New York Knicks News Mix, 9/27/17: Jeff Hornacek Talks New Starting 5
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 23: Head coach Jeff Hornacek of the New York Knicks signals to his players during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on February 23, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 119-104. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek spoke to reporters Tuesday about the starting lineup with his post-Melo squad.

For the first time in seven years, the New York Knicks don’t know who will be starting at the small forward position. Head coach Jeff Hornacek spoke to reporters on Tuesday about who could be Carmelo Anthony‘s replacement.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the leading candidate appears to be Courtney Lee. Per Berman, Hornacek oddly didn’t reference Anthony by name. There were rumors that the two butted heads in their one season together.

Hornacek spoke about the change in this era to positionless basketball potentially playing a factor in his decision.

“This league is a little bit different now,’’ Hornacek said. “You don’t have the traditional 1, 2, 3, 4, 5s. You’ve got [centers] shooting 3s. You’ve got 6-4 guys playing the 3-spot sometimes. It gives us options. Both those guys [Hardaway and Lee] are great shooters. Guys that are active defensively, they can help us out, whether together or playing out there on the court at the same time or if we’re alternating.”

New Knicks Doug McDermott and Michael Beasley are both competing for the starting small forward spot.

It’s not just the small forward position that needs a change. Right now, only Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. are seemingly the only locks in the starting lineup.

The departure of Derrick Rose created a hole at the point guard position; where the Knicks are arguably the weakest of any team in the league.

Rookie Frank Ntilikina is competing for the starting job with Hornacek favorite Ron Baker, and veteran newcomers Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack.

Then there’s the center spot. The Anthony trade created a big mess there as Enes Kanter entered the fray. According to the coach, Willy Hernangomez, and Kyle O’Quinn.

“We’re looking at all our centers,’’ Hornacek said. “You’ve got Enes. You’ve got KO [Kyle O’Quinn]. You have Willy. All those guys do great things for us. We’re trying to find the best way to use them, and they all kind of lend different things, but they’re all well-rounded players.”

It’s a good thing that Hornacek didn’t mention Joakim Noah.

We have a good idea that the Knicks won’t even pretend the former Defensive Player of the Year is a starting caliber center anymore.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.