Zagsblog: Gottfried: Knicks ‘Got a Steal’ in N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie

By: Adam Zagoria

As reported here last month, the Knicks have signed N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie and he will play with their summer league team in Las Vegas and go to training camp in the fall.

The 6-foot-9 Leslie was projected as a second-round pick but went undrafted after suffering a hip injury.

Leslie worked out for the Nets June 17 but told SNY.tv then he had a hip issue.

“We shut it down,” he said then.

Leslie averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds this past season as a junior with the Wolfpack.

“I think they got a steal,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried told SNY.tv Monday. ”His talent level is lottery pick-level. There’s no doubt in my mind that he can contribute and become a very good player for the New York Knicks.

To read more of this story, click here…

Knicks 2013 Summer League Roster

This is the group of players that will represent the Knicks this summer in Las Vegas during the NBA’s Summer League program. For the schedule and times the Knicks will play, click here

4 J’Covan Brown G 6-1 197 Feb. 14, 1990 Texas/USA Rethymno/Greece R

13 Justin Brownlee F 6-7 219 Apr. 23, 1988 St. John’s/USA San Diego/ABA R

5 Tim Hardaway Jr. G 6-6 205 Mar. 16, 1992 Michigan/USA Michigan/NCAA R

45 Terrence Jennings F 6-10 230 Nov. 2, 1988 Louisville/USA Iowa/NBDL R

44 Jerome Jordan C 7-0 253 Sep. 29, 1986 Tulsa/USA Los Angeles/NBDL 1

25 C.J. Leslie F 6-9 200 Jun. 25, 1991 North Carolina State/USA North Carolina State/NCAA R

40 A.J. Matthews C 7-0 215 Jun. 30, 1989 Farmingdale State/USA Farmingdale State/NCAA R

18 Tony Mitchell F 6-6 216 Aug. 7, 1989 Alabama/USA Fort Wayne/NBDL R

17 Toure Murry G 6-5 199 Nov. 8, 1989 Wichita State/USA Rio Grande/NBDL R

21 Iman Shumpert G 6-5 220 Jun. 26, 1990 Georgia Tech/USA NY Knicks/NBA 2

32 Chris Smith G 6-2 195 Oct. 13, 1987 Louisville/USA None R

30 Jeremy Tyler F 6-10 260 Jun. 12, 1991 Tokyo Apache/Japan Golden State/NBA 2

35 Eloy Vargas F 6-11 244 Dec. 30, 1988 Kentucky/USA San Lazaro/Dominican Republic R

Will Melo Head To Los Angeles In 2014?

The Los Angeles Times yesterday had a report talking about the possibility that Carmelo Anthony will be one of the top free agent targets for the Lakers in 2014.

Now that the Dwightmare has ended in LA, the Lakers are looking at a ton of cap space after next season and could re load the roster with superstar talent to give Kobe Bryant one last run at a dynasty.

Anthony, the NBA’s scoring champion this season, has had some success in Denver and New York but has gotten as far as the conference finals Carmelo+Anthony+Los+Angeles+Lakers+v+New+York+MdUwCwKfpCRxonly once in 10 seasons, with the Nuggets in 2009. He can opt out of the final year on his contract with the Knicks ($24.4 million) after this coming season.

“I would actually like to play with Melo,” said Bryant, as documented by Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com in 2011. “Championships are won on the inside and I’m always thinking about winning the title. I would love to play with Melo because I would know that I have an inside presence. That’s really been the biggest strength with our Lakers team.”

Bryant has said many times that he and Anthony are good friends, stemming from their time together with Team USA.

The Lakers would be able to offer a four-year, $100.5-million contract to Anthony, starting at $23.5 million.

Matthew Falkenbury

So Melo is going to…

A) Leave New York and money on the table

and

B) Willingly accept the idea of no longer being THE star on a major team to go be Kobe’s sidekick in LA?

Yeah, I don’t think so.

With the Knicks being able to have Melo sign for more money and the possibility of having enough cap room to add one more max player in 2015, I doubt he leaves for LA.

I just don’t see Melo wanting to become another Dwayne Wade and be the “other guy” like Wade has since Lebron came to Miami.

Keep dreaming LA, keep dreaming.

Will Elton Brand Sign With The Knicks?

Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote about the Knicks pursuit of Peekskill, NY native and free agent Elton Brand this morning.

Brand, the 34-year-old Westchester County product, is a free agent, seeking one last contract before retirement. The Knicks, coincidently, have a dire need for another big man off the bench and are trying to 08.1s046.berman--300x450snag him as their first free-agent acquisition this summer.

The Knicks have scant money left for free agency — only $1.7 million on their mini mid-level exception. And they have all those veteran minimum deals of $1.4 million to fill out their roster. The Knicks have 10 players solidified for their training-camp roster and can add five more, and are trying to net a third point guard and a small forward.

“We’re just trying to get Elton a contract that is fair for his value in this marketplace,’’ said Brand’s agent, David Falk, who repped Patrick Ewing.

Brand was picked up by the Mavericks last year after being apart of the NBA’s amnesty clause last off season. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds last season in just about 21 minutes per game off the bench and as a starter at times.

He was a high school basketball star at Peekskill High School before going off to Duke for college. He was the #1 overall pick in the 1999 Draft by the Bulls and has played for them along with the Clippers, 76ers as well averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per game in his career.

Matthew Falkenbury

If the Knicks can find a way to convince Brand to take a hometown discount to finish up his career in New York, then that would be pretty impressive.

Brand is obviously not the same player he was with the Bulls and Clippers after his Achilles injury in 2007. But, he can be a help on the boards and still can hit the 10-15 foot jumper when needed.

With the Knicks seemingly lukewarm at best when it comes to bringing back Kenyon Martin, it looks like they have decided to go all out in trying to get Brand.

I really don’t think he will find the offers out there to be worse than what the Knicks will be able to give him. With the contracts going out right now to guys like Francisco Garcia and Carlos Delfino, I wonder if a team with more money wont surprise Brand with a better deal.

The forward spot for the Knicks right now is thin when it comes to rebounding. Melo can hold his own but Amar’e and Bargnani are not exactly guys known for getting a lot of boards these days.

Having a guy off the bench that can get rebounds, score a little bit and give Chandler/Amar’e/Bargnani rest would be very helpful to the Knicks.

Brand or Martin can be that guy. Hopefully one of them is a Knick come next season.

Knicks Las Vegas Summer League Schedule

From July 12th to the 22nd, the New York Knicks along with 20 other NBA teams will participate in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas.

According to a press release sent out by the NBA, the format for the summer league has changed to a tournament style.120614_summer_league_400x300

This summer’s event will feature the debut of a tournament style schedule that will crown the first ever NBA Summer League Champion on Monday, July 22.

Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 12-16 before being seeded in a tournament running through the Championship Game on July 22.

Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.

The Knicks summer league roster has not been officially announced but players like Tim Hardaway Jr., C.J. Leslie and Chris Smith are expected to participate.

The NBA Summer League 2013 Schedule is below

Friday July 12

COX Pavilion
1 PM — New York vs. New Orleans (Game 1)
6 PM — Atlanta vs. LA Clippers (Game 2)
8 PM — Cleveland vs. LA Lakers (Game 3)
10 PM — Charlotte vs. San Antonio (Game 4)

Saturday July 13

COX Pavilion
4 PM — Golden State vs. Washington (Game 5)
6 PM — Sacramento vs. Dallas (Game 6)
8 PM — Chicago vs. Memphis (Game 8)
10 PM — Denver vs. Milwaukee (Game 10)

Thomas & Mack
6:30 PM — Minnesota vs. NBA D-League (Game 7)
8:30 PM — Phoenix vs. Portland (Game 9)
10:30 PM — Miami vs. Toronto (Game 11)

Sunday July 14

COX Pavilion
4 PM — New York vs. Washington (Game 12)
6 PM — Charlotte vs. Dallas (Game 14)
8 PM — Cleveland vs. Memphis (Game 16)
10 PM — Atlanta vs. Miami (Game 18)

