The Knicks are hoping that the roster changes they made this offseason will alleviate some of the pressure off of Carmelo Anthony and don’t want the forward feeling like he needs to “do everything” in order to be successful, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays. “A lot of times he has a penchant to take the ball himself up the court and slow the play down, the development down, by pushing the ball up the court himself or taking the inbound pass,” team president Phil Jackson told the media. “Those are some of the small things that we asked to look at and maybe we could change. With the outstanding guard corps that we have — Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, guys who can really push the ball at a certain level — I think he’s going to be much more comfortable allowing them to do what they’re best at.”
“We’re hoping that the level of talent that is on the team will lead to him not thinking, ‘I have to do everything,’” coach Jeff Hornacek added. “He’s a great passer. He’s made great passes in some of these games that we’ve seen. I think when he has that trust in his teammates, he’s going to make those passes, and we’re going to get easy buckets.”
Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:
- Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who can opt out of his current deal after the 2016/17 campaign is complete, told members of the media that he won’t be discussing free agency until the season is over, Eric Koreen relays (via Twitter). Lowry will assuredly command more on the open market than the $12MM he is owed for 2017/18.
- Despite the Sixers bringing 20 players into training camp, Brandon Paul has a legitimate shot to make the opening night roster, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders opines. The scribe notes that Paul’s contract has more guaranteed money included than the deals of Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, Jerami Grant, T.J. McConnell, Shawn Long and James Webb. Discussing why he chose to sign with Philly, Paul told Kennedy, “I just felt like, all around, it was the best decision for me to come in and compete. They obviously have a young roster and I kind of bring in a little bit of maturity to that roster. Obviously, I’m relatively young as well. But around those guys, I’m kind of the older one and I’m a little more seasoned because I played overseas and in the D-League. I think I can bring a little bit of toughness and maturity to the roster.”
- Neither the Raptors nor DeMar DeRozan wanted the player to end up anywhere other than Toronto, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, who details the free agent process the two parties went through in reaching a five-year agreement this summer.