New York Knicks

Amar’e Stoudemire Announces Retirement

NBA: Preseason-Charlotte Hornets at Miami HeatAmar’e Stoudemire has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement today after signing a ceremonial contract with the Knicks, the team announced in a press release (Twitter link).

“I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year’s acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart has always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick.”

The 33-year-old was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, entering the league fresh out of high school. He appeared in 846 regular season games in his career, averaging 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per contest and shooting .537/.236/.761 from the field. Stoudemire likely expected to play more than he did with Miami in 2015/16, appearing in just 52 games and logging 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per outing on the campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Ainge, Kuzminskas, George, Scola

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge was able to quickly rebuild the Celtics by maximizing the return for his stars when the team got too old, writes Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. Ainge sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets for a package of draft picks and traded Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks instead of letting him become a free agent. This summer’s signing of Al Horford accelerated the building process, and Hamilton believes it makes the Celtics legitimate contenders in the East. Boston is also set up well for the future, with only Horford, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas under contract for 2017/18. Even if the Celtics pick up their team option on Marcus Smart, they may have more than $50MM to spend on free agents next July.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

  • Mindaugas Kuzminskas provides enough offense to become a rotation player for the Knicks, according to Trevor Magnotti of Upside and Motor. The 6’9″ Lithuanian forward signed with New York earlier this month after playing in Europe for the past five seasons. Knicks president Phil Jackson said the team wanted to find a mobile small forward who could shoot from distance. That describes Kuzminskas, who gets most of his points on cuts to the basket, but is also a streaky shooter from 3-point range. However, there are questions about his defense, which Magnotti warns might limit his playing time until he proves he can contribute on that end.
  • Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski says Paul George is playing the best basketball of his life two years after the broken leg that had many concerned about his career, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. The Pacers‘ star, who had 18 points in Friday’s exhibition win over Argentina, said he had to put that scary incident out of his mind to be effective again. “It’s behind me,” George said. “I don’t play the game expecting to get hurt. I know it’s a possibility. But there’s no thought in my mind I’m going to get hurt. I play this game because I love it. I just play hard.”
  • Newly signed Nets power forward Luis Scola will be Argentina’s flag bearer at the Summer Olympics, according to the Associated Press. “I had the chance to play four Olympics, to play 10 years in the NBA, to carry the flag for my country, win an Olympic gold medal,’’ Scola said. “I mean, different things that happened along those days that I couldn’t even dream of those because it would be too wild to dream.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Knicks, Raptors

DeMarcus Cousins said he has enjoyed being around Carmelo Anthony with Team USA because the Knicks star has experience playing on both winning and losing teams in an interview posted on the Sacramento Bee’s website. The comment is interesting and while Knicks fans may read it and envision Cousins in blue and orange, there may not be much to put stock into. The Kings are refusing to listen to trade offers for the talented big man, who has two seasons remaining on his contract.

It’s well-known that I have been a Melo fan my whole life so just to work with him on a daily, I think it is going to help me be a better player.” Cousins said. “I‘m excited for it.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • DeMar DeRozan has epitomized the idea of staying loyal by never forgetting his Compton roots in California and choosing to remain with the Raptors this summer, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in a worthwhile profile of the Toronto star. DeRozan told Medina that the reason he chose to re-sign with the Raptors and not sign with the Lakers had nothing to do with the latter’s recent shortcomings. “When you have an opportunity to go home, that’s something that certainly would cross your mind. But it wasn’t anything,” DeRozan said. “After I finish playing, I’m pretty sure I’ll live in L.A. But I just wanted to do something special and leave a legacy of my own in Toronto.”
  • With a need for shooting, the Celtics could conceivably make a bid for free agent J.R. Smith after failing to add more offense via free agency, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Lin, Embiid

The Celtics have put major trade talks on hold after today’s flurry of signings, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. So far, the quest to obtain Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin has made little progress, with the Thunder and Clippers wanting more than Boston is willing to surrender. Instead, the Celtics wrapped up a few smaller moves today, agreeing to terms with free agent swingman Gerald Green and center Tyler Zeller, in addition to deals with second-round picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil. The Celtics now have 18 players under contract, three over the roster limit. Bulpett expects Bentil to battle in training camp with R.J. Hunter, James Young and John Holland for the last roster spot, with Hunter as the early favorite. That would mean the end in Boston for Young, a 2014 first-round pick whose $1,825,200 salary might be included in any Celtics trade.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • A source confirms, “There is no big deal right now” for the Celticstweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.
  • New Nets point guard Jeremy Lin moved around the league so much because he has yet to find the “perfect” situation, relays Steve Serby of The New York Post. Lin recently signed a three-year deal with Brooklyn, which will be the sixth franchise for the six-year veteran. “And because I’ve been in situations I didn’t want to be in,” Lin explained, “I’ve created and negotiated in terms of free agency a lot of shorter deals that give me the flexibility to leave if I’m not happy with the way things are going.” In a wide-ranging interview, Lin expresses excitement about the future of the Nets and the chance to once again play for new head coach Kenny Atkinson, who tutored Lin when he was an assistant with the Knicks.
  • Defeating Justin Bieber in an arm-wrestling match may not prove that the SixersJoel Embiid is ready for the NBA, but that was just part of an active weekend in Los Angeles, writes Rob Tornoe of The Philadelphia Inquirer. More significant was a video of Embiid working out on the court that was posted online this morning by his trainer, Drew Hanlen. Embiid, who sat out his first two NBA seasons with injuries, was cleared for five-on-five play last month.

