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Derrick Rose no longer has the added burden of playing for his hometown team. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Derrick Rose no longer has the added burden of playing for his hometown team. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Word out of Chicago is that Derrick Rose is no stranger to saying things like he did the other day, which made headlines across the basketball world. In essence, Rose compared the Knicks to the Golden State Warriors in that he feels the Knicks have also built a "super team." In order for the Knicks to be "super" Rose, himself, has to be superlative, and judging from his confidence, he just may end up being healthy enough to be that good.

We've seen Rose's best, but can Rose return to the Russell Westbrook-esque athlete he was as a young player in the NBA? That remains to be seen, but if he does the league needs to watch out.

Young Derrick Rose, the player who won MVP in 2011, was one of the players you paid to see play. He was a highlight every night, and the thing that blew you away was the combination of athleticism and strength with the ball. We've talked about his impact off the drive, a category that the Knicks were ranked near-dead last in last year. Rose averaged 8.9 drives per game, per NBA Stats, which just started tracking drives in 2013-14. He was flat unguardable off the dribble in 2011.

Rose's drive ability in 2015-16 was similarly explosive, but his added pull-up game gives him an added arsenal off the bounce and this is key to saving wear and tear on his legs. Rose averaged 5.3 points per game off of 6.7 pull-up jumpers per contest, shooting 39 percent. Rose has lost more than a bit of athleticism impacting him at the rim.

In 2011 he had 32 dunks, while last year he had just one, which tells you last year he was conserving and trying to rebuild strength back into his legs. Another potentially negative sign is the fact he shot just 51 percent inside three feet, down 10 percent from 2011 when he shot 61 percent. This coincides with what we've said as it relates to the need to improve free throw attempts a few weeks back. If he can add the finish-to-the-drive ability in 2016-17, the Knicks will thrive and judging from highlights last year that ability is still in there. 

Another element that needs to be considered is how Rose fits into the triangle. What the Knicks need from Rose is for the ball not to "stick," which could be a challenge, but judging from his usage numbers (27.3 percent) last year Rose spent more time without the ball in his hands than in previous years, according to basketball-reference.com.

Rose has a career 28.2 percent with a career high 32.2 percent in his MVP season of 2011. If Rose can learn to cut off of post entry passes, he will merge perfectly with Carmelo Anthony when Melo needs to be featured in the post. Both Melo and Kristaps Porzingis combined for five post touches per game and 9.5 pinch post touches, per NBA stats. Adding Joakim Noah to that mix will increase the chances for Rose to have plays like this next year. 

Knicks fans would love to see Rose, 27, return to the athletic freak that dominated the NBA off the dribble after coming out of Memphis. What they are getting is a less athletic version, who has added a very solid mid-range and floater game that can be very effective in the triangle.

What they've also added is a player who, if he can simple cut when he doesn't have the ball, can find himself the benefactor of great passing from Noah, Porzingis and Anthony, who will be looking to add more easy baskets to a team that struggled mightily getting them this past season. 


Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) celebrates after the game against the Washington Huskies in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Cardinal defeated the Huskies 71-69. (Kyle Terada)
Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) celebrates after the game against the Washington Huskies in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Cardinal defeated the Huskies 71-69. (Kyle Terada)

Free agent guard Chasson Randle has narrowed his search to a list of three teams, which includes the Knicks, his agent told the New York Post

Randle, who played with the Knicks in the Summer League, averaged 18.3 points and five assists per game. 

"We're in discussions with the Knicks, and he's narrowed it down to two other teams,'' agent Kevin Bradbury told Marc Berman of the New York Post. "For a young guy, it's all about situations. He's trying to figure out what's the best fit and how he'd work with the Knicks."

In four years at Stanford, Randle averaged 16.5 points per game and shot 42.8 percent from the field. He became the school's all-time leading scorer during his final season. 

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

In talking to a few rival agents and player personnel representatives at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, many seem to expect Randle to sign a training camp contract with the Knicks.

After going the overseas route last season, Randle was likely able to net a respectable deal and put some money in the bank. Now, he can take a year to focus on getting more exposure while remaining stateside. That process obviously began when he impressed in Orlando for the Knicks earlier this month.

Any situation Randle could enter would seemingly begin with some sort of partially guaranteed contract through training camp. This would provide him with some financial gain up front, before a team like the Knicks eventually jettisons him to Westchester as an affiliate player after obtaining his D-League rights.

With that type of arrangement in mind, it would make sense that the two other teams Randle's reps are talking with also own a respective minor league club as well. It wouldn't pay for Randle to put in the time at camp with a team that couldn't subsequently continue to keep an eye on him and develop him through the D-League.

The fact that the Knicks have already shown an interest in him via his Summer League audition should help. What's more, the team has called up three players (Langston Galloway, Jimmer Fredette, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo) from Westchester over the last two seasons. They undoubtedly see the value in using the affiliate squad to explore and potentially develop talent for the future.

If the contract Galloway just cashed in on with New Orleans is any indication of the potential such a respective path holds, then Randle should trust the process and choose the Knicks. 


Derrick Rose (Nelson Chenault/USA Today Sports Images)
Derrick Rose (Nelson Chenault/USA Today Sports Images)

Newly-acquired guard Derrick Rose hopes he, Joakim Noah, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the New York Knicks can make some noise in the Eastern Conference this season.

Rose told NBA.com's Lang Whitaker in a one-on-one interview he feels "rejuvenated", that he has already worked out with Kristaps Porzingis, Brandon Jennings and Sasha Vujacic, and that he is comfortable working with new head coach Jeff Hornacek.

"You could put Brandon at the 1, put me at the 2 certain times, and have Melo, KP and [Joakim Noah]," Rose said. "So I could move off the ball with them and bring them to the mix. ... It don't matter if I have the ball in my hands or not. I feel like if I'm out there, I'll find out a way to get out the way or make it a positive while I'm on the floor."

The Knicks acquired Rose from the Chicago Bulls in a trade in mid-June in which the Knicks traded away Robin LopezJose Calderon and Jerian Grant

Now that he's with New York, Rose said he and others are holding the team to high expectations for the 2016-17 season.

"We just want to win," Rose said. "Talking to Melo and all the guys who've been around. You've got Brandon who just signed for one year, he's got to show why he's there. I've got to show why I'm there. Joakim has to show why he's there. Everybody's trying to prove themselves. When you've got a group like that, it's like, alright, I know everybody wants to do that, but we're going to break this down as simple as possible, and try to win every game."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Sasha Vujacic

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the conclusion of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Jerry Lai)
NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the conclusion of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Jerry Lai)

The NBA is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

The league had expressed its opposition to the law known as HB2 since it was enacted in March, and its decision Thursday came less than a month after state legislators revisited the law and chose to leave it largely unchanged.

"While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2," the league said in a statement.

The league added that it hoped to announce a new location for next February's events shortly. It hopes to reschedule the 2019 game for Charlotte if there is a resolution to the matter.

"We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so," Hornets chairman and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan said. "With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019." >> Read more


 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

For back to back summers now, Phil Jackson has preached a change in culture, attitude, and personnel. Last year, the team not only opted to retain Derek Fisher after the worst season in franchise history, but also failed to make the splash many were hoping for. Reeling in reliable role players to surround Carmelo Anthony with did not result in the change that was necessary.

While the Knicks didn't come away with a bonafide superstar in Kevin Durant or Dwyane Wade this summer, they still started the offseason off with a bang. Acquiring a 27 year old Derrick Rose, who is hungry for redemption with pride on the line (and with only one season remaining on his contract, no less) is the epitome of a smart and savvy low risk, high reward like move. Filling out the roster with high-level players like Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee, not only provides Anthony with a support staff, but others who are fully capable of handling/sharing the pressures and the burden a superstar takes on. 

For months prior, there was more talk about who the team's next head coach was going to be. Jackson was heavily questioned for his belief in the triangle offense, and assumed desire to only hire someone well versed in the system. He was, furthermore, criticized, for not even reaching out to long time Knicks assistant turned NBA champion and successful head coach Tom Thibodeau. The former Bulls head coach may have taken a role offering more control in Minnesota, but Jackson should have, at the very least, put in a call.

The Knicks President' pleasantly surprised the basketball world when he instead tabbed Jeff Hornacek as New York's next coach. Hornacek wasn't the most popular hire, but he certainly wasn't the most expected one, either. Jackson's former rival Jerry Sloan, and former player Steve Kerr, both hold Hornacek in very high regard. 

The element of surprise may have deterred any potential criticism (or a general underwhelming feeling) of Jackson's choice. What's more, Derrick Rose wasn't in town yet, nor were any of the Knicks' other subsequent big time acquisitions.

Hornacek's still growing coaching career has so far peaked in 2013-14, when he led the Suns to 48 wins and was the second runner-up in the NBA's Coach of the Year award voting. Still, through his two and a half years as head coach, Phoenix failed to make the playoffs in any of the three campaigns. What's more, though he played with the likes of Karl Malone and John Stockton in Utah, Hornacek is yet to really coach a true superstar with a big ego. 

Fast-forward to mid-July, and the makeup of the Knicks is entirely different than when Hornacek signed up. Obviously that was to be expected with free agency coming, but perhaps it was difficult to predict just how many home runs New York was going to hit, given its underwhelming efforts to improve the roster during Jackson's tenure thus far. 

Hornacek certainly isn't a triangle disciple. He likes to run and gun with smaller lineups, but the Knicks frontline is once again strong with the likes of Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Noah. The team is also built strong defensively on paper, which doesn't really vibe with Hornacek's past squads. That's not to say he can't adapt and lead this group, however.

Still, one has to wonder, if Jackson was going to open his horizons up to someone like Hornacek, why didn't he more aggressively pursue Thibodeau? Scott Brooks? Frank Vogel? David Blatt? The list probably goes on.

The Knicks are more concerned with continuing to maintain flexibility with an eye on the future and the summer of 2017. An NBA title isn't within full grasp just yet. They wanted an experienced coach, and they got their man in Hornacek. Still, if they could have foreseen the improvements they were primed to make, perhaps management should have targeted an experienced coach with an even higher (and proven) success rate. With a roster of this caliber, perhaps that would have been worthwhile.


Knicks miss out on superstar 00:01:59
The Daily News Live panel discusses the Knicks missing out on pairing Dwyane Wade with Carmelo Anthony.

