Kevin Knox poses with NBA commissioner just after Knox was drafted by the Knicks on June 21, 2018.

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Fizdale Says He Could See Knox Starting Immediately

Unlike Ntilikina, Knox Could Start

June 22, 2018 - 6:45 pm
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By WFAN.com 

The Knicks introduced their newest draft picks, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, on Friday. Last season, the Knicks took guard Frank Ntilikina at No. 8. This time around, they went with a forward at No. 9. Ntilikina didn't get the chance to start for the team until March. That might change with Knox. 

“I have no problem playing (Knox), starting him, playing him, whatever winds up coming out of it. I wouldn’t have had a problem doing that with Frank,” coach David Fizdale said Friday. “These guys got to swim now. Some of that means there’s going to be some bumps, but you learn faster by going through it. I feel very confident throwing these young guys out there and letting them go through the highs and lows of the league.”

Another reason for that might be the Knicks lack of depth at small forward. 

“I’m looking at our roster right now, absolutely. Who’s our starting three? Any of you guys know?”

Undersized Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. aren't the answer at that position. 

“They’re both 6-6, 6-5, and he’s going to have to guard LeBron,” Fizdale said. “Those are the small forward's in our league.”

MORE: Earl Monroe Reacts To Knicks Pick, LeBron, Future

Knox is ready for the challenge of potentially getting the chance to be a starter. 

“Starting should be a goal for every rookie. But it’s not going to be easy,” Knox said. “I have to work my way up. There’s nothing guaranteed in this league. There’s going to be guys fighting everyday to get the same spot I’m working for. It’s not going to be easy and I’m going to work hard every day in practice to compete for that starting role.”

To become a starter, Knox is going to have to improve his shot at the NBA level. He shot just 34% last season behind the arc. 

“That will improve a lot. That’s something I really worked on this summer," the 18-year-old said. "The line got a little bit deeper (in the NBA), so it’s a little bit different type of shot. That’s something I worked on all summer. That’s something I’ve prepared for. I’m just going to keep on working on it. I think it shouldn’t be a factor to me.”

Only time will tell if Knox gets the chance to start right off the bat, but with the current roster the Knicks have, it's hard to see a better fit. If Courtney Lee is still on the team, his role would be coming off the bench, not being an undersized small forward.