Apr. 08, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives to the basket on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin (23) during the first quarter of the game at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks, Afflalo agree to deal

Free agent G Arron Afflalo agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Knicks, CBS Sports’ Ken Berg reports (July 2).

Afflalo averaged 11.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in 78 games last season with Denver and Portland.

The Knicks had been considered frontrunners to land Afflalo (June 29).

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

If nothing else, being able able to sign Afflalo means the Knicks won’t completely strike out this offseason. This may not seem like a big deal at this point, but with so many quality free agents signing deals rather quickly this early in free agency, Afflalo’s commitment to the team could create a positive domino effect for others to come.

The reported deal comes at a good value for the Knicks. Afflalo was reportedly initially looking for a contract worth approximately $36-$38 million over three years. The fact that it’s only a two-year pact is very good, a it allows New York to maintain some flexibility for the long term once the deal is up.

His numbers from last season may not be as eye-popping as some would like, but he did average a career-high 18.2 points on 46 pecent shooting from the field as recently as 2013-14 with the Orlando Magic. The key for Afflalo is receiving a steady role that comes with consistent minutes. This is obviously something New York, perhaps more so than other teams, can provide him with relatively easily. Make no mistake, he’s certainly an efficient scorer.

Last season, he split time between two teams, and finished off the year serving as a spot starter/sixth man for the Blazers.

A former Denver Nugget, Afflalo is very good friends with Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks’ star surely endorses such a signing, not that this makes too much of a difference. Nevertheless, it’s also good to keep a team’s best players motivated.

Afflalo is the kind of player, who, if need be, could serve as a No. 2 option on offense behind Anthony. That said, the Knicks should hope to land another quality player or two in the coming days.

Sam Spiegelman

Afflalo was frequently mentioned as the Knicks’ top shooting guard target, so apparently Phil Jackson got his guy.

Afflalo is a proven veteran that has a bevy of playoff experience, which will be good for the Knicks’ young, inexperienced roster.

Trading away Tim Hardaway Jr. in an effort to land former Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant hurt the team’s long-range shooting, but that’s instantly fixed by Afflalo.

Last year, Afflalo spent part of the season with Denver and the second half of the season in Portland, shooting 37 percent from 3-point range overall. It negates the loss of Hardaway Jr.

In addition, Afflalo is a solid perimeter defender and that’s an aspect the Knicks desperately needed. Even though I preferred Danny Green, who is a little bit younger, has NBA Finals experience and is a New York native, Afflalo is a good find.

To get him for $8 million a year is especially impressive. The Knicks still have plenty of money to spend. Let’s see what they can do.

April 5, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Derrick Williams (13) shoots the basketball against Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks meet with Derrick Williams

The Knicks met with free agent F Derrick Williams on Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports (July 2).

Williams, 24, averaged 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 74 games with the Kings last season.

The No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft, Williams spent two-plus seasons in Minnesota before heading to Sacramento in the 2013-14 season.

Williams is slated to meet with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

This is interesting. The Knicks’ interest in a player like Williams is surprising. Still, when did free agency become a time where role players also have scheduled in-person meetings with teams, potentially as they are wined and dined? It used to be a special privilege reserved for the offseason’s brightest available stars.

A former number two overall pick back in 2011, Williams has obviously never quite lived up to his potential. Frankly, there appear to be better players available that may even come at a better price tag than the 24 year old.

After signing Arron Afflalo, the Knicks could see a domino effect of quality players start to commit to them (or at least, perhaps that’s what they’re hoping). Nevertheless, with that in mind, New York shouldn’t be wasting too much time on a player like Williams.

Sam Spiegelman

I concur with Keith. This is interesting.

Williams is only 24 years old and has already had stints with two teams. But a former No. 2 overall pick means there’s a lot of potential and that’ll certainly push teams to continually take chances on him.

Williams has been a steady offensive contributor, averaging about 8 points per game over the past two seasons. He’s a weak rebounder and doesn’t share the ball very well, and he shoots a modest 31 percent from 3.

It’s a bit concerning that a former No. 2 draft pick has only started 92 games in his five-year career and only 21 over the last two years. He’s been used as a power forward and small forward, but has never averaged more than 3.6 rebounds per game.

Perhaps Phil Jackson sees something in Williams like many GMs would. There’s likely talent, so long that he’s in the right position on the right team. As of now, he’s merely a role player and no one Knicks fans should get excited over.

Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Eastern Conference forward Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks (7) addresses the media during practice at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Melo on free agency: ‘It’s a waiting game’

Carmelo Anthony has tried to wait patiently as the Knicks look to make their first big splash in free agency.

NBA free agents have been free to negotiate deals for the last 32 hours, and while other teams have made moves, the Knicks have been quiet so far.

“We haven’t heard anything yet on the Knicks,’’ Anthony said to the New York Post (July 1). “I’m waiting by my phone to go off right now, so I could hear some good news. It’s a waiting game.”

The Knicks have been rumored to be very active in free agency, reportedly expressing interest in players like Greg MonroeMonta Ellis, LaMarcus AldridgeRobin Lopez and Kendrick Perkins, among others.

“You see guys signing up early,” Anthony said, “but I think this free agency will be done in a short manner.’’


Monroe could decide by Thursday afternoon

Draymond Green re-signs with the Warriors

Free agent F Draymond Green has re-signed with the Warriors, agreeing to a five-year contract worth $85 million (July 1).

Earlier on Wednesday, Green had broken off talks with the Warriors.

The Knicks were said to have interest in Green, who averaged 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists last season for Golden State while averaging 31.5 minutes per game.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

After a fantastic NBA Finals performance, Green stood tall as arguably the best power forward available on the market this summer. Obviously, he wasn’t on the market for too long.

The young gun would have excelled in the triangle due to his court vision from down on the low block, while also providing the Knicks with a physical and assertive presence on the defensive end.

Nevertheless, Green is just weeks removed from being crowned a champion with Golden State. The fact that he opted to remain with the Warriors, over the Knicks perhaps, among others, shouldn’t come as a surprise. Still, with things moving very quickly in free agency, New York is losing out on various options.

After signing Green to a long-term pact alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors will likely look to trade and/or buy out former Knick David Lee’s large expiring contract.


West calls Knicks rumors ridiculous

Free agent David West said that the rumors connecting him to the Knicks are ridiculous, noting that he wants to go to a contender and that the Knicks don’t qualify as one (July 1).

It was recently reported that West was “very likely” to sign with the Knicks (June 25).

This past season for the Pacers, West, 34, averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds while playing 28.7 minutes per game.

West opted out of his deal with the Pacers after the season.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The Knicks are hoping to sell free agents on the hope that if they sign in New York, they can all come together alongside Carmelo Anthony to build something special while Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher continue to instill a healthier culture both on and off the court. A proven track record, at least in New York, is obviously not something the pair boasts.

It’ll be interesting to see how some of the team’s top targets respond to such an approach. Nevertheless, we can all stop wondering how David West feels.

Many reports citing lots of different sources tied the veteran forward to the Knicks rather intimately as free agency approached. It just goes to show just how much is up in the air and/or downright unknown when it comes to who will end up where.

West was surely blunt in his reaction to such speculation. Jackson, Fisher, and Co. can only hope other free agents don’t end up feeling the same way.

Regardless of whether or not West was actually entertaining the Knicks’ reported offer at any point (it doesn’t appear that he was), his perception of the team is very telling. The idea that similar free agents are close-minded and/or aren’t open to exploring what could be created in the future, is likely one of the team’s biggest fears in free agency. Not being able to convince such players that things can change in New York would be a big-time failure.