Arron Afflalo

Knicks To Sign Arron Afflalo

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The Knicks will sign Arron Afflalo to a two-year deal worth $16MM with a player option on the final season, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The agreement gives the Sam Goldfeder client slightly more in average annual value than he would have made had he picked up his $7.75MM player option with the Blazers.

The deal comes as no surprise, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on Monday identified the Knicks as the front-runners for the shooting guard who turns 30 in October, and Chris Mannix of SI.com reported Tuesday that Afflalo was open to a deal that allowed him to hit free agency again in a year or two. The Knicks were to meet with Afflalo today, and it sounds like they either met early this morning or reached agreement before having a sitdown.

New York will use part of its nearly $30MM in cap flexibility on the eight-year veteran, but plenty of room is left over to sign Greg Monroe to a max contract. Monroe is reportedly meeting with the Knicks and three other teams, including Portland.

Knicks Front-Runners For Arron Afflalo

WEDNESDAY, 4:24pm: The Knicks and Afflalo have a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets.

TUESDAY, 12:28pm: Afflalo is open to signing a short-term deal that allows him to become a free agent again in a year or two, and he may ultimately seek such an arrangement, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.

MONDAY, 2:03pm: The Knicks are the front-runners for Arron Afflalo, who opted out of his deal with the Blazers last week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). The same is true of the Knicks and Greg Monroe, though New York will take meetings with LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and others. Carmelo Anthony has put in a recruiting call to Afflalo and others, as ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported minutes earlier.

League sources who spoke with Wojnarowski estimate that Afflalo’s next deal will be for $36-38MM over three years. The Knicks have only about $31MM in guaranteed salaries for next season, not counting a $3,443,100 cap hold for Kristaps Porzingis and a $1,310,300 cap hold for Jerian Grant, the two players New York wound up with from the first round of Friday’s draft. That, combined with minimum-salary roster charges for open spots, would still likely leave about enough room against the cap, projected at $67.1MM, for a max deal for Monroe and a contract for Afflalo starting around $12MM a year.

Eastern Notes: Nets, Acy, Pistons

The Nets will be looking to add depth through free agency and trades and Thomas Robinson, Wesley Johnson and Sasha Kaun are players they will target, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post reports. Robinson could provide some rebounding and energy off the bench and Johnson would give them an athletic wing who can shoot 3-pointers, Bontemps continues. Both are unrestricted free agents. Kaun, a Russian center whose rights are owned by the Cavaliers, would be an ideal backup if they can re-sign Brook Lopez and work out a deal with Cleveland, Bontemps adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks have declined to extend the qualifying offer of $1.181MM to Quincy Acy, making the forward an unrestricted free agent, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. The Kings, Nuggets, Magic and Pelicans have expressed interest in Acy, a source told Spears (Twitter links).
  • DeMarre Carroll, Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris and Kosta Koufos are the free agents the Pistons will most likely court, Terry Foster of the Detroit News reports. The Pistons believe Carroll might be easier to sign than some other unrestricted free agents, Foster continues. Danny Green and Wesley Matthews are longshot possibilities to come to Detroit, Foster adds. The Knicks also want to be “in the mix” for Green, league sources told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). It’s unclear if Green has any interest in the Knicks, Begley adds.
  • Harris’ pricetag will be at least $10MM annually in the eyes of several league executives, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. One of those executives believes Harris’ value is in the $12-14MM range, Mannix adds. The Magic forward is a restricted free agent.

Aldridge To Meet With Lakers, Six Others

10:33pm: Aldridge is leaning toward signing with the Lakers, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

9:33pm: The Lakers will indeed be the first team to meet with Aldridge, followed by the Rockets, Spurs, Suns, Mavericks, Raptors and Knicks in that order, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. He does not need to meet with the Trail Blazers since he already knows their offer, Aldridge adds.

9:10pm: Coach Gregg Popovich and veteran stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will attend the Spurs’ meeting with Aldridge, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets.

