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Bobby Portis believes he’ll be contending for Sixth Man of the Year

Knicks

New York Knicks big man Bobby Portis has a different personal goal in mind for the 2019-20 NBA season. The 24-year-old power forward told Marc Berman in the New York Post he doesn’t care whether he comes off the bench or not.

“Last year I was in the running at the beginning of the season, playing well. That’s in the back of my mind for sure,” Portis told the Post. “Naysayers will say I’m crazy. I feel it’s going to come for me one day for sure. I play my role really well.”

The Knicks signed the 6-foot-11 big man to a $31 million contract over the next two years, although the team has an option in the second year, essentially making 2019-20 another expiring contract year for Portis. This was a common theme for New York’s summer after striking out on big names and targets, general manager Scott Perry and the front office signed veterans to short-term teams with less guaranteed money in the long run as a means to recover and build a team identity before having another play with open cap space in free agency the next two summers.

There was debate about whether the Knicks would lean into 21-year-old center Mitchell Robinson, who made the All-Rookie second team this past season, or not, as Portis and new power forwards Julius Randle and Taj Gibson overlap with Robinson’s position. Despite no clear-cut plan announced in a press conference, the Knicks will ostensibly heavily feature their second-year center in Robinson and the 24-year-old power forward Randle while Portis guns for the Sixth Man of the Year award and toils off the bench.

Portis last played the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, averaging 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 26.0 minutes a contest, shooting 44.4% from the floor and 39.3% from 3-point range.