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Carmelo Anthony told reporters in Las Vegas that the Knicks indeed had the chance to add Dwyane Wade to their roster during the NBA free agent frenzy period earlier this month.

Per Sean Highkin of NBC Sports:

"We would have had to pull a rabbit out of a hat," Anthony admitted. "If it was two days earlier, we probably would have had D-Wade."

The math on signing Wade would have been tricky for New York, especially since center Joakim Noah agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal on the first night of free agency, when the assumption around the league was still that Wade would ultimately find himself back in Miami."

It wasn't necessarily a matter of math from a cap perspective, it was a matter of interest and Wade making things work. Wade began his impromptu recruiting tour late after being lowballed by Miami on July 1. Phil Jackson had Wade right up top of his list behind Kevin Durant, but was pretty far down the road with Joakim Noah as free agency kicked off.

The Knicks had also began discussions with Courtney Lee, but preferred Wade, who needed to take less than what he ultimately signed for with the Bulls. The Knicks did discuss the possibility of getting creative to add more space to their cap through trades, namely Kyle O'Quinn, which is the proverbial rabbit from the hat that Melo is referring to.

Wade's mistake was trying to use the Knicks for leverage in negotiations. The Knicks were planning to meet with Wade's team as he was out fielding offers, but when Wade asked Phil to beat the Bulls offer of two years and $47 million with a deal for two years and $50 million, Phil went forward in announcing the signings of Noah and Lee, I'm told.

While there was mutual interest between Wade and the Knicks, Wade made the conscious decision to choose a near-max annual salary with flexibility as his No. 1 agenda. He felt he was underpaid annually, and wanted to change that, while having a player option for next year. Wade could have been a Knick if he chose a longer deal at a smaller annual salary, something in the neighborhood of $20-22 million over three years.  

Not only couldn't they afford the ultimate annual salary Wade wanted, and ultimately landed, but they couldn't afford to lose out on Lee, who they were also very high on. If Wade didn't try to leverage them for more annual money and folded into what the Knicks wanted to do in adding Noah with room for bench depth, he'd most certainly be donning blue and orange this fall.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

Former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of the moves the Knicks made to bring in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who he coached in Chicago.

"I think they're both great,'' Thibodeau said, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "They've already proven themselves. I think it's good for them. I think it will work out.They got a good team. The way [Carmelo Anthony] plays, [Kristaps] Porzingis, Courtney Lee, they're going to be good.

"Mentally, [Rose and Noah] are experienced," Thibodeau continued. "When you have veterans like that, it adds a lot to your team. They know how to play. They've been in big games. They're unselfish and play to win. That's a big plus.''

Thibodeau, now the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, added that Rose is on the right track after several injury-plagued seasons.

"The games tell you [he is on the right track],'' Thibodeau said. "He played in a lot of games. It's the first time he was healthy. It's been a long time. It's a big plus.''

The Knicks traded for Rose and signed Noah as a free agent earlier this offseason.


Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

So much has been made of Thibodeau not even getting as much as a phone call from Phil Jackson and the Knicks regarding the team's previously vacant head coaching position. Though the former New York assistant ended up in a pretty favorable situation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, seeing the Knicks reach out would have been encouraging. It's important to see things through and be diligent, with regard to top coaching candidates, much like the team tried to do with the more talented free agent players as well.

Nevertheless, Thibodeau ended up with power as President and head coach of a Timberwolves squad that boasts young talent like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. That's not exactly something the Knicks could have offered. 

That said, he was undoubtedly the people's coach for the position as a clear favorite on social media. What's more, he has a mutual respect for Carmelo Anthony, who he maintains a relationship with via USA basketball. Anthony strongly considered leaving New York for Chicago back in the summer of 2014, and Thibodeau was a big reason why. One has to think the coach's name had to have come up during Anthony's exit interview with Jackson just weeks ago.

The irony to Jackson not even considering Thibodeau for the Knicks' coaching post is that he went out and acquired two of the big time star attractions that made the coach so successful with the Bulls, in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Power aside, Thibodeau would have been the perfect fit for this New York squad, as currently constructed. If Jackson had an idea of what he was going to do this offseason, it should be considered pure negligence to not even put in a call.

But alas, that's neither here or there at this point. As he assesses the Knicks now, Thibodeau should simply be regarded as an educated individual close to the situation, and much less someone who was slighted by the organization. He obviously has a great feel for what the likes of Rose and Noah are capable of. 

Perhaps the Knicks can thank (and owe) him for the players these veterans they are today. In hoping to win now, both Rose and Noah are battle tested individuals who have experienced success in high-pressure moments. Playing in Chicago and thriving in Michael Jordan's shadow is no easy task. Rose is hungry for redemption, and Noah's passion for playing in his hometown of the Big Apple should ooze out in his on-the-court efforts. They're both obviously very good fits (with Rose coming with little risk), and Thibodeau seems to agree.


New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony praised team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills for reshaping the team's roster this offseason.

"I don't want no credit," Anthony said, according to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "Phil did everything. Phil and Steve."

Following a 32-50 season, the Knicks, now led by Jeff Hornacek, transformed their roster by trading for former Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, signing free agents Joakim NoahBrandon Jennings and Courtney Lee, and bringing over Willy Hernangomez from overseas. 

"The front office stepped up," Anthony said, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. "It was a collective effort. They did their job and they did what they had to do to make some moves and make things happen. They put us in a situation to give us an opportunity. All we have to do is take advantage of that."

New York kept Kristaps Porzingis, who will be entering his second season, and also held on to Lance Thomas and Kyle O'QuinnBrook Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant were part of the package that brought Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick to New York.

Anthony, who will be playing for Team USA in the Rio Olympics, said he believes the Knicks "have a special team on paper," according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone.

"For me, the time is now," Anthony said, according to Spears. "For us as a city, as an organization, that should be the mindset."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Chicago Bulls , Kristaps Porzingis , Kyle O'Quinn , Lance Thomas

 (Russell Isabella)
(Russell Isabella)

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

With both summer leagues in the books, teams still have time before camp to sign and add players to their training camps to compete for their final roster spots.

With the signing last week of Maurice N'Dour and addition to the signings of Marshall Plumlee and Ron Baker, the New York Knicks currently have 15 players on their roster. The team currently is over the cap yet below the luxury tax, so you'd expect Jackson to bring in a young, inexperienced player on a cheap salary to vie for the spot.

In my mind, whether in New York City or in Westchester, the team really needs to bring in a player at the point guard position who can play NBA minutes in case Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings or both struggle with injuries. To be fair, if this is the case, Phil Jackson will probably look at the trade market to bring in another player, but it doesn't hurt to try to continue to develop one in Westchester.

It would appear Jimmer Fredette won't get a camp invite despite his solid play last year in the D-League and the team's other solid PG, Travis Trice, did not get a summer league invite. There's a lot of talented young guards who could fit the bill, but in this case, those players choose to take more money overseas.

Here is a list of potential guards for the Knicks to bring in who could help in a pinch.

Bryce Cotton

Cotton is just 23 years old and has had a hard time sticking with an NBA team, including with Jeff Hornacek last year in Phoenix. Cotton is exactly the type of player the Knicks need. He pushes pace, is fearless at the rim and caught Hornacek's eye enough to bring him in for a look last year.

He's solid off the catch and is a decent defender on the ball. He's the type of player who just needs an opportunity, and with Jennings and Rose's injury history, Cotton could fill in and thrive if needed.

Spencer Dinwiddie

The Pistons were high on Dinwiddie but traded him to the Bulls for Cameron Bairstow earlier this summer. Dinwiddie was promptly waived by the Bulls and is an unrestricted free agent.

This could be a nice pull by Jackson if he can somehow bring the former 38th overall pick of the Pistons out of Colorado to camp. At 6'6", Dinwiddie is the type of big, athletic guard Jackson likes. In fact, in his first career start in 2015 against Rose and the Bulls, Dinwiddie had 12 points, nine assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Steve Blake

Blake, the former Maryland Terrapin and 12 year NBA journeyman, has established himself in the exact role the Knicks could be looking for should the Rose and Jennings signings work out for the best. He's a good insurance policy but not one you'd expect to pick up pace and push the offense in transition.

What you like about the idea of signing him is that he'll be ready if you need him, but he's not a starting player in the league anymore having started just three games in the last three seasons. He's still a very capable passer and adept in the half court, but lacks the scoring ability to be a real threat from the perimeter. He is still a very good on ball defender, though.

Chasson Randle

What can you say about what Randle did for them in Orlando? After two miserable games as a team to start the Summer League, Randle carried the team, scoring a shade over 18 points per game and adding five assists, showing the ability to knock down shots from deep as well. A standout at Stanford under then-coach Johnny Dawkins, Randle learned the ropes of the triangle as a Cardinal, which gives him an advantage in potentially landing a roster spot.

Will Cummings

Cummings, the former Temple Owl, had a tremendous season last year for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League averaging 20.5 points on 47 percent from the field, including 38 percent from three.

Perhaps more importantly were his pace numbers (104.46) which could really open Coach Hornacek's eyes as he's vowed to have the Knicks push pace and hope to with Rose and Jennings. Cummings could be a great fill-in player if given the opportunity in the right system, and Hornacek's system could just be that.


 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

No longer draped by the likes of Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony stands tall as the clear-cut leader of Team USA as he aims for an unprecedented third gold medal.

There aren't as many familiar faces from Anthony's previous tours with the Olympic squad. As the New York Post alludes to, acclimating himself to an entirely different cast will help the star forward prepare for the upcoming Knicks season as well.

But this coming season will not only help Anthony get used to fitting in, it will also help him embrace more of a leadership role. Anthony has always preferred to lead by example, but as he gets older and more experienced, the younger players around him need someone to lean on and learn from. This includes sometimes being called out as well.

The 2012-13 campaign marked the last successful one for New York, when Anthony deferred and/or looked up to the likes of Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, and a select few others. He was surrounded by veterans. Now, whether it's the Big Apple or Brazil, Anthony no longer has that luxury.

If the Knicks want to finally be successful again, he'll need to stand tall (and be more vocal in the process, of course) as that notable veteran to set the tone -- and a high quality example for others. Anthony might not be as comfortable or used to such a role, but he's at a point in his career where it's time he accepts it. In addition to walking the walk, he needs to talk the talk.

