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PHOENIX — Stephon Marbury missed the New York Knicks’ morning practice Tuesday, fueling speculation that his future with the team is in doubt, according to several New York media reports.
Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas told reporters Tuesday that Mardy Collins would start in Marbury’s place tonight against the Suns.
Thomas declined to comment on reports in the New York Daily News earlier Tuesday that Marbury’s role would be “reduced” and that there had been discussions to try to move Marbury.
Marbury’s contract is worth $42 million over the next two seasons. If the Knicks buy Marbury out, he’d be a free agent. He could also be traded.
“Any type of penalty or suspension will be in-house and we’ll try to keep it within the confines of our team. This is an in-house matter with our team and we’ll keep it and leave it at that,” Thomas told reporters. “We hope to see [Marbury] tonight at the game. However, if he’s not, make no mistake about it, we want him as a member of our basketball team.”
Marbury came to Phoenix with his Knicks teammates Monday. The New York Post reported Tuesday that Marbury had left Phoenix. Thomas told reporters he was unsure if Marbury was still in Phoenix, and Knicks vice president of public relations Jonathan Supranowitz said Marbury was “doubtful” in an interview with 1050 ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand.