David Fizdale speaks out on Knicks players that left in free agency
The New York Knicks may be the worst team in the NBA last season, but head coach David Fizdale thinks there’s still plenty of positives they can get from last year.
For one, Fizdale believes their player development worked wonders — not only for their youngsters, but also for their players who were set to become free agents back then.
Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Fizdale said that the fact Noah Vonleh, Emmanuel Mudiay, Mario Hezonja, Luke Kornet, Trey Burke and Enes Kanter landed contracts elsewhere is proof that they have a solid player development system in place.
“And they wanted to be back,” Fizdale said of the now-departed Knicks players. “I stay in touch with those guys. I texted with most of them right before the season. I’m really happy for them.
“That makes me feel good the fact that they all ended up getting contracts. It let me know that I held up my end of the bargain for a standpoint of developing them. It just worked out there were some other higher-ticket guys out there that we could go get and we made those moves.”
The Knicks missed out on their top free agent targets this offseason, but they did acquire some solid veteran players such as Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington.
Not to mention that they still have their young core of Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson intact — even adding 2019 third pick RJ Barrett to the mix.
New York will certainly be hoping to take the next step in their players’ development. While they are being counted out, Fizdale and Co. will look to prove their doubters wrong and aim for a postseason berth.