While repeated reports may say different, Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson do agree on several things, one being the talent of the Knicks front court.
In a recent interview with NBC's Bruce Beck (via Maxwell Ogden), Jackson mentioned that in the team's exit meetings he and Carmelo agreed the front court of Anthony, Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis may be the best in the league:
Jackson provided some much-needed clarity through this telling quote, which doesn't always happen as he often twists his words that end up being conjecture. Both he and Carmelo believe that the Knicks are closer than some critics may think if they can add proper help in the backcourt.
We've talked about this at great length here, but it's refreshing to hear that Jackson and Melo are on the same page and they are thinking about specific weaknesses in the backcourt. In a league filled with so many dribble drive guards, several who have had success under Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix, the Knicks must add more driving penetration to their offensive game especially in transition.
It was easily their biggest weakness last season.
It has been mentioned that Tony Wroten could fill the aforementioned need and Jerian Grant will improve as he develops, but it seems as if both Melo and Jackson want to look outside the organization to help fit backcourt needs. The team will also wait on the decision from Arron Afflalo, who can opt out of his current deal and become an unrestricted free agent. With the team weak in the drive category Knicks fans may want Derrick Williams to opt in and remain with the team.
Whichever direction Jackson decides to go, he and Anthony seem focused and on the same page on team needs, which is a very good sign. Names like Mike Conley, Rajon Rondo, Evan Turner, Jeremy Lin and Tyler Johnson are a part of a group of players to choose from, all of whom would help balance the front court/back court differential.
A solid, dribble-drive guard will not only give balance, but it will also add versatility to the team's offense when they want to shift Porzinigis to the five and Melo at the four. This dynamic was successful for Hornacek in Phoenix when he paired Goran Dragic with Channing Frye and Markieff and Marcus Morris.