Kevin Knox nonetheless has a vision to create the Knicks’ rotation this season, regardless of his COVID-19 setback in the Summer League.
The Knicks’ 2018 lottery decision is mindful of what he needs to do to regain Tom Thibodeau’s trust. And it’s not close to taking any 3-point photographs in the preseason – which starts Tuesday against Indiana.
The 6-foot-9 combo ahead of Kentucky, which fell out of favor, nevertheless thinks they can keep 4 positions and have a future in New York. Knox is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract.
“[Thibodeau] Really preach in case your photo doesn’t come in or have a bad shooting day, what else can you bring to the staff? Knox said after the sighting Sunday in his first public remarks since Feb. 2. “For me, using my height, using my top and my physique to focus on the rebound and defense at the opposite finish. In fact, I really feel like I can keep 1 through 4. That’s what he really wants to see from me – lock in on that finish.
“He’s aware of what I can do on the offensive finish. He wishes to see this defensive vitality, the bounce and flight in transition and the use of my size all over the court role. ”
Without a particular position, Knox’s future is uncertain as he turns into a restricted free agent after the season. The chances are very slim that the 22-year-old will get a contract extension by the deadline later this month.
Asked by The Post if he thinks he’ll be here all season, Knox said, “At the moment, no one has really solidified minutes, solidified starters and bench players. So it’s going to camp, it’s starting the season with the right frame of mind that I really want to play this year. So I will have to determine a method to stay on the role of the tribunal and obtain minutes. So I have no apprehension regarding the trades and all the other parts. I’m just dreading going into the rotation and being on the court role. ”
Thibodeau said Knox’s absence from the summer league was a big blow to his development. The Knicks head coach graduated to say how 2020 first-round picks Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley have been at Tarrytown every day.
Knox has educated much of the offseason in Miami and his hometown of Tampa. He arrived in Tarrytown three weeks before coaching camp.
Knox confirmed he contracted COVID-19 in Miami and had signs. Knox said Thibodeau “really wanted me to play” the summer league. Knox completely agreed.
“I was staying in Miami and got sick,” Knox said. “I was down for a few weeks. It was hard. I trained really hard to go to the summer league, replay and get points and minutes. I prepared my body and COVID hit me. “
Missing the six-game slate wasn’t the only setback. “I was away for 10 days, after which I was able to ride a bike and push-ups,” Knox said. ” I lost weight. But I put it on pretty quickly. But I had never lost weight. The first week or two I struggled to catch my breath, but as soon as I got it again I kept pushing to get my good conditioning for camp. ”
The Post reported on Friday that Thibodeau was reluctant to play Knox due to the participant’s poor protection engine. He left the rotation at the end of January.
“You can only base it on when he’s there and what he’s doing,” Thibodeau said. “Unfortunately he missed it [summer-league] alternative. He had some good practices actually. He got to get down to business. And then that’s how he fits into the group.
“Its strengths are its strengths. The shooting. The areas of his sport that he needs to improve are all opposing issues. Knowing that you can play well in case you don’t shoot well. No one shoots well in every sport. There are different aspects of the sport that you need to play well to help the staff win once you don’t take the pictures well. That’s the problem – being a full participant. ”
It’s now or never for Knox as Knick. Team president Leon Rose is close to Kentucky coach John Calipari but was a representative of the Creative Artists Agency when Knox was drafted ninth.
“I managed to compete for it,” Knox said. “Everything Thibs preaches works for you, works for your minutes.” It’s my state of mind to go to camp. Really work hard for my minutes, work hard to get into the rotation. That’s my motivation – to play hard on either side of the basketball court if I really want to be on the court. ”