Something Team USA can help him prepare for on the court, however, is serving as a shining star in the flow of the offense. In past Olympic years, Anthony has served as an absolutely stellar sixth man. And his scoring has come in transition and in bunches.

While other prominent offensive players have been featured, Anthony has been able to sneakily pick his spots and come up from beyond the arc to pour in the points. With other players covered, he has otherwise been left open to catch and shoot with no hesitation.

Perhaps his role will be different now with a new supporting cast. As the veteran, Team USA's offense may more often go through Anthony as somewhat of a decoy. If he can serve as more of a point forward, he'll learn how to trust and play off others in the process.

Anthony's game will come much easier for him if he learns to trust his teammates. In past years, perhaps that was difficult to do on the Knicks. One could argue those around him in past years didn't do enough to earn such trust. They weren't capable of embracing and/or excelling because of it. The talent around Anthony has been lacking, even in years during which he had veteran presences to lean on off the court, more so than on it.

But Phil Jackson has come through in a big way this summer. After drafting Kristaps Porzingis last summer as a building block, the Knicks have rebounded to add the likes of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee. All four new additions are players who not only know and play their specific roles especially well, but have proven to excel in them previously. They can be trusted.

Anthony can begin to learn how to set a tone for this new group, all while embracing a trust factor in the process, this summer.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Keith Schlosser

Walt Frazier, Fashion Icon 00:03:28
After being selected by Esquire Magazine as the best-dressed sports figure in the nation, Walt Frazier screen tests for part in a film.

Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton bring you the latest edition of TheKnicksBlog Podcast, where the guys react to Carmelo Anthony's speech at the ESPY's, and discuss which players will fill out the Knicks' roster in October. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony

Jose Calderon doesn't bear any ill will toward the Knicks and former teammate Carmelo Anthony. (Jennifer Stewart/USA Today Sports Images)
Jose Calderon doesn't bear any ill will toward the Knicks and former teammate Carmelo Anthony. (Jennifer Stewart/USA Today Sports Images)

Former Knicks point guard Jose Calderon told the New York Post's Marc Berman that he was not upset that Carmelo Anthony urged the Knicks to get a new point guard for next season. He also conceded that he may not have been suited to the role of starter.

Calderon, 35, ended up with the Lakers after first going to the Bulls in the Derrick Rose trade. 

"It's something (the Knicks) needed,'' Calderon told Berman. "Like I said, I was ready for a different role and I was ready for a different role the last couple of years. Maybe there wasn't the player to put ahead of me.

"I always said I wasn't the one putting me in the starting role or playing me 35 minutes. It could've been a guy like a Derrick Rose and I would've been the backup point guard. It's a tough position to play. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses. I've been in the league 12 years and I know what I do best or not do as well. It's nothing personal. It's what the team needed. Hopefully it will work better.''

Calderon told Berman he spoke with Anthony the day after Anthony's meeting with the team. "I heard from Carmelo the next day - he's a good friend, been my teammate for two years. I wish everything will be better. Because the first year we all know what happened [17 wins] and last year we expected something different but it didn't happen.

"They can make the playoffs. They got great players - let's see how they play together. I'd be real happy for Melo and [Kristaps Porzingis].''

Calderon expects be a backup for the Lakers, who have D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. 

"I would like to play 15 years in the league, so hopefully three more years,'' Calderon said. "I played 30 minutes [28.1] last year. I don't think I'll play that much ever again, so I'll be able to play more years. I'm happy and comfortable here.''

Calderon and new Knick Willy Hernangomez are teammates on Spain's Olympic team basketball team, though Hernangomez may not make the 12-man roster if Marc Gasol returns.

Calderon praised Hernangomez. "He's quite talented. He played for Real Madrid, a really good team. He's young and needs time for sure. I like what he can do - run the floor, pretty mobile, moves really well. The NBA is different. You never know what's going to happen but I think he's a good player.''

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Acquiring Derrick Rose wasn't simply about upgrading the point guard position, but making the entire squad that much more dynamic. Calderon's inconsistencies made him quite the liability, not only on the defensive end, but offensively as well. He wasn't able to keep up with the quicker point guards of the league, and failed to help the Knicks push the pace when necessary.

Retaining him as a backup wouldn't have been the worst idea in the world, especially when one considers the eye-popping contracts that were dished out to free agents this summer. The team should have been prepared to spend the equivalent of Calderon's salary for next season on a backup floor general anyway. 

Despite potentially being prepared to do so, the Knicks came away with one of the true bargains of the summer. Signing Brandon Jennings to an one-year, $5 million deal was brilliant. Otherwise considered a starter for a plethora of teams in this league, Jennings will provide superb insurance for Rose while competing for the Sixth Man of the Year award. He has a lot to prove next season following an injury-riddled campaign himself, but hungry players are always good to have.

As far as the Calderon/Anthony dynamic, there's no denying the two veterans maintained a mutual respect for one another on the court. That was evident. It's still refreshing to see that Anthony's concerns were acknowledged in a rather big way. Accommodating a team's star isn't required by any means (especially when attempting to appeal to Phil Jackson's persona), but at least Anthony resonated with him to a certain extent. It shows they not only have a mutual understanding and respect for one another, but are also in agreement for what is best for the squad. 


Phil Jackson was true to Twitter form Thursday as he referred to the Knicks recent moves. ( Adam Hunger)
Phil Jackson was true to Twitter form Thursday as he referred to the Knicks recent moves. ( Adam Hunger)

Knicks president Phil Jackson took to Twitter Thursday night to weigh in on the recent moves the Knicks made in trades and in free agency. The comments were vintage "Zen Master" Jackson, who hadn't posted a Tweet since June 23.

Also, in Jackson form, he incorrectly used the word "what" instead of "want" in one post, bringing back memories of his "goink" tweet last season.

The Knicks have added guards Derrick Rose and Justin Holliday via trade, signed forward Joakim Noah, guards Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee and centers Willy Herangomez and Marshall Plumlee.

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On the surface this looks like a subtle jab at the Knicks' past effort since Phil has been here. We've talked about this many times here that there have been nights where the team, particularly in transition, lacked the speed to compete against faster teams on a nightly basis. One thing I've been wondering when watching those tapes was that - is that lack of speed or lack of effort?

I've noticed that both Phil and new coach Jeff Hornacek have publicly called for Carmelo Anthony to play at a faster pace. It's almost as if they are calling for him, at times, to be the Melo of old as in if he just played faster and run lanes he'd benefit from what will be a faster style. Melo, on the heels of a rather healthy year following knee surgery, should benefit from playing along side Derrick Rose, one of the game's premiere players in transition with the ball in his hands. 

Was Phil cryptically taking a jab at the speed at which Melo plays? The NBA measures "pace" as the amount of possessions a player plays per 48 minutes. Per NBA Stats last year Melo played at a pace of 95.84 his fastest since the 2011-12 season where he was a 95.71. The Knicks as a team were 26th in pace per basketball-reference.com and it's something that they vow to change with the hiring of Hornacek. To give perspective last year bigs like DeMarcus Cousins played at a pace of 103.39, Draymond Green played at a 103.20 and Jared Sullinger managed a 100.43. Derrick Rose was 99.12 last year with the Bulls.

Anthony is traditionally a back to the basket post player who is still a mismatch on every half court possession so it's hard to imagine he'll be the player to lead them into faster pace leading to more possessions. While he occasionally labors down the court in secondary transition and shoot early clock three pointers (5% between 22-18 on shot clock), Anthony is still very much a mid-clock, post up jump shooter. He took 1307 total field goal attempts and 976 (75%) of them were jump shots shooting 40% on those attempts. 40% of those came between 7-15 seconds on the shot clock. While Anthony was critical of the point guard play last year leading Jackson to pull the trigger on the Rose deal, the player who assisted (50) on the most field goals made by Melo was Jose Calderon. Many of those came in half court situations where Melo continues to excel, even if critics think he shoots too many mid range jump shots. 

Despite the lack of full clarity from Jackson, all signs are pointing to the fact that the Knicks want to play with more pace, which would contradict the idea that Phil is forcing the triangle down Hornacek's throat. They both clearly want Melo, and the Knicks, to play more possessions, something that bears watching as it's not in Anthony's traditional comfort zone. 

If you're looking for early storylines, look no further than Phil's Twitter timeline.


 (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
(Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

With NBA Summer League more than halfway complete, the Knicks now have representatives taking in the sights (the talent) that the Las Vegas hardwood has to offer.

At this point however, the NBA roster would appear nearly compete. There are now 15 players, including Ron Baker's partial-guarantee, under contract. After signing the likes of Maurice Ndour and Sasha Vujacic in recent days to put a cherry on things, what else could the team be looking for?

As the team's discovery of Langston Galloway proved, scouting talent and seeing what potential prospects are made of goes well beyond the NBA roster. The fact of the matter is, the Knicks don't know how things will work out with a player like Ndour or Marshall Plumlee just yet. Despite having guarantees, they could fall short of expectations following training camp. Maybe there are better options to explore midway through the season, or a more pressing need arises following an injury to another player, and one of the two youngsters happens to be the odd man out. The point is, a constant and consistent awareness of who else is out there is necessary.

There are still plenty of spots available to fill out New York's annual group of training camp invitees. Surely, Summer League is the best place to be when looking for potential candidates. 

After impressing in Orlando, many around the league expect Chasson Randle to be in Knicks' camp. It'd be nice to see New York subsequently retain him as a D-League affiliate player in Westchester. Should they add another veteran, perhaps Baker's partial-guarantee could be paid out to send him there as well. It wouldn't be surprising to see Cleanthony Early return for camp and then accept a full-time invitation to Westchester, either. From there on out, there are not only more options for training camp, but generally filling out the minor league squad later on, as well.

After getting a feel for certain young prospects last season in similar fashion, perhaps the Knicks are planning to wash, rinse, and repeat. They already know what they have in players like Darion Atkins (Warriors), Jordan Bachynski (Blazers), and even Jimmer Fredette (Nuggets). All three players are giving other NBA teams a chance to have a look at them this week. 

After two years in Westchester (interrupted by a ten-day contract in New York), it would appear as though the Thanasis Antetokounmpo experiment has reached its end as well. The Knicks could have had him, but opted not to retain him for a longer duration. He'll also likely want to cash in on a deal overseas. 

