The Knicks cited the presence of Kristaps Porzingis when they let LaMarcus Aldridge know they wanted him to play center, an idea that nixed the scheduled meeting between New York and the marquee free agent, as Aldridge said Tuesday, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
“If they’re going to tell me that I have to play center and I don’t want to play center, then of course it’s mutual after that. But before that I was excited to meet with them. I was interested,” Aldridge said. “But they wanted to have their draft pick play and I get it.”
Aldridge also said he spoke with other players to see if they would have interest in joining him if he were to sign with the Knicks, adding that he also chatted with Carmelo Anthony before the Knicks idea went poof, as Bondy relays. Here’s more on the blue-and-orange:
- Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday praised the additions of Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, Derrick Williams and Porzingis but didn’t mention No. 19 overall pick Jerian Grant, for whom the Knicks traded Tim Hardaway Jr., notes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman reported in June that Anthony was more upset about losing Hardaway than with the team’s decision to draft Porzingis. However, Anthony strongly denied Tuesday that he was upset with team president Phil Jackson‘s offseason moves.
- Before his Tuesday remarks, Anthony took to Instagram to defend the Knicks and make it clear that he has no intention of demanding a trade, as had been speculated, observes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. In one comment, Anthony responded to a fan by saying in part, “You are stuck with me buddy.”
- Porzingis might have indirectly turned Aldridge away from the Knicks, but another free agent who jumped from the Trail Blazers to New York is impressed with this year’s No. 4 overall pick. “He’s good,” Arron Afflalo said, as Jonah Ballow of Knicks.com relays. “He’s obviously got a lot of talent, some God-given gifts being that tall and that athletic. What I love most about him was his mentality and his humbleness. I really feel like he wants to get better, he wants to be the best player he can be and with that mentality and those tools, it’s just a matter of time.”