LaMelo Ball has shut it down for good in Australia with a foot injury, but still should be a top-three pick in June’s draft. According to a source, the Knicks never got a chance to see the 6-foot-7 forward play live Down Under. Brass had plotted the trip for this month. In Ball’s last two games in the Australian National Basketball League in late November, he struck for consecutive triple-doubles. Par for the course. Maybe it won’t matter. There’s no guarantee president Steve Mills or general manager Scott Perry will make the Knicks’ lottery selection in June. To their credit, Mills and Perry have assembled six first-round picks in the next four drafts.

Knicks not interested in Andre Drummond

Which bring us to on-the-block Pistons center Andre Drummond, the Mount Vernon, N.Y., native who, according to a Yahoo Sports report Thursday, plans to opt out of the $28 million final year of his contract this summer to become a free agent in a lackluster class. That should lessen other teams’ desire to trade for Drummond at the Feb. 6 deadline. According to an NBA source, the Knicks have no interest in a trade despite a report the Pistons approached them about a deal — and it makes absolutely no sense to give up pawns for Drummond if he’s opting out. But it will also make no sense if the Knicks don’t go after Drummond this July, even if they possess a young 7-foot-1 center they think can develop into something special.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 99 more rumors
The problem for the Knicks and Miller is that Morris has proved valuable in the effort to turn around the fortunes of a franchise that won only 17 games last season. The 11-30 mark the Knicks took into the halfway point of the season did little to change the perception around the NBA. If those eight games in which Morris was sidelined are an indication, losing him would have them struggling to reach last season’s 17 victories. Asked if he has pleaded his case to keep Morris in town past the Feb. 6 trade deadline, Miler said with a smile, “I think obviously he’s valued by our organization.”