New York Knicks: 6 players who have smaller or lost roles from last season

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Kevin Knox

Finally, there is Kevin Knox, who only arrived in the NBA in June 2018. He was a centerpiece of the “developmental” year in 2018-19, being given every chance to play and work through offensive inefficiency and defensive woes. He averaged 28.8 minutes per game for 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds on 37 percent shooting.

Knox was the loser of the offseason, however, when Marcus Morris signed a one-year, $15 million contract, reneging the San Antonio Spurs in the process. It was not to take a bench role, either, as he has started all 15 games for the Knicks.

As a result, the Kentucky product has become a bench fixture. It began with consistently receiving 20-plus minutes per game over this campaign’s first few weeks, topping out at 32 minutes in a loss to Chicago.

In the four games since, Knox has dropped off to averages of just 14.7 minutes and 4.3 points, including not playing the entire second half against Philadelphia on Wednesday. He took just one shot in the five-point road loss.

The next step may be Knox receiving the first “DNP-CD” next to his name. It would be a disappointment after being touted as a lottery pick just 17 months ago, but veteran additions have been prioritized as the Knicks try to find a competitive formula. Plus, the Kentucky product has maintained struggled defensively and has shot below 40 percent.

Of course, there is also the Frank Ntilikina argument of letting Knox play through his woes. Different situations, sure, but he is just 20 years old, and Fizdale went through a similar situation with second-year players in 2018-19.

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If the defense remains absent, all Knox can do to earn playing time is make shots. If he can’t Fizdale seemingly has no issue letting this score-first forward sit on the side.