Knicks Among Three Teams Chasing Randle

  • The Knicks are one of three teams pursuing point guard Chasson Randle, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Randle, who went undrafted in 2015, made a favorable impression on the Knicks’ brass while playing for their summer-league team. He could be New York’s No. 3 point guard behind Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings but the club is out of cap space and can only offer the rookie minimum of $565K, Berman adds.

Rose: Knicks Are Viewed Alongside Warriors As "Super Team"

  • Expectations for the new-look Knicks are high, Derrick Rose admits in a conversation with Lang Whitaker of NBA.com. Curiously, the veteran point guard believes his team is viewed in NBA circles as a top-tier contender alongside the Warriors, telling Whitaker, “They’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams.”

Knicks Interested In Greg Monroe?

The Knicks are among the teams with an interest in acquiring Bucks center Greg Monroe, who reportedly remains available, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reports, citing league sources. The Knicks may need a third team to help facilitate a trade for Monroe and would almost certainly have to wait until December to make a deal, Amico adds.

The Bucks-Monroe relationship has not worked out the way many envisioned it would. After one season, the Bucks are reportedly “anxious to move on from him.”  Monroe has two seasons remaining on his current deal. He can choose to opt out next summer. In 79 games for the Bucks, Monroe notched averages of 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.3 minutes per contest. The Celtics emerged as a suitor for Monroe last month, but talks are reportedly no longer ongoing.

The Knicks would be a logical fit, depending on who New York would move, of course. The Knicks are set to feature Joakim Noah at center and to bet on the former Bulls player staying healthy would be risky. Beyond Noah and Kristaps Porzingis at power forward, it can be argued that New York lacks depth in the frontcourt.

Still, having undergone a significant roster overhaul this offseason, the Knicks don’t have many trade chips currently available to match Monroe’s $17MM+ salary — free agents who recently signed with the club aren’t eligible to be dealt until at least December.

Pelicans Sign Langston Galloway

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Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 21st: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 6th, 10:24pm: The pact will pay Galloway $5MM per season, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets.

4:35pm: Galloway received a two-year deal from New Orleans, with a player option for the second season, according to Scotto (Twitter link).

3:46pm: Point guard Langston Galloway will sign with the Pelicans, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Contract details are still being finalized, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Galloway became an unrestricted free agent on Monday when the Knicks rescinded their $2.725MM qualifying offer. Galloway became expendable when New York reached a one-year, $5MM deal with free agent guard Brandon Jennings. Begley notes that New York held Early Bird Rights on Galloway and could have offered up to $6.1MM in the first year of a new deal (Twitter link).

The 24-year-old was a regular part of the Knicks’ rotation this season, his second in the NBA. Galloway appeared in all 82 games, averaging 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 24.8 minutes while shooting 39.3% from the field and 34.4% from 3-point range.

He will help offset the loss of Eric Gordon, who signed Saturday with the Rockets. Galloway joins Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore as free agent acquisitions for New Orleans this offseason.

Anthony: Wade Could Have Been A Knick

Carmelo Anthony believes bad timing is all that prevented Dwyane Wade from joining him on the Knicks, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Wade sent shock waves throughout the NBA earlier this month when he agreed to leave the Heat and sign with the Bulls. Anthony says if Wade’s situation had become apparent earlier, the Knicks could have freed up the cap room to fit him on the roster. “There was a chance, definitely a chance,’’ Anthony said. “We would’ve had to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the 25th hour though. There was a chance. If it was two days earlier, we probably would’ve had Dwyane Wade.”

After signing free agent center Joakim Noah for $72MM over four years, New York had just enough cap room left to offer Wade the contract he wanted. However, it would have meant not signing Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings and renouncing the rights to Lance Thomas. Looking ahead, Anthony thinks the Knicks have the pieces in place to be major players in the 2017 free agent market.

Durant Explains Why He Didn't Meet With Knicks

  • Kevin Durant said it was his call not to meet with the Knicks even though he held his free agency meetings in the Hamptons, Marc Berman of The New York Post passes along. “Everything was my call,’’ Durant said. “The whole process was my call. I respect everybody in this league and every organization. But I couldn’t meet with everybody.” 
  • There was speculation that Carmelo Anthony would have asked for trade if the Knicks struck out in free agency, but after the team made major moves this offseason, Anthony appears happy with New York, Berman writes in a separate piece. The Knicks traded for Derrick Rose and they signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings to form a team that should easily compete for a playoff birth.

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