In any event, the Knicks only opted to bring DaJuan Summers with them from Westchester to Orlando. Thus, it's about that time to explore and experiment with new talent. 

This week in Las Vegas provides a great opportunity to take a hard look at the possibilities. 


Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic poses during media day at the Knicks' practice facility. (AP)
Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic poses during media day at the Knicks' practice facility. (AP)

The Knicks have agreed to a one-year minimum contract with guard Sasha Vujacic, the team announced.

The 32-year-old Vujacic played his first full season in the NBA with the Knicks last year since the 2010-11 season after spending three years in Europe and signing one 10-day contract with the Clippers in 2014, which was not renewed.

Vujacic played 61 games with the Knicks last season, 25 of them as a starter, where he averaged 4.9 points, 1.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game on 38.3 percent shooting.

Vujacic was last on the Knicks who played over 10 minutes per game in field goal percentage.


Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Last season, Vujacic's minutes came at the expense of otherwise intriguing prospects who deserved more serious looks. The Knicks were a team in transition, and clearly could have benefitted from exploring different options.

Instead, Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, and Kurt Rambis all showed loyalty to the former Laker. Unfortunately, the veteran guard was unable to reward such allegiance with respectable play. Vujacic took a long time to find a rhythm. Early on, he shot poorly, out of place, and looked lost on defense. When New York looked to appear somewhat competitive, he dragged them down.

By the time the 32 year old gained just a little bit of efficiency, the Knicks were already a lost cause. Despite being a nine-year career role player, Vujacic started a career-high 25 games. In addition to neglecting promising youngsters by choosing to occupy that roster spot in questionable fashion, Vujacic's promotion to starting shooting guard isolated and frustrated a more deserving Arron Afflalo towards season's end. Of course, this likely led to him opting out of his player option for next season. The Knicks have clearly rebounded rather nicely with an improved roster. Perhaps that's a silver lining, but it doesn't change the fact that Vujacic failed to pull his weight on the court again and again when it mattered most.

The good news is, the Knicks have likely (and hopefully) bolstered their roster so much so, that Vujacic doesn't have to be depended on nearly as much. Jeff Hormacek's presence might decrease his usage as well. Championship winning veterans aren't bad to have on a roster, but Vujacic shouldn't be regarded as much more than a vocal leader and respectable mentor on the bench. There's no reason he should be given notable minutes. The Knicks have better pieces to fill out the rotation. Frankly, there are better prospects to explore with a spot going to a frequent D-League assignee instead. Of course, if they really need the spot, Vujacic can always be waived later in the season. Giving him another contract proves to be loyal enough. 

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I'm not sure if fans are aware of the bond Sasha has built with Kristaps Porzingis but it's significant. His main role is to quietly teach KP the nuances of the offense and be a sounding board, both of which are critical to Porzingis' growth and development. Sasha is a borderline rotation player at this point and if the Knicks find themselves relying on him for heavy minutes they are in trouble. It probably didn't hurt that Sasha's best game came against the Suns in Phoenix even if Jeff Hornacek was long gone by then.

Tags: Sasha Vujacic

General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

The Knicks are the most valuable franchise in the NBA, according to Forbes magazine.

Valued at $3 billion, the Knicks are more valuable than franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors.

The Knicks are the seventh-most valuable sports franchise in the entire world, fourth-most valuable American sports league franchise, and second-most valuable franchise in the New York area (behind the Yankees).

The Knicks have not had a winning season in three years and have won one playoff series this century.


 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul began the ESPY's on Wednesday by making a speech that called for nonviolence.

Anthony recently appeared on the front page of the Daily News, calling for other athletes to demand change when it comes to gun violence.

The speech came in the wake of the murders of five police officers in Dallas. Those murders occurred during a protest about the recent killings of African American men at the hands of the police.

"The system is broken," Anthony said. "The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high."

"Tonight we're honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT," James added, "but to do his legacy any justice, let's use this moment as a call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence. And most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better." >> Watch the full speech here


Maurice Ndour (10) poses for a photo (Jerome Miron)
Maurice Ndour (10) poses for a photo (Jerome Miron)

The Knicks have signed forward Maurice Ndour, team president Phil Jackson announced.

Ndour received a guaranteed two-year contract, according to multiple reports.

He played with the Knicks Summer League team in 2015, averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.

Ndour spent the 2015-2016 season in Europe, where he averaged 2.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.1 assists per game over 9.1 minutes.

Ndour signed with the Mavericks in July 2015, but was waived in October without appearing in a game for them.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Ndour was a pleasant surprise in training camp last season. He can shoot the mid-range jumper and has the length and quickness to defend a number of positions.

A guaranteed deal obviously means the Knicks can start incorporating him into what they have planned ASAP. He'll be around, and his versatility gives them the flexibility to play different lineups. He can be slotted around just about anyone in the front court and still find his way. 

The Knicks find redemption by signing him, and doing it the right way, this time around. Last season's promise was unfortunately met with an injury in Dallas, and a poor finish to the campaign in Spain. Perhaps this is redemption for Ndour as well.

Ironically enough, he was a much better fit last season. The Knicks have already bolstered their front court depth quite a bit this summer. Ndour's roster spot would have perhaps been better suited for a guard at this point.

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With the Knicks coming off a seriously disappointing Summer League in Orlando, it's a great look to bring back Ndour, who was a stand out for them last year.

He's not a lock to make the roster, but he will be given every chance come training camp in the fall.


Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) celebrates after the game against the Washington Huskies in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Cardinal defeated the Huskies 71-69. (Kyle Terada)
Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) celebrates after the game against the Washington Huskies in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Cardinal defeated the Huskies 71-69. (Kyle Terada)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

There's a ton of young (and available) talent on display in Las Vegas this week, but the Knicks are nowhere to be found. After participating in the Orlando session last week, New York's staff is minimally represented in Sin City. The decision not to participate in the more popular, and arguably, more competitive Las Vegas session was questionable. The choice, still not to aggressively scout this session, is even more unfortunate.

But to be fair, New York's roster has filled up relatively quickly. What's more, they've made decisions on young talent that perhaps they feel is amongst the cream of the crop. The undrafted Marshall Plumlee has a multi-year deal with next season guaranteed. According to Ian Begley, Ron Baker has a partial-guarantee towards next season as well. Justin Holiday (27), who was included in the Bulls deal, and stateside rookie Mindaugas Kuzminskas (26) are both pieces to continue developing. The team also signed Willy Hernangomez from last summer's draft.

As fewer spots remain vacant, the Knicks still have a rather pressing need for a third point guard. Baker was part of the team's attempt at a respectable coup following a draft without any selections. Their first acquisition post-draft, Baker was somewhat underwhelming in Orlando. He wasn't very athletic or dynamic, and only shot 40% and averaged 2.4 assists per game. After playing two-guard at Wichita State, some scouts believe he would benefit from making the jump to point guard in the NBA. He didn't really show much potential to do so in his first Knickerbocker stint.

This is where Chasson Randle comes in. After not getting a look the first two games, the Stanford alum exploded onto the court for the Knicks and never looked back. He played with confidence, aggression, and athleticism in hoping to prove he belonged. With the Knicks failing to hit the 50-point mark in each of their first two Orlando contests, Randle made sure to attack the basket early and often when he finally hit the hardwood. On his way to leading the squad with 18.3 points per game, Randle undoubtedly opened up potential scoring opportunities for others by penetrating and helping spread the floor a bit. He was also the team leader in assists (5) and three-point field goal percentage (48%).

The Knicks should get credit, not only for finding Randle, but also giving him the right platform to shine. The next move should be retaining him properly. It'd be a shame to see New York lose out on a potential fit and not have anything to show for it. Without any picks, the Knicks were forced to get creative around young talent. Randle should be a part of that. After playing overseas his rookie year, he's a bit more seasoned and arguably more comfortable as a professional. Similar second-round picks from last month's draft might need even more time to grow. 

Multiple rival agents and even some player personnel scouts believe Randle will be in NBA training camp with New York. Regardless of whether or not the Knicks have a strong presence in Las Vegas, agents are still hoping they notice when their players have respectable showings. It might be a hard sell either way, especially if the team likes what they have enough in Randle to take a shot. 

The important thing is that Randle fills a current need. It'd be one thing to see him in camp and then end up as a D-League affiliate player. But with a roster spot open and a void at point guard, perhaps there's room for both Baker and Randle. 


New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

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Having overhauled much of the 2015-16 roster, the Knicks have added copious amounts of talent to the roster and that effort has fans hopeful the team can finally cash in on their season ticket investments by hosting playoff games in the Spring of 2017.

Long gone are the days of Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire - replaced with the fire and energy that Joakim Noah is expected to bring nightly. Gone are the likes of Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith; replaced with the breathtaking power and finesse of Derrick Rose, who is ready to show the rest of the world that he's still one of the game's premier stars with the ball in his hands.

I reached out to the Knicks faithful on Twitter for a Q and A sessions and here's what's on their minds as we crawl toward training camp 2016-17…


First of all congrats on the new arrival JD! God Bless!

The Knicks are taking a big risk on Mindaugas Kuzminskas at the expense of Williams, who was productive for them and could thrive under Hornacek. I think they felt Lance Thomas gives them a more complete solution at the position in more minutes and Kuzminskas can fill in with moderate bench minutes. Can he bring them the offense that Williams did? We'll see. Williams was the only player on the team who could get them easy baskets consistently, but those should be filled by Derrick Rose. You couldn't risk losing your best "3 and D" player who shoots the corner three as well as Lance does (25-60 from both corners last year).


Absolutely. Unfortunately, it's the cost of doing business in New York as a high-priced player. This isn't just a media thing either, fans are equally boisterous about their disappointment in Carmelo and I can't blame them. He's had his moments here, but he's now on the other side of his best basketball.

What I love most about the Rose trade is that he can help take the scoring load off Melo in a big way. Melo doesn't have to carry that weight night over night for seven months. He and Rose can split the alpha duties, thus taking the pressure off Melo. Same holds true for Kristaps Porzingis. Melo has support now, but that support will heighten expectations for other aspects like defense (especially in transition) and rebounding. Fans won't let him take nights off completely, but his energy doesn't have to be 100 percent focused on trying to keep the game competitive himself.