8:35pm: The Lakers’ meeting with Aldridge will occur immediately after the free agency period begins at 12:01 AM Eastern Time on Wednesday, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

2:57pm: Aldridge will meet with the Raptors, too, reports Shams Charania of RealGM, and he’ll think about a visit with the Rockets, Charania adds. Toronto has max-level cap room following its trade of Greivis Vasquez to Milwaukee, but Houston would have to clear salary.

1:54pm: LaMarcus Aldridge is almost certain to leave the Blazers and will meet with the Knicks, Spurs, Mavs and Lakers, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. ESPN colleague Tim MacMahon first reported that Dallas would sit down with the big man. The Knicks are a long shot for him, just as is the case with DeAndre Jordan, according to Broussard.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that the Spurs and Lakers were in the lead for Aldridge, a client of Arn Tellem and Thad Foucher, shortly after Blazers GM Neil Olshey denied a report that Aldridge has already told the Blazers he’s leaving. Portland can offer Aldridge a five-year deal with 7.5% raises, somewhat better than the four years and 4.5% raises he can end up with elsewhere, though apparently that advantage may not be enough.

The Knicks, Lakers and Mavs should have plenty of cap room to chase Aldridge with a max offer that will likely start around $19MM a year. The Spurs are apparently confident they can find the same amount of room even if they re-sign Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

New York will also meet with Aldridge teammate and close friend Wesley Matthews, Broussard reports. Carmelo Anthony has reached out to Aldridge and Jordan as well as Greg Monroe and fellow Blazer free agent Arron Afflalo, sources tell Broussard.

Northwest Notes: Afflalo, Wolves, Thunder

The Thunder are reaching out to teams with the hope of unloading a contract to solidify their ability to re-sign Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler, both of whom are restricted free agents this summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. OKC has reportedly dealt Jeremy Lamb and his $3,034,356 salary for 2015/16 to the Hornets, so it’s unclear if further moves are in the works. The deal includes Matt Barnes and his $3.543MM salary for next season coming to Oklahoma City, though only $1MM of that amount is guaranteed unless he remains on the roster past July 1st, at which point the team would be on the hook for the entire amount. The Thunder aren’t expected to keep Barnes, though it wasn’t specified if a third team was involved, or if he would simply be released.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Blazers shouldn’t prioritize re-signing unrestricted free agent Arron Afflalo this offseason, opines Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Freeman notes that Afflalo and Portland were never a good match, with the swingman struggling to find his place and never looking completely comfortable in the Blazers’ system. Couple that with the late-season emergence of C.J. McCollum, and Portland re-signing Afflalo becomes less of a need, regardless of what transpires with fellow unrestricted free agent Wesley Matthews, Freeman concludes.
  • When asked what the Timberwolves would be targeting in the second round of the draft and in free agency this summer, coach/executive Flip Saunders said backcourt [depth], shooting and ball-handling, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press tweets. Saunders not mentioning a big man seemingly reinforces the opinion that the team will select Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall pick, Krawczynski adds.
  • The Timberwolves are expected to extend their lease on the Target Center with the city of Minneapolis through 2035, Charley Walters of The Pioneer Press relays (Twitter link).

Arron Afflalo Opts Out From Trail Blazers

JUNE 23RD: The deadline for Afflalo to opt in was Monday, and since that’s lapsed, he has officially opted out, The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman reports. Player options require players to say when they’re opting in, but they don’t have to give any notice if they’re opting out.

JUNE 21ST: Afflalo is expected to opt out, tweets David Aldridge of TNT.

MAY 7TH: It’s still too early to say definitively that Afflalo will opt out, sources tell The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, who writes in a roundtable report that examines the shooting guard’s brief time with the Blazers and whether the team should bring him back for next season.

