Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Knicks have to decide on cuts soon
GREEN BAY – Mike Woodson said he will sit down with new president Steve Mills, and other Knicks officials coaches and scouts after practice tomorrow and start making decisions about who will make the team.
One of the players “in the mix” according to Woodson is guard Chris Smith, whose 20 minutes of preseason action is the fewest on the team.
Woodson was asked whether Smith being the brother of J.R. Smith will factor in the decision.
“Sure it does,” Woodson said.
If Smith is on the roster, it’s more than likely he will be assigned to the Knicks’ D-League team, the Erie Bayhawks. Rosters have to be set by Monday.
The Knicks have 12 players with guaranteed contracts. Combo guard Toure’ Murry and power forward Ike Diogu have been the most productive camp invites in the preseason. One, if not both, have a legitimate shot to make it.
But Woodson also wants to look at Cole Aldrich tonight against the Bucks and see if he should be here. The Knicks don’t have a prototypical backup center to spell Tyson Chandler.
Woodson will use Amar’e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and probably Andrea Bargnani some in that spot. But their health histories would make it seem that the Knicks need some insurance there.
It also sounds as if Jeremy Tyler, who is rehabbing from broken foot, has a good chance of sticking around. Woodson wants to see if he can help the Knicks when he’s healthy.
“I don’t think we kick him to the curb because we thought so much of him coming out of summer league,” Woodson said. “I think you got to at least see it through, see what he has to offer. He’s a young big. Our thought process was to try and develop him. We’ll see.”
Woodson said that Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Martin all felt fine after yesterday’s scrimmage. He will see how they feel tomorrow and if they can scrimmage again.
But it sounds as if Stoudemire and Martin won’t play in Friday’s preseason finale at the Garden. The plan is for Smith to play, barring any setbacks.
The NBA GMs have spoken and 75.9 percent picked the Nets to win the Atlantic Division and 24.1 picked the Knicks to repeat as division champs. Woodson said he wasn’t bothered by it.
“That’s OK,” Woodson said. “It was Boston last year. Now it’s the Nets this year. Predictions are predictions. You still got to play the game. It’s a long season. I’m anxious to get started.”