Top free agents Knicks should target who aren’t named Carmelo Anthony

Keith Schlosser

In the days and weeks to come, the Knicks will have their hands full while attempting to figure out how to retain the services of Carmelo Anthony. While the forward meets with other teams and weighs various offers, New York will have an opportunity to begin shoring up some holes as they target other intriguing free agents.

Such an attempt to improve the squad will surely be critical, as it relates to Anthony’s impending free agency decision. With that in mind, here are the free agents (not named Carmelo Anthony, of course) that the team should zero in on.


Pau Gasol, Lakers

USATSI_7768510_110579513_lowresWithout as much money to offer as other teams, convincing Gasol to come play in the Big Apple may be all but a pipe dream. But as one of the more talented and versatile big men in the league, the veteran is a perfect fit for the triangle offense. His rebounding ability is something the Knicks sorely need, and his offensive prowess from around the perimeter would help spread the floor and open things up tremendously.

More importantly, Gasol’s presence would go a long way towards’ ensuring the return of Anthony. It would provide him with a legitimate star as second in command. The Knicks only have the mini-midlevel to throw Gasol’s way, but perhaps the opportunity to reunite with Phil Jackson, play for former teammate Derek Fisher and hit the hardwood with fellow Spaniard Jose Calderon will all collectively be too much for Gasol to turn down.


Jermaine O’Neal, Warriors

What you see is simply what you get with a player like O’Neal. More often than not, he represents one of the most oft-injured big men the game has seen in recent seasons.

But in the past two seasons, the Knicks have seemed to understand the value of having such a veteran in town anyway. The likes of Kenyon Martin, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, and Marcus Camby, have all offered New York something desirable during respective tenures in the past two seasons. If offered the veteran’s minimum, O’Neal could be clutch in similar ways.

When he’s on the court, he’s an excellent rebounder who could help anchor the team’s defense when the starting center is getting a breather. What’s more, the 35 year old is a terrific locker room guy who can still manage to hit the mid-range jumper.


Ramon Sessions, Bucks

Whenever Sessions is available, it’s difficult to count the Knicks out so soon. The team has been intrigued by him dating back to Mike D’Antoni’s tenure, and have been known to inquire about his services often ever since.

Sessions is an underrated point guard. He’s intelligent, can run the floor well, and can pour in the points as well. He likes to drive to the basket, but can also take a step back and hit the long ball too. Though he may not be the most efficient scorer in the world, chances are the Knicks would rely upon him to be more of a facilitator off the bench. His defensive instincts would come in handy as well.

With Calderon in town, there may not be as much of a pressing need for a player of Sessions’ caliber. The mini-midlevel contract may be better spent on another player, but if New York could somehow convince the point guard to play for the veteran’s minimum, he’d be well worth it.


USATSI_7955764_110579513_lowresBoris Diaw, Spurs

It may sound funny at first, but Diaw could be an interesting “plan B,” if and when Gasol proves to be out of the Knicks’ price range. As versatile big men, the two do a lot of the same things on the court; Diaw has excellent court vision and even serves as a long-range shooting threat from beyond the arc.

One of the better passing big men in the game, Diaw can play both forward positions, as well as center a bit, too. He may not be able to score as efficiently as Gasol, nor would his signing create as much of a splash. Still, Diaw is a winner (a proven champion at that) who could still step in and fill a couple of voids. At the very least, he’d serve as a stop-gap for a season or two and help the Knicks remain competitive while doing some positive things on the court.


Steve Blake, Warriors

An experienced floor general in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, the veteran Blake may be the ideal backup point guard for the Knicks. Luckily for New York, they just may be able to reel him in at a bargain price as well.

After starting the season off with some of the best numbers of his career as starting point guard for the Lakers, Blake was minimized  the rest of the way and had a dismal postseason after being acquired midseason by Golden State. That could prove to work in the Knicks’ favor.

In a perfect world, New York would sign Gasol and make enough of a splash to also retain Anthony as well. Should that happen, the team will be strapped for exceptions and/or cap space to offer. Reeling in Gasol, while convincing Blake to play for veteran’s minimum, should be considered a steal and well-done effort by Jackson at the end of the day.

Blake is one of the smartest guards in the league. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s able to recognize the potential for something special in New York when it comes time to sign.


The Wild Card: Patty Mills, Spurs

Originally expected to be a likely target for the Knicks this summer, Mills will be forced to undergo surgery for a rotator-cuff injury that plagued him during the season. He’ll reportedly be sidelined up to seven months, so it’s unknown if the market will remain the same for him moving forward.

But nevertheless…by acquiring Jose Calderon, the Knicks significantly upgraded the point guard position. Still, another floor general or two will undoubtedly be needed to eat up some minutes down the stretch. As someone who can run the floor and play well off the ball by serving as a threat from long range, Mills would be a nice fit.

Able to make an impact in different ways than Calderon, Mills could serve as an offensive spark plug off the pine. Bench points are something the Knicks are sorely in need of. The recently crowned NBA champion is someone who basks in the big moment and feeds off the bright lights a place like New York City could shine upon him. He’d thrive under pressure, as he’s proven to be able to do in San Antonio.




1254 comments
Joseph Baffi
Joseph Baffi

melo noah rose or melo howard harden or kone melo gasol or a dark horse like mavs melo dirk and who knows  and the kniks  can offer stat and jr smith

Abdul Esa
Abdul Esa

Fellow fans, LeBron and melo have something brewing. Mark my words.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

                              As a 6-foot-10 big man with a versatile offensive game, Monroe has a market. But what is it? In numerous conversations with league executives, scouts and agents over the past two years, not one considered Monroe a max player. Detroit Free Press

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Dwain Price: On the meeting with Melo, Mark Cuban said via Cyberdust: "What I can tell you is that we made this purely a business meeting. No tours. No banners. All basketball and business." Twitter @DwainPrice -

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Why so many people listening on this thread???  NEW POST IS UP!!

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

MAVS PITCH TO MELO:


Here’s what the Mavs sold Melo on:

There was no pomp and circumstances from the Mavericks. Dallas' meat-and-potatoes pitch emphasized the opportunity to contend immediately with an elite coach in Carlisle, a selfless star in Nowitzki and a quality supporting cast featuring high-scoring guard Monta Ellis and defensive-minded center Tyson Chandler. The Mavericks also focused on the creativity and proven track record of the front office, stressing their plan to sustain a contender throughout Anthony's prime and ability to add at least one more major piece next summer.


http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/57750/mavs-to-melo-you-can-win-here


MeloStat301
MeloStat301

KOBE FLIES IN TO MEET W/MELO:


Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant flew in late Wednesday night from a European vacation so he could play a key part in the team's pitch to free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.


Bryant has a long history and friendship with Anthony and has been courting him for some time, but he felt it was important to be there when the Lakers made their pitch to him at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles.



http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/11171784/kobe-bryant-back-europe-assist-los-angeles-lakers-carmelo-anthony-pitch

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

MELO TO MEET JEANIE BUSS...AWKWARD??


Things may get awkward between Phil Jackson and his fiancée, Jeanie Buss, on Thursday.

Buss’ Los Angeles Lakers are meeting with Carmelo Anthony and his representatives in Los Angeles on Thursday, and according to ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin, team president Jeanie Buss will be in the meeting.

Writes McMenamin:

“The Anthony pitch will be spearheaded by Lakers president Jeanie Buss, executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss and Kupchak, according to a source with knowledge of the Lakers' plan.

"One key difference in the Lakers' pitch meeting with Anthony from the one they had with Dwight Howard last year will be the presence of Jeanie Buss, who has made it clear to the front office that she will do whatever is helpful to sell free agents on the franchise. The relationship between Jeanie Buss and brother Jim Buss has vastly improved in recent months, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne.”


http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/


Art Perez
Art Perez

If reports are true I'm REAL curious as to why Lebron wants 1-2 year max deal w/ player option.... sounds like he has plans to team up w/ someone for 2014/2015 season

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

Off Topic: Why are all these top level teams & all star players willing to wine & dine Mr.(selfish Chucker No defense Low IQ hardly gets assist does not make anyone better) Carmelo Anthony? Their willing to get rid of other all star/good starting players to make room for this "Non Leader"(according to ESPN & a lot of "Supposedly Smart TKBer's)? Are they in the "Matrix or something? According to some on this blog, he's barley a top 20 talent & rate Kevin Love Blake Griffin Aldridge etc...above him but Love isn't being recruited the same way? Love is considered a consolation signing if they don't receive Mr. Carmelo Anthony! The only other players that was this sought after were Howard/Lebron? Could it be that he really is a "Top 5 Talent" & that those who don't want him are not "True Knick Fans"??? Proky went over the cap trying to build a contender. Even if it cost us the MAX to bring Melo back we should do it!!! MSG prints money! Dolan needs to write that check & allow Phil to bring players that compliment MELO & his Tri Angle System!!! I'm glad Mr. Carmelo Anthony is getting his "PROPS" & all you "MELO HATERS" have to see his talents appreciated "Nation Wide" on all the Networks!!!