Thomas & Mack
4:30 PM — LA Clippers vs. NBA D-League (Game 13)
6:30 PM — LA Lakers vs. Portland (Game 15)
8:30 PM — New Orleans vs. Milwaukee (Game 17)
10:30 PM — San Antonio vs. Toronto (Game 19)

Monday July 15

COX Pavilion
4 PM — New York vs. Charlotte (Game 20)
6 PM — Cleveland vs. New Orleans (Game 21)
8 PM — LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers (Game 23)
10 PM — San Antonio vs. Atlanta (Game 25)

Thomas & Mack
6:30 PM — Minnesota vs. Phoenix (Game 22)
8:30 PM — Sacramento vs. Golden State (Game 24)
10:30 PM — Chicago vs. Denver (Game 26)

Tuesday July 16

COX Pavilion
4 PM — Minnesota vs. Miami (Game 27)
6 PM — Sacramento vs. Toronto (Game 28)
8 PM — Chicago vs. Portland (Game 30)
10 PM — Denver vs. Washington (Game 32)

Thomas & Mack
6:30 PM — Golden State vs. Milwaukee (Game 29)
8:30 PM — Phoenix vs. Memphis (Game 31)
10:30 PM — Dallas vs. NBA D-League (Game 33)

Wednesday July 17

COX Pavilion
6 PM — #11 Seed vs. #22 Seed (Game 34)
8 PM — #13 Seed vs. #20 Seed (Game 36)
10 PM — #15 Seed vs. #18 Seed (Game 38)

Thomas & Mack
6:30 PM — #12 Seed vs. #21 Seed (Game 35)
8:30 PM — #14 Seed vs. #19 Seed (Game 37)
10:30 PM — #16 Seed vs. #17 Seed (Game 39)

Thursday July 18

COX Pavilion
4 PM — #7 Seed vs. #10 Seed (Game 40)
6 PM — #6 Seed vs. Winner of Game 34 (Game 42)
8 PM — #4 Seed vs. Winner of Game 36 (Game 44)
10 PM — #2 Seed vs. Winner of Game 38 (Game 46)

Thomas & Mack
4:30 PM – #8 Seed vs. #9 Seed (Game 41)
6:30 PM — #5 Seed vs. Winner of Game 35 (Game 43)
8:30 PM — #3 Seed vs. Winner of Game 37 (Game 45)
10:30 PM — #1 Seed vs. Winner of Game 39 (Game 47)

Friday July 19

COX Pavilion
4 PM — Game 34 Loser vs. Game 35 Loser (Game 48)
6 PM — Game 36 Loser vs. Game 37 Loser (Game 49)
8 PM — Game 40 Loser vs. Game 41 Loser (Game 50)
10 PM — Game 44 Loser vs. Game 45 Loser (Game 51)

Thomas & Mack
6:30 PM — Game 38 Loser vs. Game 39 Loser (Game 52)
8:30 PM — Game 42 Loser vs. Game 43 Loser (Game 53)
10:30 PM — Game 46 Loser vs. Game 47 Loser (Game 54)

Saturday July 20

Thomas & Mack
4 PM — Game 40 Winner vs. Game 46 Winner (Game 55)
6 PM — Game 42 Winner vs. Game 45 Winner (Game 56)
8 PM — Game 41 Winner vs. Game 47 Winner (Game 57)
10 PM — Game 43 Winner vs. Game 44 Winner (Game 58)

Sunday July 21

Thomas & Mack
6 PM — Game 55 Winner vs. Game 56 Winner (Game 59)
8 PM — Game 57 Winner vs. Game 58 Winner (Game 60)

Monday July 22

Thomas & Mack
9 PM — Game 59 Winner vs. Game 60 Winner (Game 61)

Zagsblog: Kentucky’s Vargas Excited for Shot With Knicks

By: Adam Zagoria

The Knicks need help in their frontcourt and Kentucky product Eloy Vargas hopes he can provide a solution.

