Knicks Rumors: Free Agents, O’Quinn, Anthony

This year’s top free agents had no interest in the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman reports that team president Phil Jackson canceled a meeting last week with LaMarcus Aldridge — not the other way around, as widely reported — after he was informed that Aldridge wouldn’t be signing with New York. With roughly $28MM in cap space heading into free agency, the Knicks wound up with Robin LopezDerrick Williams, Arron Afflalo and Kyle O’Quinn, but didn’t come close to landing a star. Berman notes that New York still has a $2.814MM room exception available and has inquired about Caron Butler and Willie Green. The team is hoping to keep Jason Smith and Alexey Shved, but that may not happen if they get offers from other teams that exceed the room exception. Jackson also would like to re-sign Louis Amundson and Lance Thomas for the veterans’ minimum, according to Berman.

There’s more this morning from the Big Apple:

  • O’Quinn, whom the Knicks are obtaining through a sign-and-trade with the Magic, should bring some needed toughness, Berman writes in a separate story. O’Quinn’s numbers in Orlando weren’t impressive — averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 51 games — but Berman believes he may contend for the starting power forward slot in New York. “He’s a very underrated player, solid,” said Tobias Harris, O’Quinn’s former teammate. “He’s a tough player who doesn’t back down, good individual off the court. He is a very good pickup for the Knicks.”
  • O’Quinn’s passing abilities could be a good fit in the triangle offense, according to Ian Begley of Begley said the Knicks’ latest free agent addition came at a “reasonable” price of $16MM over four years and could be a major bargain when the salary cap soars next summer. He adds that New York is hoping to keep Langston Galloway, who has a partially guaranteed contract, on its roster for next season. Galloway, due to make more than $845K next year, is already guaranteed $220K and will receive $440K if he is waived after September 15th [salary guarantee dates]. Ricky Ledo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo also have a shot at earning roster spots.
  • The Knicks’ free agent failings make Carmelo Anthony more important to the franchise than ever, writes Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. New York needs Anthony to play at an All-Star level so it will be more attractive to free agents like Kevin Durant next summer.
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