Knicks’ Lance Thomas out at least 4 weeks after left knee surgery
Thomas didn’t play in the Knicks’ last game against the Atlanta Hawks after seeing minimal minutes against the Chicago Bulls earlier in the week. The 30-year-old began the season in the starting lineup at power forward, but Knicks head coach David Fizdale shook things up after five games due to the team’s early struggles. Noah Vonleh is now the starter at power forward.
Thomas is averaging 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 34.1 percent overall and 29.4 percent from 3.
New York originally acquired Thomas in a three-team trade involving the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season. That deal sent J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavs, while Dion Waiters went from Cleveland to Oklahoma City. Thomas had played in 22 games for the Thunder following three seasons in New Orleans.
Thomas has since been a mainstay in the Knicks’ rotation and is the longest-tenured player on the roster. He signed a four-year, $27 million deal in 2016, so he’s currently in the third year of that contract. However, the final year of that deal is non-guaranteed until the end of next June.
With Lance Thomas out for a month and Kristaps Porzingis still recovering from a torn ACL, Vonleh will continue to see the bulk of the minutes at power forward, though youngsters Kevin Knox and Mario Hezonja could see more time there as well.