metropolis on the 2015 deadline after which once more to the Knicks proper earlier than coaching camp this season within the Carmelo Anthony deal.
“Particularly this time of the 12 months, it’s powerful since you’ve bought to maneuver all of your stuff. You’ve bought to pack and every little thing. You’ve bought to go to a distinct metropolis. It’s all the time awkward and peculiar,” Kanter stated. “However it’s a enterprise. It’s a part of it. If it occurs, it occurs. If not, we’re simply going to maintain doing what we’re doing.
“I feel there’s been plenty of discuss on social media and stuff – he’s going to maneuver, he’s not going to maneuver. He’s going to remain, he’s not going to remain. I don’t assume we should always take note of that. I feel, proper now, we’re about to make the playoffs or not. I don’t assume guys ought to take note of that as a result of it’s going to remove the main focus from the season. Let’s go on the market and play basketball. Let’s have enjoyable with our teammates.”
The Knicks principally have been a enjoyable group to observe at house this season with a 16-9 file getting into their Tremendous Bowl Sunday matinee towards the Hawks, however they’ve dropped 21 of 28 video games away from the Backyard. That mark features a last-second loss to the Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday evening during which Tim Hardaway Jr. missed 13 of 14 pictures from the ground and two essential free throws with the sport tied within the closing minute.
“For us as coaches and gamers, that is our group. That’s how we method it,” coach Jeff Hornacek stated. “I do know it’s extraordinarily laborious on the gamers this time of 12 months. Some guys, possibly veteran guys, have been by way of (the commerce deadline) year-in and year-out. They know the drill.
“I all the time inform them more often than not your identify is on the market you normally don’t get traded, as a result of the GM’s and people guys try to maintain every little thing quiet. You simply bought to play. It’s a tough factor. They’re all human. They’re all questioning what’s going to occur subsequent week. However attempt to do their greatest when on the market.”