Because the Cavaliers determine whether or not to commerce homegrown combo guard Collin Sexton earlier than having to decide on a rookie contract extension, it’s price noting Cavaliers normal supervisor Koby Altman was excessive on Kevin Knox within the lead-up to the 2018 draft, in line with an NBA supply.
The Cavaliers went on to pick Sexton at No. 8, leaving the Knicks with Knox at No. 9. After an honest rookie yr, Knox has underwhelmed the previous two seasons and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau took the 6-foot-9 combo ahead out of the rotation in late January due to his low-energy protection.
“Cleveland preferred Kevin within the draft,’’ the supply mentioned. “Whether or not there’s nonetheless that feeling since they’ve watched him within the execs will not be clear. However they undoubtedly preferred him then.’’
Knox is on the block however his commerce worth seemingly dipped from a yr in the past after Thibodeau’s dealing with of him. Knox appeared in 42 of the 72 contests however a lot of his appearances from February on got here in rubbish time. Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne, who coached Knox at Kentucky, didn’t have the magic wand on the Tampa native who’s son of former NFL broad receiver, Kevin Knox Sr.
Knicks chief strategist Brock Aller was a entrance workplace government when the Cavaliers drafted Sexton and remains to be near Cavaliers proprietor Dan Gilbert and Altman, a New York native. That relationship might assist foster a Sexton deal.
So can the actual fact rookie energy ahead Obi Toppin, one other commerce candidate, and Sexton, each have the identical Artistic Artists Company agent in Austin Brown. Knicks president Leon Rose ran CAA earlier than becoming a member of the Knicks.
The sensation across the league is each Sexton and Toppin wouldn’t thoughts altering locations. Sexton is in a clumsy backcourt tandem with younger playmaker Darius Garland, who’s a alternative on the U.S. Olympic group throughout exhibitions.
Toppin, after averaging simply 11 minutes in his rookie yr, is caught behind Julius Randle at energy ahead. Toppin is a Brooklyn native but additionally identifies with Ohio, the place he starred at Dayton and was named the 2020 Nationwide Participant of the 12 months. Toppin nonetheless holds his basketball camp in Ohio.
The Knicks are determined for a place to begin guard and are keen to deal two of their draft picks (Nos. 19, 21, 32, 58). One league decision-maker feels dealing Toppin, the nineteenth choose and the thirty second choose is an excessive amount of a bundle for Sexton since he’ll go into the ultimate yr of his rookie contract. Sexton might demand a five-year, $168 million max extension whereas Toppin goes into the second yr of his four-year rookie deal.