Trier admitted final week he’s “completely’’ hoping the Knicks can land his mentor from Oklahoma Metropolis, the place the Arizona product attended two years of highschool.
Nonetheless, based on a number of sources related to the Knicks, Trier’s lack of recognition amongst his veteran teammates was one thing of a priority within the locker room. Possibly Durant may help him if he comes.
Whereas Trier bought alongside swimmingly with fellow rookies Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, some vets felt Trier’s one-on-one model didn’t assist the staff’s tradition throughout its league-worst 17-65 season.
Trier’s self-proclaimed nickname is “IsoZo” and Knicks coach David Fizdale levied reward on him as a vibrant spot, lauding his work ethic and overachievement as an undrafted participant. Trier turned a two-way G-League contract right into a spot on the 15-man roster in December.
However there have been warts.
“His play on the court docket was cancerous,” one NBA supply mentioned. “Loads of guys didn’t like the way in which he didn’t play staff ball. He cared about himself an excessive amount of. He seemed guys off who have been open.’’
Throughout a Nov. 27 recreation in Detroit, Trier introduced the ball up the court docket with Trey Burke on their lonesome forward. Trier didn’t throw it forward for the simple layup. As a substitute, Trier barreled towards the basket.
Whereas he drew a foul, gamers on the bench yelled at Trier, scolded him for not feeding Burke, who held his palms up, shaking his head after the whistle.
The extra publicized incident occurred Jan. 23, when Tim Hardaway Jr. chewed out Trier on the court docket after Trier didn’t move to him on a two-on-one quick break with Hardaway open on the left.
One other NBA supply aware of the scenario mentioned when gamers would select sides for pickup video games earlier than or after apply, he usually was one of many final chosen. The Knicks gamers wished to play with guys who handed to the open man.
Each Hardaway and Burke have been shipped to Dallas days after that on-court incident, a part of the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster. The commerce opened up two max-salary slots, permitting the potential of Durant bringing alongside a star sidekick.
“I don’t have to observe social media,’’ Trier mentioned final week when requested how he’ll observe July’s fireworks. “I’ll communicate to him instantly. No matter he decides to do, it’s on him.”
The chance is music to Trier’s ears. Durant used to attend a few of his highschool video games in Oklahoma. Whereas Trier chatted with two reporters not too long ago, a Knicks public relations official warned Trier about tampering.
“I actually don’t trouble him [during the season],’’ Trier mentioned. “If he needs to congratulate me on [me] enjoying effectively, [he’ll text,] ‘Stick with it.’ Once we speak he says if I ever want recommendation, I ought to speak to him. He’s grown. I’m not a younger man [any more,] I don’t wish to be a burden. He’s a superb household buddy to have. He’s like a brother to me.”
Fizdale had admitted Trier’s scoring model was a dilemma. Whereas Trier was efficient, the Knicks coach’s mantra was to breed a ball-moving offense wherein no one holds the ball for various seconds. Fizdale has mentioned Trier was the lone participant on the roster he gave extra leeway in that division. Nonetheless, one of many NBA sources mentioned Fizdale, on the whole, didn’t maintain the three rookies accountable sufficient.
Trier completed averaging 10.9 factors on 44.eight % taking pictures. A sequence of leg accidents value him 18 video games, together with the ultimate 11 with a knee/calf pressure. If the draft have been redone, Trier, who failed two steroid assessments at Arizona, in all probability could be a late first-rounder.
“I completely believed I continued to get higher,’’ Trier mentioned. “I used to be pleased with the way in which I improved over the entire season. Actually, except for the time I had the hamstring harm, I got here again and actually wasn’t myself, aside from that seven-game stretch, I used to be constant all through. And I made strides in plenty of completely different areas. I discovered lots about myself and about this league.”
Trier has no scarcity of confidence. Fizdale famous Trier, after getting snubbed within the draft, assured to him he’d make the staff out of coaching camp. Fizdale has in contrast Trier to Lou Williams, anticipated to win his third Sixth Man of the Yr Award.
The 6-foot-5 guard out of Seattle admitted he nonetheless has to work on “small issues’’ to take the subsequent step, possible alluding to getting his teammates concerned extra.
“I’ve plenty of the laborious stuff down, plenty of skill issues lots of people don’t have I’m blessed to have,’’ mentioned Trier relating to his exit assembly with Fizdale. “It’s about placing collectively the small issues to be that a lot better of a participant. This summer time with me enhancing and specializing in [that], it can permit me to make that leap.’’
The Knicks have a staff possibility for $3.5 million on Trier. In the event that they want added cap area to slot in Durant and, say, Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, they can launch Trier and re-sign him for rather less.
“We’ll see how, I assume,’’ Trier mentioned. “The whole lot pointed towards me being right here.”