Vaughn Allen
Vaughn Allen

the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Carlos Boozer is about to be amnesied.. and it won't count against next year's salary cap

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

Sources saying Mark Cuban greeted Melo in a Leopard Robe and a Cigar and said how much you really want ? 

chudogz1
chudogz1

Funny.. The Bulls are pitching Gibson as part of a big 4, to Melo, but they are reaching out to Gasol!!!! The only way Gibson should be mentioned as part of a big 4, is a big fore-head!!! Good night, Melo is staying, Harden and D12 and Houston will be at the alter with no LBJ, Melo or Lowry, as I've said for 2 weeks... Only they will have a junk box bench now with no poison pill Asik, and Jeremy "no D" Lin.... Morey is a genius.... NOT

orlando_knickfan
orlando_knickfan

The new fantasy for Bulls fans is that CHI will S&T with LA to get Pau AND land Melo in FA.
It's feasible but I cannot see it.

rgm891
rgm891

@Orlando_Knicksfan You think Melo has a better chance of landing in Houston over Chicago?

knickstape
knickstape

So when does Melo meet with the Knicks for the final time? hopefully hell make his decision a few days after that…..i can't handle all the speculation

zebeto
zebeto

@Art Perez ..With Phil in place and some surgical trades/aquisitions i would not be surprized if lebron wants to play for Phil in the future .

Joseph Baffi
Joseph Baffi

@Ray Jorge maybe cus he one of best off players in nba if not the best and some teams have everything but a guy who can score like melo

Mel Brown
Mel Brown

@thatsagoodpoint the most logical thing you said all night.

chudogz1
chudogz1

@DaGawD. Ticket prices are going up regardless... Let's not put that on Melo, also. He gets enough blame around here, some deserved, some not, IMO

orlando_knickfan
orlando_knickfan

@rgm891 A little higher than Chicago because of $$$.  They only have to move Lin at this point PLUS a S&T with them is more palatable to Phil cause their out west and the assets are better.

Chicago can't get him close to $96/4 let alone max cause we smartly won't S&T with them.  They may have to unload the whole team to do it hence they are motoring over to LA to get in Pau's ear.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@Sandro Guedes @bockers  Bulls will get either Lance/Gasol...not both...cant see it financially.  If they do somehow sign both, they will be left with no bench...not a roster balance at all.

1harris1
1harris1

@Sandro Guedes @bockers  Rose does what he's done the last two years, and can't hold up physically.  He's no more of a given to stay healthy than Amar'e is.


I don't know that I agree that the Knicks would be a legitimate contender if Melo resigns, but the Bulls wouldn't be either if Rose can't stay healthy.

chudogz1
chudogz1

@DaGawd. Definitely not part of no big 4 tho...

Chris
Chris

@chudogz He is not logical he is really a. a troll, b a hater or c both of the above. As far as logical  I seriously doubt he could pass a basic Geometry logic test

rgm891
rgm891

@orlando_knickfan @rgm891 This is very interesting and great points man. No reason to help Chicago out whatsoever.  They would put themselves with legit zero assets if they want to give Melo the max.

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD Shoulder problems are less a threat to a player then back and knee injuries. The second part of what you said I agree with. Contracts with older players should be descending not ascending contracts. The bigger problem is the cap itself. Paying a guy like Bradley 32M tells me that either people are really stupid, and/or they are making(the teams) more then the books show

Mel Brown
Mel Brown

@thatsagoodpoint you r reaching.  Your comment was based on another post.  I agree with sound logic....something that you come up short on from time to time.


you received two likes.  be happy with that.

Chris
Chris

@wrightsux @orlando_knickfan @rgm891 The next team could take him for a dollar, making Jerry pay the whole bill. To assume that Boozer will not extract revenge on this idiot is somewhat premature

1harris1
1harris1

@Sandro Guedes @1harris1 @bockers  No, you just asked a question that I gave you an answer to.  The Bulls are not a championship contender unless Rose stays healthy.  That's not remotely close to being a given.  If LeBron goes back to Miami, and Rose breaks down, Miami is still the team to beat, even if the Bulls add Gasol.


The Knicks would still have much work to do, even with Carmelo returning.  I'm not sure how anybody can realistically think otherwise.  But the season doesn't start tomorrow either.





Art Perez
Art Perez

@Sandro Guedes @1harris1 @bockers

To your comment to 1harris1 you're hoping/assuming that the Bulls get Gasol and Stephenson... 


"If Melo re-signs with the Knicks, Bulls will look like this::"


we can play the conjecture game all day..  can't say what the Bulls WILL look like if Melo resigns w/ NY

solar_lion
solar_lion

@DaGawD @Daniel Nguyen Hmmm... Well maybe. But seems that all new CBAs, and there might be one forthcoming as either side can opt out after next season, include an Amnesty provision for players already signed prior to the new CBA. Think things through.

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen

@DaGawD he's already kind of slow, he'd have to be that kobe pass type player in phil's last year at LA

Chris
Chris

@thatsagoodpoint What both of you are saying is supposition. To infer that you are logical and he isn`t is merely proof that you are ignorant(not knowledgable) of the the laws of logic. For example if a statement is valid (which is hard to prove in these situations) only reasoning from the contraposative  must be correct. You aint doin that

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen

@DaGawD I just don't like him as the leader. he seems to like to have a burden on his shoulders