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Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Murry

Team president Phil Jackson demanded a five-year deal and a promise that owner James Dolan wouldn’t meddle before the Zen Master agreed to join the Knicks this past spring, and that’s looking like a wise bargain from Jackson’s end, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes. Jackson has the leeway necessary for the tear-down he’s undertaking, one that’s necessary for the Knicks to once again contend for titles, Deveney opines.

Here’s the latest out of NYC:

  • The removal of talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony makes it more likely that the Knicks will have Anthony miss the rest of the season so he can rehabilitate his sore knee, argues Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • While the return that the Knicks received for dealing away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert was underwhelming, Jackson made the deal because he and his staff feared that if the Cavaliers got hot as a team, they would potentially lose interest in acquiring those players, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Jackson was also afraid that if Smith’s injury lingered, then he would become untradeable, Berman also notes.
  • Jackson’s first season as team president will be remembered for all the cap room that he cleared, but his true test as an executive will be how he puts it to use this coming summer, Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post writes.
  • The Knicks’ trade of Smith and Shumpert signifies that the franchise is working toward the future once again, instead of angling for a playoff berth, Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press writes. This feels like a repeat of what transpired six years ago, when the Knicks traded Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford to set themselves up for a shot at LeBron James in the summer of 2010, a plan that backfired, Mahoney adds.
  • Toure’ Murry is entering the D-League, and the Knicks affiliate is likely to claim him via the waiver process, Marc Stein of reports (Twitter link). Murry, who was recently waived by the Jazz, appeared in 51 games for New York during the 2013/14 campaign, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 assist in 7.3 minutes per contest.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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