After having their playing time cut, New York Knicks guards Courtney Lee and Jarrett Jack are questioning their future with the team.
For most of the season, Lee and Jack were two of the top three Knicks when it came to minutes played. However, coach Jeff Hornacek told them last week that youngsters Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, and Tim Hardaway Jr., will get more playing time, according to Barbara Barker of Newsday.
“Obviously I would like to be on the court but I think they’re allowing some of these younger guys to get an opportunity to come in here and show where they’re at among the other guys in this league,” Jack said, per Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com. “It’s coach’s decision. All you can do is sit there, be a professional, cheer them on, help them while you’re not in the game. And if they decide to call you in, still be ready.”
Lee said, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, “As a player, as a competitor, it’s definitely tough. But I’m not the coach, I’m not in the front office if that’s the decision that they’re making and what they’re going with. All I can do is be professional.”
In the three games since the All-Star break, Lee has averaged just 14 minutes. He is under contract until the summer of 2020, although the Knicks would like to deal Lee’s contract before next summer so they can clear cap space so they can go after free agents.
Jack is considering going to another team, even though the Knicks want him as a mentor to their young players. He would have to be waived by March 1 to sign with a playoff team.
“I’ve never done it before to jump from one team in the middle of the season to a playoff squad. I know that’s what other guys have done. To be honest, I don’t really know,” he said. “Maybe I do need to sit down and look at a list of what my best possible options are. But as of today I’m with the Knicks and want to help in any capacity I can.”
While Hornacek might not pull Lee and Jack off of the starting roster yet, it appears that both players time in New York is coming to an end. The question is how much longer will they be Knicks?