I love this question. I think Ron Baker gets the longest look in vet camp, and we'll have more clarity on who the Knicks plan on inviting after summer league this week in Vegas. I want to see them aggressively pursue an athletic PG who thrives on athleticism and driving, who can be injected into the line up during a quiet stretch mid season and can take advantage of the opportunity with pure energy. I think of a guy like Will Cummings, who was waived by the Rockets last year in preseason and earned second team All D-League honors after a fantastic year with Rio Grande.

As far as the roster lineup goes, I think the one lineup that gets me most excited is playing KP at the 5 with Melo at the 4, rounded out by Rose, Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas. I think the Knicks can go smaller with Noah at the 5, Melo at the 4, Lee at the 3 and Brandon Jennings/Justin Holiday and Rose in the backcourt. I really think "The Kooz" Kuzminskas is an important piece here because he can play the 3 or 4 and pull people out to the perimeter. But I really envision that initial lineup being a big part of what they do, possibly with Noah and Melo in offensive/defensive switch situations. That's when they go small. I can't wait to see a front court of Noah/KP paired with Willy Hermangomez. That internal passing in the triangle will be so awesome to see.


I do. I think Holiday is a lost piece here, as perceived throw-ins generally are most of the time. Holiday, brother of Jrue Holiday, was PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and while that is a ling time ago (he's 27) he's certainly an above average-caliber defender on the perimeter. He's not afraid to knock down shots either. The Knicks have done well, whether it's Lee, Kuzminskas and potentially Baker, to add knock down shooters.

Having players who are shot-ready will really help especially when Jennings and Rose attack with the drive. That's an element they've been lacking for years. I can count numerous times where the Knicks got a little action off the drive leading to a wide open look in a key situation from, say, Langston Galloway, where he just couldn't finish the play by making the shot. Those misses are back-breaking.


Hard situation to talk about for me because he doesn't play for the Knicks, so it's not my business to discuss.

Let's just say the red flags that he carried from Philly were alarmingly apparent here and leave it at that.


I think that's always a possibility. I think they will address the end of the roster after the Vegas Summer League and sign guys who they are high on. I'd like to see them commit to developing players past one year in Westchester- especially in the case of Travis Trice or Darion Atkins, who is playing with Golden State in Vegas. I like Chasson Randle, I think he can fit a need for them, but we'll see where they stand with him soon. I expect him to get a vet camp invite.


Great question. As is and healthy (Rose/Melo/KP play over 70 games) they will win at least 45 games. Does that put them in the top 4? Last year the Pacers won 45 games and were the 7 seed. Four teams won 48 games with the Miami Heat capturing the 3rd seed. We'll have to look at how the conference has shifted. Have the Pacers improved? Yes. Celtics? Yes. Hawks? Probably not. So when you look at the top, the Cavs, Raptors, Pacers are there with the Knicks, Celtics in that next wave.

The X-factor teams, for me, are the Pistons and the Wizards -- two dynamic rosters with a ton of talent. The Hawks, Heat, Hornets have taken steps back. Can the Bucks bounce back? How much better are the Magic? I'm fascinated by the East, but one thing is for sure if Rose,Melo and KP can play together 85 percent of the time they should be able to win 55 percent of the time. 


Thanks for all the questions! I'll be doing more of these so please keep them coming. Send them to @ThomasCDee on Twitter.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis

 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

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As I'm wont to do on occasion I recently had a spirited conversation with some Chicago Bulls fans on Twitter about Derrick Rose.

Bulls fans feel Rose is beyond a far cry from the MVP-caliber player he was in 2011 -- so much so that they believe he's barely even a starter-level NBA point guard. As hard as that is for me to believe, I gave it some thought, did some analysis and my findings solidified my original thought: That Bulls fans are bitter and defaming him helps soothe the pain of the trade that sent their hometown point guard to the Big Apple.

As usual, the truth lies somewhere between emotion and the data. To me, on the surface and despite being named league MVP, the Bulls rarely put Rose in the best situation to succeed offensively.

Their offense was often cramped and it limited his ability to create the easiest baskets off of the bounce. Despite that, he was still able to be one of the game's most lethal penetrators, and his ability to draw fouls and finish at the rim established him as one of the game's premiere offensive weapons.

As his injuries began to pile up, his efficiency numbers plummeted, taking the Bulls from one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference to a team that missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years. At 27 years old, the notion is that Rose isn't the physical freak at the rim that he once was, but he's still one of the game's elite drivers.

Per basketball-reference.com, Rose took a higher percentage of his shots inside of 10 feet this past season in comparison to his MVP year of 2010-11 (50.5 to 45.8). But his free throw rate (FTR) was cut in half (.348 in 2010-11 to.171 last season). Not surprisingly, he also attempted just 3.1 free throws per 36 minutes, his lowest output since his rookie season. Rose hasn't lost his ability to drive and seems to be getting fouled less, which impacts his efficiency numbers drastically.

I believe the addition of Rose in Jeff Hornacek's offense will change this. Hornacek's Phoenix Suns teams relied heavily on a lot of spread pick-and-roll sets, and I can envision a lot of that between Rose and Joakim Noah, but most especially Rose and Kristaps Porzingis. Imagine replacing Pau Gasol with KP stretched out to the three point line here?

Besides staying healthy, Rose's ultimate success in New York comes down to the combination of which lineups he quarterbacks, how much space there is, and if he's adept at drawing fouls. And all of that accentuates Rose's biggest strength -- beating his man off the dribble and attacking the tin.

"Almost all of his shooting efficiency comes from driving/finishing/getting fouled," says our friend Ian Levy, Senior NBA Editor and Columnist for Sports Illustrated's Fansided. "His jump shooting numbers last year weren't that far off career numbers. So one would assume more space would make him more efficient. However, I think his TS% declined last year because he finished terribly and he drew a lot fewer fouls when he got to the rim. Those two things might not be as responsive to better spacing. It also remains to be seen what Hornacek's lineups look like. If he plays a lot of Noah/Porzingis/Anthony together I'm not sure that's much more space for Rose."

I can envision nights where Rose and Carmelo Anthony are not getting the benefit of whistles and those will be frustrating nights. I also envision nights where the offense is so good that they don't need to sit at the strip all night to be successful.

But if both Rose and Anthony are at their usual best in putting pressure on defenses forcing them to foul repeatedly, the NBA will be in for some noisy nights at the Garden.

The Knicks as a team led the NBA in free throw percentage this past season, but were just 25th in the league in attempts per game at 24.1, which was a major reason they ranked near the bottom (24th) in offensive efficiency per basketball-reference.com. In 97 career games Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic took just 87 free throws combined in almost 3,000 total minutes. Rose took 179 attempts in 66 games in a career down year.

Anthony has seen his FTR plummet since coming to New York in 2011, and Knicks fans are hoping this isn't the case with Rose as well. Anthony's FTR is just .330 since his trade to New York (.308 last year), down from an exceptional .410 in Denver. That's hard to fathom.

If Rose and Anthony can increase their FTRs back towards their career averages, expect the team to be far more efficient offensively and quickly rise to the top half of the Eastern Conference, if not higher.

The Rose move was a risky deal for the team, but the line never lies and the Knicks hope to speak to it many, many more times in 2016-17.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis

Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton bring you the latest edition of TheKnicksBlog Podcast, where the guys welcome Stephon Marbury to the show.  

They talk about playing in China vs Madison Square Garden, his history in New York, how he feels about Phil Jackson and the current Knicks, his Starbury shoe line, the NBA super team trend, and whether or not he'd ever come back to the NBA.

The guys also cover all the big moves the Knicks have made in the last week, including the additions of Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings, and more.

On current Knicks and Phil Jackson:

"First of all, the first thing that they did was they appointed a leader. I don't believe Jim Dolan is making any decisions anymore. Phil Jackson, his presence and who he is, it puts things in a different perspective as far him picking and choosing which players should come and play there and he's able to craft how he wants to make it based upon who are the players he has. It's a real commitment for him, it's not him being in Montana and chilling out, that's not what he's doing. He's a mastermind, he's planning. You know when you have a guy like that you have to watch his moves, his moves aren't made in a 1 or 2 year span, you see the results 5, 6, 7 years down the line."

On coming back to MSG during an event for ex-Knicks:

"If they asked me, I would."

On coming back to play for the Knicks:

"Nah, that's dead. I wouldn't care if it was Phil, or anybody in there, that wouldn't happen."


 (Michel Spingler)
(Michel Spingler)

Knicks team president Phil Jackson announced the signing of forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas on Saturday (Knicks, July 9).

Kuzminskas, 26, is of Lithuanian decent. The 6'9" forward averaged 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds over seven professional seasons in Europe.

The terms of Kuzminskas deal have not been disclosed at this time. 


 (NBAE / Getty Images)
(NBAE / Getty Images)

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says the Knicks are getting the "perfect backup" center in Marshall Plumlee.

The Knicks signed the 7-footer to a partially guaranteed three-year deal to help backup Joakim Noah.

"First of all he's older, he's 23," Coach K told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam where he is recruiting. "He's been a five-year player.

"He brings fundamentals and he's a leader. He's going to be an Army officer. He talks on defense. He'll screen, he'll play defense he'll rebound. And he doesn't need the ball. He just wants to make other people better. And they'll never be a practice where he's not enthusiastic. He's a perfect backup."

Plumlee, whose brothers MIles and Mason are both in the NBA, averaged 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21 minutes per game in four summer league games in Orlando. Krzyzewski said he'll have no trouble adapting to the triangle.

"He can handle the ball because we used a lot of elbow stuff," Coach K said. "And he likes to pass. It gives you a running start to the basket. He knows every play. He's very intelligent. He's just an easy guy to play with."

In addition to trading for Derrick Rose and adding Noah and guards Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings, the Knicks also signed rookie big man Guillermo "Willy" Hernangomez and re-signed forward Lance Thomas.

For his part, Plumlee told the New York Post he's willing to do the "dirty work."

"I don't mind getting my hands dirty more than they do and getting my nose in there and getting physical,'' Plumlee told the Post. "I feel the Knicks have given me a look for a certain reason. I need to be comfortable in my role to bring energy and physicality inside. That's something I'm comfortable bringing to the table. If I keep working at it, I can help the Knicks in some way.''