MAY 1ST: Arron Afflalo intends to turn down a $7.75MM player option for next season and become a free agent this summer, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That’s even though a shoulder injury forced him to miss the initial two games of Portland’s first-round series against the Grizzlies and seemed to limit him the rest of the way. Afflalo went scoreless over about 29 minutes of play across the final two games of that series, which the Blazers lost 4-1. As the end of the regular season neared, he was reportedly ready to let his postseason performance dictate what he would do with the option, with the plan seemingly having been to opt in if he didn’t play well, so it appears the Sam Goldfeder client has changed course.

The Blazers gave up a first-round pick, among other assets, to acquire Afflalo from the Nuggets at the deadline, but it looks like yet another key member of their team will hit free agency. Fellow shooting guard Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez are also among the Blazers who can choose to leave this summer. GM Neil Olshey said Thursday that he has contingency plans for each in case they don’t re-sign, and it seems increasingly likely that he’ll have to employ his plan for Aldridge, who no longer appears the safe bet to re-sign that he once was. Portland only has about $23MM in guaranteed salary for next season against a projected $67.1MM cap, so the Blazers have no shortage of flexibility.

Portland has Afflalo’s Bird rights, though unless the Blazers are willing to insert a fifth year in the 29-year-old’s next contract, that will matter little, since he’s not a contender for a maximum salary. The Blazers can offer 7.5% raises instead of 4.5% raises, but another team can offset that with a higher salary in the first year of the deal. Afflalo was the Magic’s leading scorer in 2013/14 with 18.2 points per game, but his scoring was off significantly, from 18.2 points per game last year to 13.3 this season, despite a much less profound dip in the number of his field goal attempts. He was better defensively this season, as Basketball-Reference’s Defensive Box Plus/Minus shows, but he had a woeful 8.2 PER in his 25 regular season games as a Blazer.

Western Notes: Jokic, Afflalo, Aminu

Mavs forward Al-Farouq Aminu has indicated that he’ll turn down his minimum-salary player option with the team for next season, but both sides have indicated a willingness to rekindle their relationship next season. When discussing his feelings regarding returning to Dallas in a radio interview with KRLD-FM 105.3 (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News), Aminu said, “People are still playing now, so it’s hard to tell, but I really want to. … Nobody likes moving and different things like that. I’ve been in L.A. then I went to New Orleans and now here. It’s always better to stay where you’re at but things happen. But it would be nice.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Western Conference:

  • When asked what positives he would pitch about playing in Dallas to prospective free agent targets, Aminu said, “I guess it’s what I went through last year when I was coming to play here. It’s a great city. It doesn’t get that cold, which is nice. Also, the practice facility is in the arena is close, as well as the airport, so it’s not a lot of long hours you have to drive back and forth to places. It does become a drag. You’re going to play with great players. Obviously you’re probably going to win and then you’re going to have a chance at a championship.
  • Nuggets 2014 second-round pick Nikola Jokic is seeking a long-term deal from Denver or else he’ll remain overseas, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (via Twitter). There are reports that the Nuggets intend to ink the big man prior to the NBA summer league commencing.
  • Blazers guard Arron Afflalo has to make a decision this offseason regarding his player option worth $7,750,000, and Sean Meagher of The Oregonian examines the pros and cons of the 29-year-old returning to Rip City in 2015/16.
  • Sam Amick of USA Today looks at the path Warriors star Stephen Curry has taken from being the No. 7 overall selection in the 2009 NBA draft to winning the league’s MVP award this season.

