The New York Knicks have sure taken a lot of heat lately. Fans weren’t at all happy with their choice to draft little-known Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, and Phil Jackson’s acumen as a basketball mind in the modern NBA has been repeatedly called into question, given his rather primitive notions about how the game should be played.
But things could be looking up. Experts believe Porzingis is at least two years away from making meaningful contributions to an NBA team, but it seems the Knicks are staying active and looking to add a few quality players to the roster to play alongside Carmelo Anthony.
One of those appears to be Greg Monroe, who is apparently done in Detroit and is planning on meeting with the Knicks once free agency officially begins July 1. After averaging almost 16 points per game last season with the Pistons, he could help alleviate some of the scoring load for ‘Melo.
“With Monroe expecting to command a maximum contract on the market, Afflalo could earn a deal in the neighborhood of three years, $36 million-$38 million, league sources said.
The Knicks have the salary-cap space to sign both, pairing them with All-Star Carmelo Anthony in the starting lineup.”
Landing Afflalo at the trade deadline last February was seen as a major coup for the Portland Trail Blazers at the time, who were in dire need of scoring off the bench. But Afflalo struggled to find his fit within the offense and injured his shoulder at the most inopportune time, rendering him incapable of making much of an impact during the Blazers’ brief playoff run. Now, with the looming prospect of LaMarcus Aldridge’s exit, Portland’s front office is looking toward the future, and Afflalo doesn’t appear to part of those plans.
A trio consisting of ‘Melo, Afflalo and Monroe isn’t anything close to resembling a Big 3, but it should result in a few more check marks in the win column next season as the Knicks desperately try to scratch and claw their way back to relevance again.