The New York Knicks were the biggest surprise in the NBA last season. Under the leadership of head coach Tom Thibodeau, they were expected to be in the back of the Eastern Division, but they made it all the way to the playoffs and were the fourth seed. However, Nick’s dream came to an abrupt end like Cinderella’s midnight, when they lost five games to the Hawks led by Trae Young in the playoffs.
Nick expected to continue the success of the previous season in the offseason. However, the 2021-22 season failed to do so. After about half of the season, Nick still has a winning rate of about 50% and is currently ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference of the playoffs. , but only 1.5 games away from the eighth seed. One of the reasons is that the Eastern Division team has a lot of reinforcements; and the Knicks themselves have internal problems. Many main players, including star Julius Randle’s performance and data have declined this season. Although it is not as bad as the previous seasons, it does not perform as expected.
In the first two weeks, the Knicks pushed a trade to try to break through. The Hawks sent Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick (from the Nets), Kevin Knox and a protected 2022 first-round pick from the Knicks. Reddish would be a much-needed flank for the Knicks, but the deal has a more interesting future imagining.
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A few years ago, Duke University gathered a group of super freshmen, and the Blue Devils collected the top three five-star high school students in one fell swoop: RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, plus Tre Jones, who was also in the top 20.
Photo credit: Associated Press/Dazhi Image Barrett has been the top rookie by the consensus of most people, while Williamson is a fast-moving superstar, hailed as the best talent of the past 10 years, every Duke game at that time They are all must-see events, and they are not even hotter than the NBA’s strong duel. At that time, Duke’s three kings had their own strengths, and they also entered the playoffs with the halo of the first seed. Unfortunately, they lost to Michigan State in the top 8 unexpectedly.
Williamson was the unquestioned No. 1 pick in the NBA draft at the time, and the New Orleans Pelicans were lucky to get the No. 1 overall pick. While Nick only got the third overall pick, Williamson was reportedly disappointed not to join New York, and one of his goals was to play at Madison Square Garden. In the end of the Duke Three Kings, Barrett joined the Knicks, while Reddish was selected by the Hawks with the 10th overall pick.
Two and a half years have passed quickly, Barrett and Reddish have reunited in New York, and Williamson has yet to recover from a foot injury and has not played a game this season. This is undoubtedly an embarrassing situation for the Pelicans. Williamson’s attempts to go to New York are well known, and there are rumors that he is not satisfied with the direction of the Pelicans, and whenever he has the opportunity to express to people how much he yearns to be in Madison Garden play.
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Now two of Williamson’s best brothers, Barrett and Reddis, have reported to New York, and he’s stuck in New Orleans and may not play all season with a foot injury. At present, there is still one year left in the rookie contracts of the former Duke three kings. If they do not sign an extension, they will become unrestricted free agents. Of course, the parent team has the opportunity to match any bid, but after signing a one-year QO, they will enter the free agency. Player market is not impossible.
Williamson would be willing to re-sign at a max salary despite the injury issues, as long as Williamson has the will. However, judging from the current direction of development, Williamson has a good chance of rejecting a contract worth 200 million to seek freedom.
The idea of Williamson wanting to play in New York is not groundless, and now that Reddish and Barrett are two former teammates there, Nick may be paving the way for Williamson. The prospect of winning Williamson is still quite complicated, but he is very likely to play in New York. Put on another team’s jersey for the next few seasons.
Maybe Nick is a little crazy and can take Tre Jones and Marques Bolden from the Spurs and Jazz’s G-League respectively to make up the Duke team in 2019. As for whether the imagination of the Duke’s three kings gathering in New York to play ball in the past can come true, only Can see how things develop next.
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【Contributing Editor Liang Xiaoyuan / Responsible Editor Xie Yiqian】
本文編譯參考：Inside Klay Thompson’s return after more than two years away: ‘I know how good I am’