In one training camp, Willy Hernangomez went from franchise cornerstone to waiting for garbage time. The 23-year-old, touted by the front office as a core piece, was a DNP until the final four minutes of Thursday's 105-84 blowout defeat to the Thunder. Jeff Hornacek said New York's surplus of centers left Hernangomez as the odd-man out behind Enes Kanter and Kyle OQuinn. The coach relayed that message to the Spaniard on Thursday morning. "We have a lot of bigs," Hornacek said. "(O'Quinn) and Enes earned the minutes in training camp. Willy's not far behind. He's got to keep working. When you got that many bigs, you can't play them all. The other guys earned the minutes. I told all three of them it doesn't matter if you're in the rotation or out of rotation. If you're in it, you've got to earn it to keep it." It's a surprising development after both GM Scott Perry and president Steve Mills hailed Hernangomez as part of a core-4 with Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr. Hernangomez started 22 games last season and earned a Second Team All-Rookie selection after averaging 8.2 points in 18.2 minutes. But his problem isn't scoring. The issue is defense.
Willy Hernangomez shockingly doesn’t play until final four minutes in season-opening blowout loss
New York Daily News | Oct 20