During an appearance on ESPN on Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks forward Jared Dudley referred to Knicks star Carmelo Anthony as the NBA’s most overrated player.
Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
For starters, such remarks aren’t going to win Dudley any brownie points heading into free agency. As a consistent 3 and D player, the swingman would fit well into the triangle himself. The Knicks have explored trading for him before, and as Phil Jackson retools the team this summer, Dudley could be a solid option as a potential role player.
Perhaps Dudley wouldn’t appreciate the opportunity to play with Anthony.
Dudley went on to claim that Anthony was overrated because he’s “a top five player” in the NBA. It’s difficult to place the Knicks star in a conversation about the league’s five best players. It’s even more difficult to believe that this is the perception around the league. Perhaps by including Anthony in a top five player conversation, Dudley himself is overrating his rival.
He did, however, make a valid point about Anthony’s abilities as it relates to the triangle. “[Carmelo] has the talent to be able to facilitate. The triangle should fit him where he has to make guys better,” Dudley asserted.
The Bucks swingman also brought up the LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony argument once again. James has obviously won multiple championships and has made teammates better in the process. While Anthony still aspires to do the same, the bar that James has set is one that all players (not just Anthony) aim to meet. It’s silly to make a direct comparison, because at this point, Anthony hasn’t really come close to setting a similar example.
The two were, however, both drafted into the NBA in 2003.
Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson and power forward Kenneth Faried could be two of the marquee names on the NBA trading block this summer, according to Basketball Insiders.
Are the Knicks legitimate landing spots?
Denver is about to enter yet another rebuilding mode under a new head coach, and it’s rumored that Lawson and Faried want nothing to do with such. Lawson is the Nuggets’ most valuable trading chip, and if the team wants to add young talent then it will have to part ways with the talented point guard.
Likewise, Faried does not want to be part of a rebuilding phase. The player and team have had somewhat of a tumultuous relationship over the past few years, and the coaching change and new direction the Nuggets are going in may be a sign of a split to come.
Patrick Piascik of Rant Sports suggested the Knicks should make a play.
The Knicks have glaring holes up and down the roster, beginning with the point guard position in addition to power forward. The Nuggets would likely want to make a deal before the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25, and the Knicks — who seem unhappy with the No. 4 overall pick — make perfect sense.
Lawson, 27, is one of the best young point guards in the game and without question is an upgrade of Jose Calderon. The question is how he’d fit in with the triangle, but that’s probably a concern for the backburner given the dire need for talent at the position.
Faried, 25, allows Carmelo Anthony to move back to the No. 3 spot and suddenly strengthens the Knicks backcourt by adding legitimate depth. Faried would be the projected starter ahead of Lou Amundson, who fared well down the stretch of 2015.
From a basketball standpoint it makes all the sense in the world for New York. But what about financially?
According to salary cap projections from ESPN, the Knicks owe $40.2 million in committed salaries. That includes Anthony, Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early. Both Langston Galloway’s and Ricky Ledo’s contracts become partially guaranteed in July and August, respectively.
If $40.2 million is in fact the number, then the Knicks have $26.8 million to spend this offseason. That also means the Knicks have room to take on Lawson’s 2015 salary ($12.4 million) and Faried’s 2015 salary ($11.2 million), which combined total about $23.6 million.
Additionally, that leaves New York about $3.2 or so million to fill in the remainder of the roster spots for role players.
If the Knicks were to waive both Galloway and ledo, then the team would have closer to $27.5 million to spend instead of $26.8 million.
Unless the Knicks know they can lure a marquee free-agent to town this offseason, adding proven commodities in Lawson and Faried — both of whom fill major needs and can instantly bolster the team in 2015-16 — this move makes too much sense.
J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are both heading to the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Smith and Shumpert were part of the three-team deal on January 5 that sent them from the Knicks to the Cavs, while the Knicks picked up Lou Amundson and a second-round pick from Cleveland and Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City.
“Talk about starting from the bottom, and now I’m here,” Smith said after Cleveland swept the Atlanta Hawks to make the Finals (May 27).
Smith posted this video of himself, Shumpert, LeBron James and some Cavs teammates after the game: To read more of this story, click here
Clearly, Phil Jackson is not a fan of playoff teams banking on 3-pointers to lift them to an NBA championship.
He said as much in a Twitter rant earlier this month.
Over the weekend, the Knicks president continued to back up his claim, and did so of course via 140-character messages on Twitter.
To his credit, he did change his stance a tiny bit.
After calling out the 3-point shooting teams back on May 10, Jackson is now taking the stance that perimeter shooting is good, so long that it stems from dribble-drive penetration first. Jeez, Phil, we get it.
It truly sounds like Jackson just wants his point to be understood, but won’t let go of the fact he received some backlash for his comments earlier this month.
Then, Jackson went on give credit to former Knicks — Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith of the Cavaliers and Pablo Prigioni of the Rockets — who are still vying for NBA titles. Of course, all three of those players have been excellent from 3-point range on their new teams.
Naturally, Jackson exited with a third tweet concerning the WNBA and comparing that game with the NBA’s. That one sort of left us with a raised eyebrow.
Anyhow, good to see Jackson relent — a bit — but also not so much. Just trust the Knicks will not be known for being a 3-point shooting club so long that Jackson is running the front office.
UCLA’s Kevon Looney was among the prospects the Knicks spoke with at the NBA Draft Combine, according to the Los Angeles Daily News (May 24).
Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
It’s one thing for a team to explore all options, but it’s nevertheless a little surprising to see Looney’s name associated with the Knicks. He hasn’t really been heralded as a top five pick at all.
Nevertheless, perhaps he’s someone New York would consider if they end up trading down in the draft as part of a larger deal. The 19-year-old is expected to be picked somewhere in the lottery, but there are so many other talented players in that range. It’s possible he could slip further as well.
Looney is the type of prospect who does a number of things relatively well, but isn’t great at any one individual facet of his game just yet. He’s still raw. He’s young, athletic, quick on his feet and can defend both forward positions. Last season, Looney shot nearly 42 percent from 3-point range for the Bruins.
Looney is arguably one of the better rebounders in this draft, behind some of the more obvious choices at the center position. Still, he could stand to bulk up his frame a bit in an effort to further hold his own down low in the NBA. What’s more, he doesn’t have that same type of assertiveness and/or aggression that other prospects display on the offensive end. He’s more of a complementary player, rather than a potential game-changer.
The Knicks do have connections at UCLA, however. Assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard’s father (Walt) was a longtime head coach at the school. A source tells TheKnicksBlog.com that he, Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson all maintain relationships there from their respective time in Los Angeles.
Last season, New York took a gamble on former Bruins’ forward Travis Wear in NBA Summer League after he went undrafted. Of course, Wear made the team out of camp and stayed on the whole year.
The Knicks could be interested in trading for Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson. (May 25)
Lawson played alongside Carmelo Anthony in Denver for the 2009-10 and part of the 2010-11 seasons.
He is under contract and owed $25.6 million over the next two seasons.
Lawson, 27, averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 assists per game last season.
The Celtics and Mavericks have also reportedly shown interest in Lawson.
The Knicks may have more than $27 million in available cap space when they enter free agency, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. (May 25, 7:05 a.m.)
New York has four guaranteed contracts as of now in Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early, whose combined contracts add up to $32.43 million.
Langston Galloway’s contract becomes partially guaranteed on July 1 and Ricky Ledo’s in August.
If the Knicks retain the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft, they will pay the player $3.4 million in slot money.
The NBA salary cap is expected to be $67.1 million.