The New York Knicks will be without two of their big-name contributors when they go on a three-game road trip to start the preseason. Coach Mike Woodson announced that Amar'e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Jeremy Tyler won't make the trip with their teammates, according to SNY's Adam Zagoria:
The move doesn't come as a surprise, as all three players are each dealing with their respective rehabs from offseason surgery. The logistics of the road trip also have to be considered, as the Knicks will play the Boston Celtics in Rhode Island on Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors on Friday and the Celtics in New Hampshire on Saturday. The earliest the trio could return would be on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Washington Wizards.
Stoudemire underwent a knee operation in July, but it wasn't reported until recently by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. It marked the third knee surgery in a year for Stoudemire, who has been bothered by balky knees since joining the NBA in 2002.
According to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley, Woodson said that Stoudemire hasn't started running yet:
For what it's worth, the Knicks Twitter account posted a picture of Stoudemire practicing his skyhook on Monday:
Once the team agreed to bring in Andrea Bargnani this offseason, the Knicks floated the idea of limiting Stoudemire to 20 minutes a night, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. Stoudemire, who turns 31 on Nov. 16, only played in 29 games last year due to knee problems.
Smith also had knee surgery in July and is expected to miss time to start the regular season, but raised some eyebrows after telling reporters that he delayed the operation until signing a three-year extension. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year will also have to serve a five-game suspension under the NBA's anti-drug policy once he's fit to return in the regular season.
Begley relayed comments from Woodson regarding Tyler as well, with the coach saying, "ain't nothing guaranteed on our team." The 6'10" Tyler is an intriguing player who signed a partially guaranteed deal following a solid summer league, and is contending with Cole Aldrich for a roster spot.