The Knicks finally opened their training facility in Tarrytown on Friday but that does not mean they will be part of the season’s restart.
According to an NBA source, commissioner Adam Silver’s Board of Governor’s conference call with owners left the impressions that bringing back all 30 teams was unlikely.
However, a return-to-play scenario that includes 24 teams still is in play. That could include the Knicks if the NBA takes the top 12 teams from the East and 12 from the West and offer a play-in tournament for teams ranked 9-12 in the standings. But that scenario is unlikely, too.
Other 24-team scenarios would exclude the Knicks if they take the eight-best records after the top eight in each conference. The Knicks would finish 25th in that proposal and out of the Disney World restart. One other reported scenario discussed is having the 16 playoff teams and clubs within six games of the eighth seed. The Knicks are 8 1/2 games back.
The general impression, however, is the Knicks are a “long shot” to play another game, according to a person debriefed on the call. Indeed, the Knicks seem ambivalent about returning. If their season is over, president Leon Rose could begin a coaching search that will include keeping Mike Miller, but features Tom Thibodeau as top dog.
Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday teams in the state could open their training facilities for players.
“The Knicks re-opened the MSG Training Center today for voluntary player workouts,” the Knicks announced. “As the safety of our players and staff remains our priority, we will continue to follow the guidelines established by the State of New York and the NBA.”
Under NBA guidelines, only four players are allowed inside the facility at one time for individual workouts that are voluntary.
On the conference call, Silver told owners July 31 is being targeted for reopening day. Teams may hold a three-week training camp in Orlando. The games will not include fans.
The most likely scenario may be bringing back just 20 teams. Sources have indicated having the Pelicans and Zion Williamson part of the Disney fun is on the NBA’s radar.