The 6-foot-11 native of the Dominican Republic is on the Knicks roster for the Las Vegas Summer League beginning July 12.

With the retirements of Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace, the trade of Marcus Camby to the Toronto Raprots and the loss of Chris Copeland to free agency, the Knicks are in need of youth, toughness and rebounding in their frontcourt.

To read more of this story, click here…

Copeland Talks About Signing With The Pacers

Chris Copeland spoke to Alan Hahn on ESPN New York Radio 98.7 on Saturday about leaving the Knicks for the Pacers. According to Ian Begley, “the plan from the start” was to take less money to stay in New York.

Photo credit: Jim McIsaac

Photo credit: Jim McIsaac

The Knicks never made him an official offer as they waited to see what the market was going to be for him as a restricted free agent.

Copeland signed a two year offer sheet worth 6.1 million dollars last night with the Pacers according to his agent John Spencer.

The Knicks after leaving themselves only 1.7 million to spend on Copeland after re-signing Pablo Prigioni will not be able to match it.

Copeland was the NBA Rookie of the Month in April and when the season began was the final player to make the roster. When given a chance to play he showed glimpses of being a solid rotation player, even starting a few games towards the end of the season.

His struggles were on defense and at times found himself stapled to the bench for long stretches of the season by Mike Woodson.

Copeland, 29, averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds last season and was a key part of the Knicks Game 5 win over the Pacers in a series they eventually lost in six games.

Matthew Falkenbury

I don’t like this situation for two reasons.

1. He signed with the Pacers. The team that knocked us out saw more of his potential than the Knicks did apparently.

2. He was a good story that with some work could be better on defense and be a much cheaper option than Andrea Bargnani.

I’m happy that Copeland, who has battled his whole career to get this chance to make some serious money, has finally solidified himself in the NBA.

I’m sure he will be able to help the Pacers off the bench considering for the most part, their bench last season was ok at best.

For the Knicks, they once again let their top restricted free agent see what was out there and got burned when they cant match the deal he gets and agrees to.

Pablo Prigioni needed to be re-signed because he brings a toughness on both ends of the floor and the point guards spots were thin. Him taking up part of the mini mid-level exception was going to happen.

The Knicks now will have to move on and see what they can with the rest of the exception and veteran’s minimum to finll out the roster.

As much as I dislike the fact he left, like Tommy has said in the past, he is very much a replaceable part of the team.

Knicks Interested in Sebastian Telfair

Marc Berman of the New York Post had an interesting note at the bottom of this article he wrote about Pablo Prigioni Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Sunsreturning to the Knicks.

The Knicks still want to sign a third point guard and Sebastian Telfair, for the vet minimum, is in their crosshairs.

The Lincoln High School alum and cousin of Stephon Marbury could thrive at the Garden, in his ninth season. He played 59 games last season for Phoenix and Toronto.

“He certainly would consider the Knicks strongly,’’ agent Andy Miller said.

The Knicks also have contacted reps for Earl Watson, Will Bynum, Aaron Brooks and Devin Harris.

Telfair was selected 13th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2004 NBA Draft and has played for the Blazers, the Timberwolves twice, the Clippers, the Cavaliers and Suns before going to the Raptors at the deadline this past season.

He has averaged 7.4 points, 3.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game over the course of his career. He only averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 assists per game last year.

Matthew Falkenbury

With Prigioni and Felton slated in the point guard rotation next season, the Knicks have been rumored to want to add another younger piece to back them up.

Telfair’s story is one of a guy who had all the hype coming out of high school but never reached what most considered his potential while in the NBA.

I personally would rather have the Knicks take a flier on Aaron Brooks or Earl Watson before looking at Telfair because they have shown in the past they can be solid players off the bench.

Telfair would be a great story since he is Marbury’s cousin and is a high school legend in the city. The one thing he does have going for him, which is noted above, is that he may take the Veteran’s minimum.

The Knicks have those and about 1.7 million left over from the mini mid-level exception.

I’m sure Telfair could help the Knicks at the point, but I don’t think he should be their first option either.