Bobby Portis believes the Knicks will be competitive in 2019-20.
The 24-year-old forward, who inked a two-year, $31 million contract with New York earlier this month, recently told HoopsHype he thinks his new team has a chance to make the playoffs next season.
“The naysayers, the haters, the people who are doubting us will say that we’re crazy … for saying that,” Portis said. “But we have a bunch of guys who are coming in each and every day with that log on their shoulder and that’s going to push us to become a great team. We have a lot of pieces who can play.
“I think we’re loaded at every position. There are two-to-three players who could start at every position. When you have that much talent, that rises the competitiveness and improves the team as a whole.”
Portis began last season with the Bulls before he was sent to the Wizards at the trade deadline. In total, he averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games.
“I was just looking at the situation, the fit and the city,” Portis said about his decision to join New York. “Obviously, as professional basketball players, we play this game to get paid and take care of our families, so that was kind of a factor. But at the same time, I wanted to be comfortable in the city that I was playing in. … And I wanted to go somewhere I could come in and play.”
The Knicks were reportedly targeting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this offseason, but both stars ended up signing with their cross-town rivals, the Nets.
New York then went on to sign Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Taj Gibson, in addition to Portis.
“We’re the team that’s being counted out right now,” Portis said. “People are looking past us. They’re talking about stars going to new teams and this and that, and that’s okay. Everybody on this team has a huge chip on their shoulder. We’re the guys who are always picked second. I think that’s going to make us close.”
The Knicks selected former Duke star RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, as well.