Not exactly the biggest splash in free agency thus far, but the New York Knicks have reportedly reached out to veteran free agent Willie Green about a potential union.
According to RealGM.com, the team and Green held “preliminary discussions” and have spoken twice since the start of free agency.
Green, 33, is a 12-year NBA veteran that has spent time with five teams — the 76ers, Clippers, Hornets, Hawks and most recently, the Magic. Last season, the shooting guard played in 52 games — starting in two of them — and averaged 5.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He shot 39 percent from the field, including 35 percent from 3-point range.
Sam SpiegelmanThis isn’t the shooting guard we anticipated the Knicks would be gunning after in free agency like Arron Afflalo or Danny Green, but Willie Green is a veteran the Knicks could benefit from by having him in the locker room.
Green has tremendous postseason experience having been to the playoffs seven times with four different clubs, including three trips as a member of the Sixers.
He’ll be a cheap addition and add experience to a very shallow Knicks bench. Consider Green a solid, inexpensive addition.
New York Knicks free-agent target Danny Green will remain with the San Antonio Spurs, according to ESPN.
Green, a Babylon native who played high school basketball at St. Mary’s in Manhasset, has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $45 million that will keep him in San Antonio.
Reports have suggested Green had no intentions of leaving the Spurs, especially as the team pursues top free-agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Should the Spurs land Aldridge, Green could play a larger role in the team’s inside-out game.
The Knicks have a glaring need at shooting guard, and both Green and Arron Afflalo were considered the team’s top targets to fill the vacancy.
Sam SpiegelmanIn my opinion, Green was the superior shooting guard to Afflalo because of his ability to guard multiple positions. He’s also a lights out shooter and proved as much in San Antonio’s most recent two trips to the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
However, Green seemingly always wanted to stay put in San Antonio where he will remain with an NBA championship contender.
The Knicks will likely go full-speed on Afflalo now as they try to improve their arsenal of perimeter shooters. Afflalo is a year older but posted similar offensive numbers to Green in 2014-15.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThe clock struck midnight on Wednesday morning, and the Knicks were undoubtedly off and running.
New York started things off by being the first team to meet with Greg Monroe in Washington D.C.. In addition, the team will next meet with DeAndre Jordan (Wednesday) and LaMarcus Aldridge (Thursday) (Yahoo! Sports, July 1).
Much of this was to be expected. In a more surprising development, however, the Knicks have reportedly already expressed interest in the likes of Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer, both currently of the Houston Rockets.
Beverley is a pestering defender who confidently believes in his ability to shut down any point guard in the league. Phil Jackson has previously said he believes the Knicks are set at this position, but this is nevertheless the type of point guard the team could benefit from employing. The team’s offense doesn’t figure to go through the floor general too often, leaving Beverley to help spread the floor on offense, and otherwise focus on serving as a lock-down defender. When was the last time the Knicks have had a point guard with a similar mentality? He’d be a solid fit, depending on the price.
And then there’s Brewer, who plays with a similar tenacity on the defensive end as well. More of a slasher on offense, Brewer’s jump shot leaves much to be desired. He doesn’t serve as much of a scoring threat from around the perimeter. Still, if you mix and match players and slot Brewer in there with one or two other bonafide scorers, perhaps his own respective abilities will help balance things out a bit.
Where all the money necessary to sign such players will come from remains to be seen. Obviously some of the players the Knicks will talk to in the coming days are merely considered backup plans to the real targets. Still, the team is hoping to reel in up to three players who figure to receive big-time paydays this summer. Figuring things out, with the cap in mind, may prove to be a bit tricky.
Nevertheless, even in the first few reports of recruitment, Jackson is trying to develop a culture to build his team, regardless of which players actually end up signing. The desire to acquire aggressive hounds on the defensive end, to potentially put around Carmelo Anthony and perhaps Monroe, is there.
If Jackson succeeds, New York will look balanced.
NBA analyst Ken Berger joins GEICO SportsNite to discuss whether Phil Jackson can sell free agents on coming to the Knicks this summer.
The Knicks reportedly kicked off free agency by meeting with Greg Monroe in Washington DC shortly after midnight.
Monroe then reportedly met with Milwaukee representatives around 2 a.m., according to Marc Stein of ESPN (July 1).
The Pistons center, 25, averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 69 regular season games.
ESPN’s Ian Begley reported Monroe is believed to be high on the Knicks’ list of free agents they would like to pursue (June 28).
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThe mutual interest between the two sides has been well noted again and again. Monroe wants a more lucrative contract, which is something the Knicks can obviously provide. Still, it may be worth their while to do so, especially as he reportedly targets a shorter pact in anticipation of the new CBA.
While Monroe isn’t necessarily the strongest low post defender, he’s a very efficient scorer, and arguably an even better rebounder. He creates second-chance opportunities and is able to control the boards in a way the Knicks have craved for quite some time. He’d be a very good fit, if and when the team is also able to reel in a capable starting center. Monroe is not suited to play the five. If the Knicks are paying him that much money, they should want to get the most out of his abilities. This could mean slotting him at the four.
Still, it’s a good thing to see the Knicks be off and running, all the while getting a player like Monroe’s attention.