And-Ones: Drummond, Price, Afflalo

Pistons owner Tom Gores gave Andre Drummond a vote of confidence during tonight’s contest against the Knicks, calling the big man a “max player,” David Mayo of MLive.com relays (Twitter link). Drummond, who is set to earn $3,272,091 next season, is eligible to ink an extension this summer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the Pistons will offer him one, since the team would have the right to match any offer sheet the big man were to sign as a restricted free agent in 2016. Detroit could be wary of taking that chance given how the team is likely to lose Greg Monroe, who reportedly declined to ink an extension of his own with the club, as a free agent this summer, though that is merely my speculation.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Arron Afflalo will let his playoff performance dictate whether he picks up his $7.75MM player option for next season with the Blazers, as a source close to the swingman tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops that he’ll opt out if he plays well.
  • One executive who spoke with Scotto for the same piece pegged Danny Green‘s value at $6MM a year. The Spurs swingman is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Ronnie Price indicated that his desire is to remain with the Lakers, even if it is as a third-string guard, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. “I enjoyed being a voice in the locker room. I enjoyed being able to help younger guys. I helped great veterans that can help me. I’d be selfish not to extend that knowledge to players that are younger than me,” Price said. “Of course you want to play. That’s why we do what we do. You want to play. You never know what’s ahead. Whatever role is my role, I’ll embrace it whether it’s being here or the third guard.” Price will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • Suns forward Markieff Morris believes that the team needs to add players with more experience to its roster, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic tweets. “Veteran leadership for sure,” Morris responded when asked about Phoenix’s needs. “We have to have more older guys around so we can keep this thing intact.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Afflalo, McAdoo, Abrines

An MRI performed on Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo confirmed that he has suffered a right shoulder strain, the team announced. Afflalo is expected to be out of action for one to two weeks, and if that timetable holds, the injury will likely cause the guard to miss Portland’s opening round playoff series. With the team already without Wesley Matthews, who is out for the season with a torn left Achilles, losing Afflalo puts a major dent in the team’s postseason hopes. In 25 games for the Blazers since being acquired from Denver the 29-year-old has averaged 10.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors have assigned James Michael McAdoo to the Santa Cruz Warriors, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. McAdoo has appeared in 33 games for Santa Cruz this season, averaging 19.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 32.8 minutes per contest.
  • Alex Abrines, a draft-and-stash prospect for the Thunder, in an interview with Gigantes.com (translation by HoopsHype.com) said that he isn’t ready to make the jump to the NBA just yet. The 21-year-old swingman was the No. 32 overall selection in the 2013 NBA draft, and he is under contract with Barcelona through 2016.
  • Timberwolves‘ rookies Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins have learned much about what it takes to make it through the rigors of an NBA season, and the pair hope to take the momentum that they have gained into the summer to continue their development as players, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes.

Western Notes: Afflalo, Lee, Robinson

Arron Afflalo should fill a lot of the void for the Blazers that was created after soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Wesley Matthews‘s season ending injury, Joe Freeman of the Oregonian writes. Afflalo, who has a player option for next season worth $7.75MM, was acquired in a February deal. His skill-set and unselfishness make him a solid replacement for Matthews, Freeman wrote. “I’ll be me,” Afflalo said. “Even before Wes went down, the goal wasn’t for me to come in here and try to be somebody that I wasn’t. Obviously adjusting to a new role is difficult and takes time, but the way I lead, be it vocally or by example, I’ll continue to do that.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Clippers continue to show interest in free agent guard Nate Robinson, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link). It was first reported back in January that the Clippers were Robinson’s preferred team, and Los Angeles possessed some level of interest in the diminutive guard.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens says that the Spurs have thrived, in part, because of their roster continuity, according to Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com (Twitter links). “Obviously, there’s going to continue to be some change but I think a lot of these guys are going to be in Celtics uniforms for a while coming, and that’s encouraging,” the coach said.
  • The Jazz had serious discussions with the Warriors at the trade deadline about acquiring David Lee, according to Spencer Checketts of 1280 The Zone (via Twitter).  The Warriors were said to be willing to trade Lee, but they were looking to get assets of value in return.
  • David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John Stockton, in his return to the D-League’s Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s affiliate, scored a season-high 44 points in what Erika Marmolejo of NBA.com called a “statement game.” The Kings previously decided against signing Stockton to another 10-day contract. Stockton was unable to find decent time behind starting guard Ray McCallum and newly acquired veteran Andre Miller, Marmolejo notes.

Zach Links and Eddie Scarito contributed to this post