Trier's tendency to play iso ball and care more about individual stats than making his teammates better led one source to tell Marc Berman of the New York Post that the young guard is "cancerous."
"His play on the court was cancerous," the source said. "A lot of guys didn't like the way he didn't play team ball. He cared about himself too much. He looked guys off who were open.''
Trier averaged 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 64 games as a rookie, emerging as a promising young piece in the Knicks' rotation after going undrafted in last year's draft.
"I absolutely believed I continued to get better," Trier said. "I was proud of the way I improved over the whole season. Really, aside from the time I had the hamstring injury, I came back and really wasn't myself, other than that seven-game stretch, I was consistent all the way through. And I made strides in a lot of different areas. I learned a lot about myself and about this league."
While Trier had individual success, he sometimes rankled veteran teammates. Berman noted a Nov. 27 game against the Detroit Pistons where Trier refused to pass the ball to a wide-open Trey Burke for a layup and instead kept the ball himself for a drive.
Another incident happened with Tim Hardaway Jr. in a Jan. 23 game against the Houston Rockets, when Trier did not pass to an open Hardaway on a 2-on-1 break. The tension between the two continued into the next day when a fan screenshotted a DM from Trier, who blamed Hardaway for missing a defensive rotation.
"Oh, so he was blaming other people, basically?" Hardaway asked reporters at the time. "At the end of the day I think it all falls down on the team. Team defense, you learn from it. We watched film, we looked at today. I think in that scenario I was denying James [Harden], trying to deny him from the ball and have someone else score. But, yeah, just got to watch it and look it over and see what we can do better to make sure that doesn't happen again. That's all I can say."
Trier apologized for his part, and Hardaway was traded as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal within days of the tension.
While it's clear Trier has some growing up to do, that can be said for a ton of rookies. Trier will likely allow his game to mature as he does, especially if the Knicks' big free agent plans come to fruition.