Kristaps Porzingis will miss the majority of the 2018-19 NBA season but that hasn't stopped new head coach David Fizdale from planning how to best utilise his star player.
The Latvian is currently recovering from a torn ACL injury which typically takes 9-12 months.
As he suffered the setback in February, there's a possibility that he could return soon after the New Year.
Trying new things
When he does take to the court again, he could find himself in an unfamiliar spot out on the floor.
Fizdale has admitted that he's looking to make Porzingis a more versatile player and look to benefit from his many talents.
One idea he has up his sleeve is to use the seven-footer as a small forward in some big lineups.
"It's a luxury for me to have a guy that I can move around at different positions," Fizdale said of Porzingis according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov.
"At the same time I might do that, I might play him at what you call a small forward and go him, Luke (Kornet), and Mitch (Robinson) and put a whole bunch of wingspan with Kevin (Knox) at the two."
If you add point guard Frank Ntilikina to that group, he would be their smallest player at 6'5".
With all five players possessing a wingspan of more than seven feet, that could be the biggest and longest lineup in the league.
Moving Porzingis away from his favoured power forward position could be a risky ploy but there certainly won't be any harm in trying for coach Fizdale.
It remains to be seen if this becomes a frequent occurrence but in any case, they won't have a chance to put it to the test until the 22-year-old returns.
But that doesn't mean the Knicks' new coach can't have a vision for the future and have it stored away for the time being.
"I can't lock (Porzingis) into nothing," Fizdale added. "I see a lot of places I can use him to be dynamic for us."
New York will struggle to be competitive in the east next season and have little expectations.
Therefore, it'll allow Fizdale to experiment and look for ways to make them more of a threat in the years to come.
Earlier this week, the 42-year-old said the franchise is primed to make a big splash in free agency in 2019.
"[Knicks general manager] Scott [Perry] and [team president] Steve [Mills] have done an incredible job of lining it up so that we're in a position next summer to make moves," Fizdale said, per ESPN.
"As we get our culture in place, [injured All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we'll have the bricks in place to make some big moves."
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