‘I have no idea. None’ – The Denver Post

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DALLAS — As the injuries and fouls were piling up during Wednesday’s epic collapse, Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish — two players the Knicks dedicated significant assets to acquire in the last 1 ½ years – never expected to leave their familiar spot on the bench.

“We already knew,” Fournier said. “So I’m not surprised.”

Fournier, who signed a three-year, $54 million deal before last season, has now gone 22 straight games and six weeks without a second of playing time. Reddish’s DNP streak is shorter, though showing no signs of suppressing, at 12 games and almost four weeks.

Together, they watched the shorthanded Knicks squander a nine-point lead in 33 seconds to the Mavericks on Wednesday, with Luka Doncic sentencing them to death by pick-and-roll.

“I don’t have control over s—t. So I can’t do too much thinking [about my DNP status],” Reddish, who was acquired by the Knicks for a first-round pick last season, said. “I’ll think myself into misery. You know how that goes. That’s just human nature. I just try to stay in the gym. Work out. And go from there.”

The Knicks, as the Daily News reported, are working with Reddish’s representatives on a trade. Fournier is also on the market but said Wednesday he hasn’t personally discussed a deal with the Knicks.

“Not at all,” Fournier said. “It’s been six weeks that I’m not playing. I’ve been pretty patient. It’s starting to be a little long. Maybe there’s going to be an opportunity, I don’t know.”

As Fournier noted, there wasn’t much reason to consider a role change in the last few weeks. The Knicks had won eight consecutive. They were fully healthy.

But then Wednesday arrived with Jalen Brunson on the shelf and RJ Barrett managing just one minute before his game-ending lacerated finger. Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride and Julius Randle all played at least 45 minutes. Their heavy load was evident in the final moments of regulation and overtime, when the Knicks (18-17) were bombed by Doncic and lost their fourth straight, 126-121.

“I was more concerned with how we were matched up with [the Mavericks],” Thibodeau said about his tight rotation. “We try to match up a certain way. I thought we played well. We didn’t close out the last 30 seconds of the game.”

Asked if this was a signal that Reddish and Fournier won’t play moving forward, Thibodeau offered a short, “No.”

That prompted a response from Matt Barnes on Twitter.

“Coaches lie like everyone else,” the former player and current media analyst posted.

Reddish, a free agent after the season, said there’s been no communication from the Knicks about what’s needed to return to the rotation.

“I’m going to be 1000% honest with you — you probably know more about that than me,” he said. “I have no idea. None.”

For Fournier, who has had a solid NBA career and is in the middle of his prime at 30 years old, there’s difficulty in understanding what’s best for his body. He’s been trying to live by Thibodeau’s mantra of ‘stay ready,’ but sometimes that’s contradictory because off-day training and gameday training are different.

“The thing that’s actually hard is if you actually stay ready and you do things to prepare just in case you’re going to play. Then you can’t practice as much, you can’t lift as much, you can’t get up as many shots as you would like. So finding that balance is actually hard,” Fournier said. “So right now I’m just doing, for example, squats [before Tuesday’s game], a ton of squats. And the truth is, if I were to play today, I would have been really tired. That’s the part that’s actually challenging when you don’t play is finding the right amount of work for you to stay ready.”

Either way, Fournier believes he can help an NBA team.

“Yeah, obviously. I’m the same guy,” Fournier said. “What do you want me to say? I don’t know what to say. It sucks not playing.”

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