Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo says his desire to be a starter will influence his decision regarding his player option for 2016/17 worth $8MM, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). “I still believe I’m one of the premier two guards in this league and part of being an elite two guard in this league is opportunity,” Afflalo said. “You have to be in a certain environment where you can excel and show what you can do and hopefully that contributes to winning. And I still believe I’m that player, so I’ll find the best opportunity for me, whether it’s in New York or anywhere else.” The dynamic between Afflalo and the team has been the subject of close scrutiny since interim coach Kurt Rambis‘ decision to use the shooting guard in a bench role and their odd disagreement over the basic issue of whether they had a conversation about it.
Here’s more from New York:
- Afflalo indicated that he’s looking for one more big contract in his career and reiterated that he views himself as a starter, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “I’ve been through so much in my career in terms of the opinions of how your game fits in certain situations and what can you do?” Afflalo told reporters. “What can you do outside of when you’re in a chance to put yourself in position, you make the move that’s necessary?“
- Veteran point guard Jose Calderon has no issue with accepting a bench role for the Knicks next season, Bondy notes in the same piece. “I’m a team player, and if it’s better for the team, its great, I got no problem with that,” Calderon said. “I know my role, I know my weaknesses. That’s not going to be a problem with me. The organization should not be thinking that they have to start Jose.” New York is instead reportedly thinking about using the stretch provision to part ways with Calderon this summer.
- Carmelo Anthony plans to be heard by the Knicks front office during his exit interview and wants to be involved in New York’s offseason decision-making process, Bondy writes in a separate piece. “My conversation with them is to be open and honest about what’s going on, about transparency, how we can make this situation better and what we’re going to do to make this situation better,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, nobody loves this feeling, nobody wants to lose. We work too hard as players to be in this situation right now. Even though we almost doubled our wins from last year, we made some strides in certain areas. But now we got to continue to build on that.”
- Anthony expects some clarity regarding the Knicks’ future when he sits down with team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills, Begley relays in a full-length piece. When asked what he hopes to garner from his discussions, Anthony said, “Just an understanding of kind of a plan, a plan of action of what they’re trying to do, what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to accomplish here. I don’t really have — I think everybody knows my questions that I have. So it’s just a matter of them kind of being transparent with me. We talk. We have an open dialogue, an open conversation, about how we all can get better at this situation moving forward, what I can do to kind of help and kind of fill the holes that we need to fill at this point.“
- The small forward also noted that he is well aware of the players who are hitting the free agent market this summer and the Knicks’ place in that market, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “Free agency is always going to be big for everybody,” Anthony said. “I looked at the list. I look at the list every day. Whether it’s for me or other teams, I want to see what other guys are thinking about as far as trying to better their team. Where we fit in the free agency market, those are things I pay close attention to.”