Tags: Adam Zagoria

GEICO SportsNite: New Knicks 00:02:57
The New York Knicks introduce the newest members of the team: Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings and Joakim Noah.

When the New York Knicks decided they wanted to build a more competitive team, Joakim Noah couldn't wait to sign on.

He remembers watching plenty of games at Madison Square Garden and knows better than most what it means to have winning basketball in the city where he was born.

So he committed quickly when he became a free agent, and signed his contract Friday as the centerpiece of what the Knicks hope can be a contender.

"This means everything to me, and I'm going to do everything to make this special," Noah said.

The Knicks also signed veteran guards Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee, along with rookie big men Marshall Plumlee and Guillermo "Willy" Hernangomez, and re-signed forward Lance Thomas. Add in Derrick Rose, Noah's former Chicago teammate who was acquired via trade last month, and the Knicks believe they can turn a 50-loss team into a playoff one.

"We like this team," Knicks President Phil Jackson said.

The Knicks missed the postseason during Jackson's first two full seasons in charge, but have been busy this summer in hopes of a turnaround. Jeff Hornacek was hired as coach, and a number of what Jackson called "forceful" players were brought in after a postseason conversation with All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who was eager to speed up the process after sitting out the playoffs for the first three times in his career.

"We decided to activate ourselves a little bit quicker," Jackson said.

The Knicks made a number of moves last summer, but after a decent start tumbled to a 32-50 finish. General manager Steve Mills said the team felt it needed more starting-caliber NBA players to surround Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, who was runner-up for Rookie of the Year. >> Read more...


The Knicks announced the signings of Willy Hernangomez, Marshall Plumlee, and Lance Thomas on Friday...

Tags: Lance Thomas

Drew Gooden (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports Images)
Drew Gooden (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks are among four teams that have inquired about free-agent center Drew Gooden, according to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.

The Washington Wizards waived Gooden, 34, on Thursday after he averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 30 games last season.

The Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have also shown interest in Gooden, according to Spears.

Gooden has played for 10 teams in his 14-year NBA career. He has averaged 11 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

 

After signing Marshall Plumlee, perhaps the Knicks have already filled their need for another backup big man. A veteran presence, much like the one Gooden would provide, never hurts, but the opportunity may no longer be there with Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O'Quinn coming off the bench as well.

Interestingly enough, it's refreshing to hear about the Knicks' interest in Gooden. Whether he signs or not (or whether discussions really go any further) is irrelevant. That said, the fact that New York is already moving on to filling out its roster with the smaller bit parts is proof of the success Phil Jackson and co. have had this offseason. 

The team obviously didn't come away with Kevin Durant or Dwyane Wade, but they have actually made more of a splash this summer than last. Acquiring Derrick Rose before free agency began helped sparked this as well. 

More important than the nature of the splash has been the significant improvements the Knicks have made across the board. This team is revamped, having retooled rather quickly. Remaining healthy is obviously a big "if" for a number of players, but the potential for something special is there. 

New York has filled out its team and met various needs rather quickly in this process, and that's why they're able to focus on potentially adding a veteran like Gooden so soon. The pressure is off. Jackson and his group have done a nice job.

Tags: Kyle O'Quinn

Mar 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; during the second half in the championship game of the midwest regional of the NCAA Tournament at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Mar 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; during the second half in the championship game of the midwest regional of the NCAA Tournament at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Jim Boeheim says the revamped Knicks are now an NBA contender and believes they should make a major jump from last season's 32-win team.

"I think it's a lot better, it looks a lot better," the Syracuse coach told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam where he is recruiting. "I just want Melo to have a chance to be in consideration for the playoffs and have a chance [at a title]."

Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to its only NCAA championship as a freshman in 2003, has missed the postseason the last three seasons in New York.

But under President Phil Jackson, the Knicks this offseason traded for point guard Derrick Rose and on Friday are set to unveil their new free agent class, highlighted by shooting guard Courtney Lee, center Joakim Noah and backup point guard Brandon Jennings.

"A lot depends" on Rose's health, Boeheim said of the former Chicago Bulls point guard who has missed 160 games the last three seasons with knee injuries. "He was pretty good last year. He's a great kid. I think he's still got a lot left."

He added: "He's good, he's really good."

Anthony said last week at a USA Basketball event in Harlem that he agrees with Rose that the Knicks can now do something special -- and that was before the additions of Lee, Noah and Jennings.

"I'm reinvigorated," Anthony said. "I feel a little bit more confident now that we actually made that move, made that decision. It shows me they are looking at now, and not the future just yet. The time is now. We have to capitalize on what we have right now. Of course the front office also has to look at the big picture, but the time is now."

Boeheim spoke to Anthony just before the Rose deal and will see him next week at USA Basketball training in Las Vegas. Asked if Anthony is optimistic, Boeheim said, "I think he is now, those are positive moves for the Knicks. I think if those guys are healthy, they have a chance to compete. It's going to be hard to beat Cleveland, but they can certainly compete with everybody else. That's a good start."

Boeheim also likes the addition of Noah in the middle.

"Noah's a really good team player, he knows how to win," Boeheim said. "If those two guys [Rose and Noah] are healthy, I think it's the most promising I've seen the Knicks."

Boeheim watches a ton of Knicks games every year, but even he understands that with Kevin Durant to Golden State and LeBron James staying in Cleveland, those teams remain the ones to beat and could be headed for a third straight meeting in the NBA Finals in 2017.

"It will be hard to beat those two teams, but San Antonio got a little better, too," Boeheim said, referring to the addition of Pau Gasol. "It will be interesting."

 

Tags: Jim Boeheim , Adam Zagoria

Jan 10, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks president Phil Jackson addresses media before the start of game against Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks president Phil Jackson addresses media before the start of game against Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Stop me if you heard this one before: The Knicks make a move for a player who is past their prime, possibly overpaying for them, and someone with a keyboard and a platform says the move is "Typical Knicks."

Phil Jackson had the chance to sign Dwyane Wade to 2-year contract worth $50 million dollars. The Knicks were on his short list of teams that he was meeting with in New York, but Jackson canceled the meeting when Wade, who first told the Knicks he'd consider signing for less, came back with the $50 million dollar counter offer. 

Phil wisely declined, canceled their attendance in the Wade-a-thon and went forward with the signings of both Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. And with it, he bludgeoned the "Typical Knicks" narrative to death.

Had Jackson signed Wade he would have lost out on both Noah and Lee and gambled on a starting five of Derrick Rose, Wade, Lance Thomas, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis with about 15 more million or so to spend on remaining free agents. Could he have added, say Pau Gasol, Brandon Jennings and Mindaugas Kuzminskas? Yes, but taking the risk on Wade and Gasol at their ages wasn't worth it in Phil's estimation. And making those types of tough decisions is what he's paid to do.

So, Wade is in Chicago, having made his announcement after interviewing teams in the Big Apple and no one in New York seems to care. Fans are excited by the additions of Noah, Lee, Jennings and Kuzminskas, and Jackson has earned their trust with his work so far this off season. He's also added Willy Hernangomez, Ron Baker and Marshall Plumlee and will probably add a few more hopefuls to vet camp in the fall to see if they can make the team. Non-flashy, solid basketball moves, all by a guy who was been vilified here as someone who would mail it in from West coast on his surfboard.

Jackson was brought here in "Typical Knicks" fashion, labeled as a marquee, overpaid, disengaged malcontent who had to take orders from Jim Dolan. But he has taken a hodgepodge roster and made it one that is pointed in the right direction should everyone stay healthy this upcoming season.

He's added hungry players still at some point of their primes in Noah and Rose, two players used to winning and winning a lot in the Eastern Conference. He's added to the team's weaknesses without gutting their strengths. Last year the team's biggest strength was its ability to rebound the basketball and addressed it by adding Noah to replace Robin Lopez. He was also able to bring in Rose to help fill a tremendous void in penetrating the paint with the basketball. In adding Lee at the expense of Arron Afflalo, he's added a "3 and D" player who can fill the void of Afflalo's scoring and effort defensively. Phil has kept the train of progress going forward while filling the team's biggest needs. 

Welcome to the new "Typical Knicks".   


 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

The Knicks will sign C Marshall Plumlee to a multi-year deal, reports Al Iannazzone of Newsday.

The deal will have a full guarantee in the first year.

Plumlee, 23, is currently playing on the Knicks' Summer League team.

He averaged 8.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last season for Duke during his senior year.


Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Aside from Chasson Randle, it makes sense that the Knicks are taking a chance on Plumlee. Not only is he one of the better unselected players from last month's NBA Draft, but he fits a need for New York as an extra big man. This puts very positive pressure on Kyle O'Quinn to earn his minutes off the bench again. Clearly they've liked what he's brought to the table in Orlando.

With Willy Hernangomez also already in tow, O'Quinn will need to improve upon last season's efforts if he wants to play an important role.

There's a lot to like about Plumlee, whose game clearly resembles that of his two NBA brother counterparts (Mason and Miles), at least a bit. The youngster brother is still raw, and needs to become more comfortable and aware on the court. Still, he's a big body. When encouraged, Plumlee can set screens well and knows how to box out and crash the boards.

He's someone who can do the dirty work, which is always valuable to a competitive team. He could certainly see some D-League assignments as well.


Jan 16, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) goes to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) during the first quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 16, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) goes to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) during the first quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

Kristaps Porzingis had the 15th best selling jersey in the NBA this past season, according to a report from NBA.com.

Porzingis was the only Knick from last season to appear on the list of the Top 15 most popular NBA jerseys, although the Knicks were ninth overall in jersey sales by team.

He was the youngest player on the list both by age and NBA experience. He was also the only European player and one of three who weren't on a playoff team.

This is the first full season with the Knicks that Carmelo Anthony did not have one of the Top-10 best-selling jerseys in the NBA.

However, Anthony has been outsold by a Knicks teammate before. In the 2011-12 season, Jeremy Lin had the second best-selling jersey of the year, three spots ahead of Melo and only behind Derrick Rose, who joined New York this offseason.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis

Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings takes a shot over New York Knicks forward Kyle O'Quinn during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USA Today Sports Images)
Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings takes a shot over New York Knicks forward Kyle O'Quinn during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USA Today Sports Images)

Brandon Jennings requested a one-year contract in order to prove himself, according to a report from the New York Post.

