April 3, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo (4) shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Afflalo says Anthony is ‘committed,’ wants to succeed

After working out with Carmelo Anthony this summer, newly acquired SG Arron Afflalo told Newsday that he thinks that Anthony is determined to have a successful, winning season (Aug. 5).

“He’s very committed, Afflalo said of Anthony. “He seems very, very, very hungry to succeed. And we’ll see. It’ll be here shortly.”

Afflalo, who played a year and half with Anthony in Denver, thinks the two will play even better a second time around in New York.

“He’s a guy that draws so much attention and now that I feel like I’m more confident, more effective all over the court I just feel like it’s going to be twice as good,” Afflalo said. “I’m extremely excited to play with him. I know he’s excited that I’m here and we’re going to make it work.”

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

When Anthony and Afflalo played together with one another in Denver, they had pretty good chemistry on the court. The two are very good friends.

Since his time with Anthony on the Nuggets, Afflalo has continued to evolve into much more of a potent offensive player. He averaged a career-high 18.2 points (on 46 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent from deep) for the Magic as recently as the 2013-14 season.

Dating back to the start of last season, a secondary scoring threat behind Anthony is something that the Knicks have craved quite a bit — first, as J.R. Smith struggled to find a rhythm for himself early on, and then again after he was traded to the Cavaliers.

Afflalo will provide that to a certain extent, seemingly taking some of the pressure off of his friend. The Knicks have had success reeling in players who have previously gelled and/or played with Anthony before, including the likes of Smith, Kenyon Martin and others.


Knicks finalizing two-year deal with Antetokounmpo

The Knicks are close to finalizing a two-year contract with forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo, a league source told Ian Begley of ESPN (Aug. 5).

According to Begley, the deal will have some guaranteed money but will likely not be fully guaranteed.

Antetokounmpo, who the Knicks selected 51st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, played with the Knicks’ D-League team in Westchester last summer.

In 47 games last summer for Westchester, Antetokounmpo averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

Apr 23, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Norris Cole (30) reacts after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at  the Smoothie King Center. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 123-119 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Norris Cole drew interest from Knicks

The Knicks expressed interest in NBA champion Norris Cole, according to Sam Amico (Aug. 4).

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Though Cole, a two-time NBA champ who finished up last season with the Pelicans, drew interest from the Knicks, it would appear as though nothing is imminent.

New York had held onto its $2.8 million room exception for quite a while, but the decision to sign Kevin Seraphin instead seemingly rules out the possibility of reeling in Cole as well. As a restricted free agent, Amico notes that any reasonable offer Cole receives is expected to be matched by New Orleans anyway.

Over the last week, the Knicks have filled two notable holes on their roster, bringing in Seraphin as backup center and signing Sasha Vujavic to eat up some minutes off the bench at both guard positions and maybe even small forward. While signing another center had been a known priority of president Phil Jackson’s, head coach Derek Fisher has wanted to bring in another point guard, notably one who could push the tempo. A slasher of sorts, Cole could have filled the void, though it’s unknown if the minutes truly would have been there.

With Serpahin now on board and Cole seemingly out of the Knicks’ price range, the team will have to hope to get lucky, much like it did with Vujacic, if the Knicks want to secure one last quality player for their roster at a bargain rate heading into training camp.


Knicks sign center Kevin Seraphin

The New York Knicks have landed yet another big man.

The Knicks came to terms on a deal with free-agent center Kevin Seraphin, according to Sheridan Hoops. The deal is reportedly for one year worth $2.8 million.

The 25-year-old center averaged 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 2014-15 with the Washington Wizards.

The Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards were all keying in on Seraphin after the majority of free-agent signings came and passed.  Seraphin had stated that he wanted to be a starting center as free agency got underway, but apparently other NBA teams didn’t view him in that light.

Seraphin will join a Knicks frontcourt that includes centers Robin Lopez and Kyle O’Quinn, as well as power forwards Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson and Kristaps Porzingis.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

This is yet another solid move by Phil Jackson this summer. Seraphin is an intriguing young talent with plenty of upside, who, certainly figures to have an opportunity with the Knicks.

Jackson really managed things quite well, holding on to an exception that likely gave New York a leg up on signing the big man. Not as many other teams (with enticing situations to offer) had the kind of money the Knicks had to throw Seraphin’s way in early August.

The Knicks’ President said at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month that he wanted to sign a backup center, presumedly to fill the void created when Cole Aldrich signed with the Clippers earlier in the offseason. Seraphin figures to have even more potential obviously, but the fact is that Aldrich was trusted with minutes in certain situations as the backup big.

