Amidst all the craziness of free agency day one in the 2015 NBA offseason, the New York Knicks were relatively quiet. Sure, there were continued rumors of their courtship of Greg Monroe, but they didn’t sign anybody, and they didn’t emerge as serious contenders for any top-tier free agents. So much for the pull of New York City and Madison Square Garden. Well, day two is just underway, and it’s a whole new ballgame for New York! You got one, Knicks fans! You got your man, and it’s… shuffles through index cards… Arron Afflalo!
Afflalo is a pretty good shooter all over the floor who’s at his best spotting up off the ball. Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry tweeted a shot chart demonstrating how valuable he can be to a team that generates open looks:
The UCLA guard was actually a defensive ace earlier in his career in Detroit and Denver. He only later developed the shooting stroke that led him to an offensive outburst during his second year in Orlando, when he shot more than 42 percent from beyond the three-point arc, despite being the focal point of Orlando’s offense. He also poured in more than 18 points per game that year, and had the best player efficiency rating of his career (16.0).
He signed with Denver last summer, but then was dealt to Portland to act as a shooter off the bench. After he was thrust into a starter’s role following Wesley Matthews’ Achilles’ tendon tear, he wasn’t able to provide the Blazers what they needed. He doesn’t move as well on the perimeter as he used to, even though his shooting stroke continues to impress (he shot 40 percent from three in his 25 games with Portland).
Afflalo fits the Knicks’ biggest need, which is real, NBA-caliber players, and he’s definitely one. Finding someone to play on the inside (like, oh I don’t know, Greg Monroe) is still the No. 1 priority for Phil Jackson, but Afflalo is a good get, especially on a two-year contract where Afflalo may opt out next summer, depending on his play. It won’t break their bank or significantly hamper their ability to sign other free agents. Arron will be a role player, and he signed a role player’s contract. Good job, Knicks!
(Via Ramona Shelburne)