The 26-year-old point guard is coming off an Achilles tendon injury that has kept him from playing more than 41 games a season the past three years.

The Knicks, looking to keep their cap space open for potential free agents and trade targets in the 2017 offseason, agreed to the one-year deal Jennings requested. He inked a one-year contract worth $5 million over Fourth of July weekend.

Jennings averaged at least 15.5 points, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.1 rebounds per game every season the first five years of his career. But he has shot over 40 percent in a season only twice.

The Knicks will be the fourth team Jennings has played for, after stints for the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. 

Tags: Brandon Jennings

Randle could work his way into the Knicks rotation at point guard.  (John Locher)
Randle could work his way into the Knicks rotation at point guard. (John Locher)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

By letting Langston Galloway jet away to New Orleans, the Knicks decided not to pay the promising young gun. After developing him for two years and allowing him to come up through the Westchester minor league pipeline, the team had seen enough...at least for that respective price point.

The likes of Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are certainly two high-profile acquisitions, but New York definitely needs a third floor general on the roster. Rose and Jennings have both dealt with recent injuries.

The Knicks have struggled overall during Orlando Summer League, failing to surpass 50 points in their first two contests before coming together a bit. But even so, perhaps they let Galloway go, knowing full well they may have uncovered his potential (and eventual) replacement.

Galloway eventually donned a Knicks uniform later in the 2014-15 campaign after first going through the motions in Summer League, training camp, and the NBA D-League. Chasson Randle is using his time in Orlando to prove why he might be capable of excelling through a similar path.

Following two appearances, Randle's 20.5 points represent the highest individual scoring average for a player in Orlando thus far. Leading the team in a number of categories (including points, assists, and steals per contest); Randle is an explosive and crafty guard who can create his offense and surprise defenders off the dribble. He reacts quickly and knows what to do with the ball in his hands much of the time.

Of course, his success should be taken with a grain of salt at a time like this. After all, the competition is weaker at Summer League. His high turnover numbers are proof that he's a bit overzealous at times. Perhaps that anxiousness comes with the territory of wanting to prove himself on this coveted stage. 

But alas, there's reason to be intrigued. Randle played professionally overseas during his rookie campaign, so he's a bit more seasoned than most incoming youngsters. Still, there's room to grow. 

The Knicks would benefit from using Galloway's success as model for a player like Randle to follow, if he's willing to buy in. Signing him early and/or dishing out guaranteed money may be premature (and a roster spot, to boot), even if he does stand to cash in on another lucrative contract abroad. But he's certainly a player to keep tabs on, and New York shouldn't let him out of their sights. 

Phil Jackson, even amid much of the criticism many have given him, has proven to be a masterful recruiter and solid negotiator. Hopefully he can put those respective hats on to convince Randle of the right path. If the proper trust is established, both parties could benefit from beginning to develop the young gun to New York's liking. They can continue to work with him through training camp, and then let him gain more exposure in a notable role via their D-League affiliate. When the time is right (after a forthcoming injury and/or a freed up flexible roster spot), the Knicks could explore signing him to a couple of ten-day contracts and hope that he sticks and excels, much like Galloway did. 

Galloway was trusting of the process, and his big pay day with New Orleans is proof things have worked out for him. Perhaps the Knicks were content in allowing him escape, while understanding they have an intriguing guard in tow to potentially explore. Choosing to trust the Knicks could seemingly benefit Randle in a big way long-term. When the time is right, he could cash in. Garnering the Knicks' attention this week should be the first step. 

Tags: Keith Schlosser

In the Knick of Time 00:03:00
The DNL panel debates the recent moves made by Knicks GM Phil Jackson to improve the 2016 roster and the future of the team.

 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Langston Galloway has agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, reports Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

He'll reportedly receive a two-year deal worth between $5 and $6 million annually that includes an opt-out for a third season, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.

The Knicks offered Galloway roughly $3 million per year, according to Berman.

Galloway, 24, became a free agent earlier this week after the Knicks rescinded their qualifying offer, a move that came shortly after New York signed Brandon Jennings to a one-year deal.

Galloway averaged 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 82 games with the Knicks last season. He averaged 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 45 games in 2014-15.

Shortly after news of the deal broke, Galloway tweeted his thanks to the Knicks and their fans:

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Galloway's departure is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. For starters, he was the organization's first NBA callup from their Westchester D-League affiliate.

The Knicks scouted him at Portsmouth back in the spring of 2014, brought him to training camp the next fall, and subsequently called him up later that season. The team was not only able to get a feel for what Galloway was about, but develop him a bit as well.

Galloway was a revelation as a rookie during the 2014-15 season. During a rather dismal campaign for the franchise, the youngster was a rare bright spot. He brought hustle, heart, grit, and determination. Galloway's defensive intensity impressed the team, as did his ability to cut through the lane on offense.

Unfortunately, New York was unable to help Galloway truly flourish as a sophomore. Taking the ball out of his hands and turning him into more of a spot-shooter limited Galloway's role on offense. In turn, his confidence appeared to waver a bit. The Knicks dropped the ball here, and that -- perhaps more than anything else -- ultimately led to him becoming expendable.

But alas, so did the acquisitions of Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. It's time for a change.

Give Galloway credit for his promise and extremely positive attitude throughout. He was visibly grateful to the organization and displayed that through his community efforts. If it's time for him to leave, it's nice that a guy like him gets to go home to New Orleans.

Tags: Langston Galloway , Keith Schlosser

General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

The New York Knicks have reached an agreement with F Mindaugas Kuzminskas, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. The deal is for two years, $6 million, as reported by David Pick, the European hoops writer.

Kuzminskas, a 6-foot-9 forward from Lithuania, has spent the last three seasons playing for Unicaja of Liga ACB, the top basketball league in Spain. The 26-year old averaged a career-high 12.0 points per game while shooting 37.7 percent from the three-point line last season.

Kuzminskas went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft.

In the 2014 FIBA WorldCup, Kuzminskas went off for 15 points on 6-9 shooting and 9 rebounds against Team USA.


Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Smart, cost-efficient move by Phil Jackson who has once again tabbed the Euro league for talent. Kuzminkas is a face-up 6'9 forward who isn't afraid to put the ball on the deck. A fierce competitor who can knock down the three, the Kuzminkas signing bids adieu to Derrick Williams and leaves Willy Hernangomez to fill out the rest of the team's cap space.


General view of pyrotechnics before the start of a game between the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
General view of pyrotechnics before the start of a game between the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

Willy Hernangomez has reached a multi-year deal with the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Verical.

His NBA rights were originally acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft, but was traded that night to the Knicks for two future picks and cash.

The 6'11, 255 pound Hernangomez is 22-years-old and has played his entire career in the Spanish league.

He played for two years at CB Sevilla, where he was teammates with Kristaps Porzingis.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Hernangomez is the cherry on top of the Knicks' continued team-building, a reconstruction so to speak, that has taken place over the last few days.

As New York has targeted new faces in the early goings of free agency, Hernangomez was in Phil Jackson's pocket as a promising asset from last summer's draft. Such a stash exercise could really pay off. Signing (another) backup big hasn't yet appeared to be a pressing priority of the Knicks thus far. With that in mind, they must have faith in the young gun's potential translation to the NBA game.

Hernangomez could really thrive in the pick and roll. He moves well, and has decent range and even better hands to help cash in on easy scoring opportunities. He has great length defensively, and is said to be a maturely intelligent player. He should be able to make a relatively quick adjustment.

Tags: Willy Hernangomez

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

On the surface, when you look at the job description for both Donnie Walsh in 2008 and Phil Jackson in 2014, they appeared similar. Walsh had the arduous task of getting the Knicks franchise back on course after the disastrous Isiah Thomas Era. Jackson had to rebuild an old Knicks roster that had an extremely short shelf life built by Walsh and then Glen Grunwald. Both Walsh and Jackson had albatross contracts to navigate around - Walsh had Eddy Curry, Jackson had Amar'e Stoudemire. Both had hodgepodge locker rooms that were divided by ego and greed...

But both took separate paths to rectify their situations, and - by looking at the roster Jackson built - it's almost as if he used Walsh's plan as a guidebook, while making his own corrections...

Walsh's first order of business was hiring a coach whose style spoke to the free agent class of 2010, whereas Jackson's second hire was one based on his own philosophies. Walsh talked openly about wanting to create cap space so he could recruit top talent to the Big Apple, and thus preached patience to the fan base. However, Jackson cryptically went about his business, because he knew landing a mega star was a long shot.

It's not an apples-to-apples comparison. But, what Jackson has done is consistently bring in talent, while maintaining cap flexibility.

Can Joakim Noah's four-year deal become Curry-esque, if the oft-injured forward gets hurt? Yes. But, it's a calculated risk Jackson is wise to take in today's NBA.

The NBA is still a star's game, and the biggest free agent star, Kevin Durant, landed in Golden State, making the league - for all intents and purposes - a two-horse race between the Cavaliers and Warriors. But I feel good about where the Knicks are headed. They'll be competitive. And, the additions of Noah, Courtney Lee and Derrick Rose could put the Knicks in the tournament next spring, after which anything is possible. Jackson has built a competitive roster filled with players who have something to prove, especially Rose and Brandon Jennings, who just a few days a go seemed beyond frustrated by people saying he's 'injury prone.'



In Rose, the Knicks have added a penetrating guard who attacks the basket, which has been their biggest weakness since Jackson took over. Rose's role will be the key to regular season basketball, because it drives leads to defensive reaction and help, which leads to open teammates. Rose isn't great at passing off drives - passing just 23% of the time (Tony Parker passes 43% of the time) - but it's an improvement that will make them get easier looks and win more games.

Jackson, like Walsh, had the task of turning the ship around and both implemented similar philosophies. Walsh's plan to add veterans and stars resulted in a few playoff appearances, but not the sustained success that fans wanted. Jackson has the team pointed towards the playoffs as well, and he has maintained cap flexibility for next year, especially with Kristaps Porzingis in the mix, while keeping all of his draft picks. Not a bad result for a man who critics blasted for not having the experience to be an NBA executive.

Things are looking up for the Knicks and it's time to give Jackson his due.


New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Forward Lance Thomas signed a four-year deal worth starting at approximately $6 million annually with the New York Knicks., according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

The deal starts at around $6.1 million and includes standard raises of 7.5 percent each year.