Seraphin will have to battle the likes of O’Quinn and others for minutes, but he will likely stand a decent chance. The former Magic big man has yet to be trusted with substantial minutes over his three-year career (let alone, too many at center, rather than power forward), so Seraphin is assumedly being brought in to balance things out a bit. This could take some pressure off of them both heading into the season.

Given that the Knicks were able to sign veteran Sasha Vujacic to a minimum contract, shelling out the extra dough for a young center is well worthwhile. The team was able to fill two more holes in quite an efficient manner.

Sam Spiegelman

This signing goes along with the entire Knicks offseason theme of adding depth in the frontcourt.

Seraphin was a solid contributor in the nation’s capital and was not signed earlier this summer because of his desire to become a starting center. Teams did not view him in that way, which made the free agency process a bit more confusing.

The Knicks added Lopez and traded for O’Quinn this offseason, which puts Seraphin in a tricky situation as he looks for minutes. They could use him at power forward, especially if Porzingis is not ready to contribute as a rookie or Williams is not productive.

Seraphin was one of the top big men remaining on the market after the first slew of centers in Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan were swept up.

An intriguing talent, Seraphin simply needs more opportunities to develop into a bigger star. Although the Knicks have a very crowded frontcourt after this offseason, Seraphin is one of the most intriguing names on their depth chart and could very easily navigate his way to the top.

Dec 28, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; New York Knicks former player Walt Frazier walks on the court during warm up prior to the start of the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Frazier thinks Melo unhappy with Knicks’ offseason

Knicks legend Walt Frazier said he thinks Carmelo Anthony is unhappy with how the Knicks have handled their offseason coming off their worst season in franchise history.

“I’m sure Melo wasn’t happy,” Frazier told ESPN New York. “His future is now. You know, he’s not getting younger,” (Aug. 3).

The Knicks, who finished 17-65 last season, drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, selected Jerian Grant in the second round and signed Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn and Robin Lopez in the offseason, but Frazier doesn’t think all those acquisitions appease Anthony, the centerpiece of the Knicks.

“This is going to be a pivotal season for him to see really how he fits into the Knick plans and how this is going to go from here,” Frazier said. “Will he ask out, you know what I mean, if he sees that this is not happening? Because right now the Knicks, [it’s] going to be tough to make the playoffs. They are a few years away and Melo knows that his days are numbered, so stay tuned.”

Frazier, himself, believes the Knicks “did the best they could” this offseason, as they lost out on big-name players like LaMarcus AldridgeMarc Gasol and Greg Monroe.

“They had an option: try to get superstars or try to build like Atlanta has done without superstars — like Toronto, like Washington,” Frazier said. “Some teams in the Eastern Conference have had success with that. So I think that’s what their game plan is right now: Try to get some good players and then maybe later on try to get a superstar.”

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

These are very candid comments coming from someone of Frazier’s status. As an MSG Network employee, one might not expect someone like him to be as forthcoming with such concern or doubt about Anthony or the team’s situation.

The Hall of Famer’s take on the Knicks’ plans appears spot on. The team obviously won’t be winning a championship next season, but bringing in the quality role players they did (and pairing them up with Anthony) seemingly gives New York enough to remain competitive.

As such, however, it would appear sensible that New York would contend for a playoff spot. In the weaker Eastern Conference, the seventh and eighth seeds (at the very least) are certainly up for grabs. There’s an opportunity for the Knicks to fight for one, even if it’s still a very early step in the team’s eventual and hopeful) ascend through the ranks.

The hope is that the Knicks will be competitive throughout Anthony’s continued tenure with the team, but as Clyde notes, the star’s clock to play at a high level is ticking.

Unless they turn things around quickly, another superstar won’t be interested in joining Anthony and Co. The forward has a lot to prove this season. As far as the moves the team made this summer, everything the Knicks did was with the hope of keeping longterm flexibility in mind. Many rival executives around the league have told TheKnicksBlog.com and SNY.tv that they believe Phil Jackson is making moves for the future, but not necessarily taking Anthony’s future with the team into consideration. If there’s any future being considered, it’s how and when to trade Anthony, should things continue to go sour.

Frazier is right — Anthony can’t be happy with the moves that are being made, not only because they all fell well short of the initial hype coming into free agency, but also because the lack of commitment to go all in with him as the ultimate superstar in New York may give way to the writing on the wall for his eventual departure.



Oh Yeah… 1990: Playoff Pounding

SNY’s Oh Yeah goes back to 1990, and the playoffs between the Knicks and the Boston Celtics.