Several teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans have expressed interest in Thomas, and he has received at least two offers thus far, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Team president Phil Jackson said a few weeks ago he expects the Knicks to re-sign Thomas.

The 28-year-old Thomas averaged 8.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 59 games last season.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

If the Knicks need to find quality "3 and D" guys, they now know to look no further than Thomas.

Two seasons ago, Thomas' versatile qualities weren't well known. Once merely considered a glue guy who could lock down on defense, the forward recognized that some added shooting from deep would make him that much more valuable. As fate would have it, he was right. The work Thomas has continued to put into his overall game benefits the Knicks immensely.

Thomas is a very special player, if not from his abilities alone, then also his attitude, perseverance and dedication. He's a respected veteran who plays the game with poise. He's a great locker room guy who obviously adds tremendous depth to the bench. Retaining him (and rewarding him with a nice contract in the process) is a home run move. The path he's taken to find success sets a great example.

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Thomas was easily the most unheralded and at times the most important role player for the Knicks as both a perimeter scorer and defender. His effort and energy are huge pieces to what they are building as a team. Great teams need glue guys, and when healthy, Thomas is as good as it gets.

Tags: Lance Thomas

Langston Galloway (Jennifer Stewart/USA Today Sports Images)
Langston Galloway (Jennifer Stewart/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks will make Langston Galloway a free agent after they rescinded a qualifying offer to him, ESPN's Ian Begley reports.

The move comes shortly after New York signed Brandon Jennings to a one-year deal.

The Knicks had a $2.7 million qualifying offer to Galloway, 24. The Knicks can still re-sign him, though rescinding the qualifying offer "makes it a bit more difficult," Begley notes.

Galloway averaged 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 82 games with the Knicks last season. He averaged 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 45 games in 2014-15.

Tags: Langston Galloway

Mar 29, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Brandon Jennings (55) drives to the basket as Brooklyn Nets guard Wayne Ellington (21) defends during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 29, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Brandon Jennings (55) drives to the basket as Brooklyn Nets guard Wayne Ellington (21) defends during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Having landed Derrick Rose as the team's primary point guard, the Knicks have now added Brandon Jennings as a backup and possible insurance in case Rose gets injured (again).

Jennings Tweeted he was coming to the Knicks. CSNChicago.com reported it was a one-year deal worth $5 million.

Jennings, 26, is a native of Compton, Calif., who averaged 6.9 points and 3.5 assists last season in 25 games for Orlando.

He ruptured his left Achilles while playing for Detroit on Jan. 25, 2015 and then missed almost an entire year before returning with the Pistons on Dec. 29 of this past season. Detroit dealt him to Orlando on Feb. 16.

Jennings chose to spend a year playing in Italy out of high school because he failed to qualify at Arizona. He ended up being the No. 10 pick of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Much like Derrick Rose, Jennings is an assertive guard who can attack, get through the lane, and penetrate. This not only means he can create his own offense, but open things up for shooters around the perimeter as well. His acquisition not only represents another roster upgrade, but the filling of another massive (and quite obvious) void from last year's team.

Jennings is a relatively dynamic scorer, so he could very well see back-up minutes at both guard positions. He's not the most efficient player by any means, but he covers a certain ground the Knicks have not in many years. What's more, Jennings will provide substantial insurance for New York, while hoping Rose's health holds up. Starting the former Magic guard in a pinch or playing him during key moments at the end of a given contest if needed isn't the worst thing in the world.

Hopefully Jennings' signing (in addition to likely taking up the team's remainder of cap space) will serve as a stop-gap while the team continues to grow and nurture potential D-League talent through the Westchester pipeline. As they look to continue filling out the roster (be it this offseason, or filling a sudden void later in the fall), they'll likely need to explore more affordable options. 

Nevertheless, signing Jennings as a short-term solution is very good news.

Tags: Adam Zagoria

 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

Free agent Kevin Durant has signed with the Warriors, he announced in an article for The Players' Tribune.

The deal is for $54.3 million over two years, with a player option for the second year, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Phil Jackson told recently-acquired Derrick Rose that the Knicks planned to pursue Durant, but the Knicks were not on the list of teams he seriously considered.

Aside from the Warriors, that list included the Thunder, Spurs, Celtics, Heat, and Clippers.

Durant, 27, averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists this past season for the Thunder.


New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter at Philips Arena. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter at Philips Arena. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports Images)

Forward Lance Thomas wants to return to the New York Knicks and may be willing to accept a discount for them, the New York Post's Marc Berman reports.

The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans have expressed interest in Thomas, and he has received at least two offers thus far, according to Berman.

However, Thomas would "lean toward" accepting a hometown discount with the Knicks, who can offer him a max starting salary of $6 million, Berman writes.

Team president Phil Jackson said he expects the Knicks to re-sign Thomas.

In an article for The Players' Tribune on Friday, Thomas wrote that while his basketball career had taken him to New Orleans, Oklahoma City, China and the D-League, "New York became my home last season."

Thomas, 28, averaged 8.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 59 games last season.

Tags: Lance Thomas

 (Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports Images)
(Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports Images)

After agreeing to terms with Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee, the New York Knicks are trying to create more cap space by trading one of its players, ESPN's Ian Begley reports.

The Knicks have approximately $8.5 million in cap space after the two signings, according to Begley. He writes:

If the Knicks choose not to renounce Lance Thomas and keep their qualifying offer to Langston Galloway, as expected, they would have about $4.6 million in space. This number, though, presumes they rescind cap holds to their remaining free agents, including Derrick Williams, Sasha Vujacic, Lou Amundson and Kevin Seraphin.

Noah agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal, while Lee agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract. Carmelo Anthony will earn $24.5 million next season, Kristaps Porzingis $4.3 million and Derrick Rose $21.3 million, according to Basketball-Reference.

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Phil Jackson alluded to this during his media availability Saturday afternoon. The Knicks want to maximize their potential and address as many existent voids as they can this summer.

Just as there's plenty of room for improvement, there are just as many opportunities for New York to go about accomplishing their goals sooner than later. The signings of Noah and Lee take up much of the coveted cap space the Knicks began with, and rightfully so.

A plethora of quality role players are still available. (Seth Curry is one particular option the team should consider.) In assessing what went right and wrong last season, and who may still hold value to the future, it makes sense that the Knicks should be especially open to parting with Kyle O'Quinn. There are roster upgrades to be found, and ridding themselves of his contract would get New York that much closer to becoming a deeper squad.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Derrick Williams , Kevin Seraphin , Kristaps Porzingis , Kyle O'Quinn , Lance Thomas , Langston Galloway , Lou Amundson , Sasha Vujacic

Lee has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with New York.  (Chuck Burton)
Lee has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with New York. (Chuck Burton)

Courtney Lee has agreed to a four-year deal worth $48 million with the Knicks, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

"[I'm] excited to be a part of the Knicks and play in the Garden," Lee said, confirming reports that he will be signing with New York. "The fans and city are amazing, and the team is ready."

Lee, 30, helps fill the Knicks void at the shooting guard position.

Last season Lee averaged 9.6 points and 1.7 assists in 79 games between Memphis and Charlotte. He is also a 38.4 percent shooter from beyond the three-point line in his career. 


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Following nearly two completed days of the 2016 NBA free agency period, the Knicks have successfully landed a one-two punch of Joakim Noah, and now, Lee. Any talk of contract terms aside, this should be considered a victory in itself. 

Lucrative and long offers have been thrown around left and right, tempting players in many different directions. Several teams have overpaid for players, and after signing Noah, one could argue that perhaps the Knicks did too. But they did what needed to do, in order to come away with the players they wanted.

Phil Jackson and Co. recruited well. Much like Noah, Lee is a very good fit for this team. He's not someone who needs the ball in his hands to succeed on offense, but can still serve as a legitimate threat from around the perimeter. That said, the defensive end is where Lee truly shines. He's a very intelligent veteran who isn't afraid of defending an opposition's top guard. His presence will mesh nicely alongside scoring juggernauts like Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.

Say what you will about Noah's lucrative deal. Regardless of the pretty penny New York paid to reel in the big man, it didn't prevent them from acquiring a quality player like Lee and filling another major void in the process.

A $48 million, four year deal nets the Knicks great value for Lee in this NBA economy. One might even be able to make the argument that he (unlike Noah) is underpaid, once the dust clears and this free agency madness starts to calm down.

The Kings were also said to be interested in Lee. Ironically enough, they have reportedly agreed to sign former Knicks two-guard Arron Afflalo. $25 million over two years means they'll both earn the same average annual salary. Afflalo was much better for New York than people may think, but Lee is a better fit for this new-look squad. What's more, whereas he's not as explosive as Afflalo on the offensive end, he did shoot higher percentages across the board.


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The plan B all along dating back to Wednesday was that the Knicks were going to use their remaining cap space up front and at shooting guard. Lee gives them a solid, two-way player whose biggest strength, besides his ability to make shots in limited attempts, is how he defends within the half court. It remains to be seen how much of an upgrade he'll be over the departed Arron Afflalo, but Lee will certainly benefit from the upgrade in talent that Afflalo will miss out on. All in all the Knicks missed out on the big stars like Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade, so fans have to be a bit disappointed, but they've improved and now look to fill out the rest of the roster as the summer progresses.


NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the conclusion of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Jerry Lai)
NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the conclusion of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Jerry Lai)

The NBA has set the salary cap for the 2016-17 season at $94.143 million with the tax level at $113.287 million, the league announced. 

The cap floor for each team's total salary will be $84.729 million for the season.  

Three different types of mid-level exceptions have been set under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. For this season, a non-taxpayer mid-level exception is $5.628 million, taxpayer mid-level exception at $3.477 million and $2.898 for a mid-level exception for a team with room under the cap.

The salary cap will go into effect on July 7 when teams can officially sign free agents. 


New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

Arron Afflalo has agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal with the Kings, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. 

He had signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Knicks last summer but opted out of the player option for the second year.

Afflalo, 30, played 71 games for the Knicks last season, starting in 57 of them. 

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaged 12.8 points and 2.0 assists per game with the Knicks last season. He shot 44.3 percent from the field for the year. 

He has averaged 11.6 points and 2.0 assists per game over his nine-year career. 

 

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