Despite Carmelo Anthony‘s plea for continuity, the Knicks could be looking at another offseason of change, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “I would love to see guys come back and be together for another year and establish something we already created,” Anthony said after Friday’s game. But Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams both have opt-out clauses and could test the free agent market. Afflalo had a public dispute with interim coach Kurt Rambis after losing his starting role and seems likely to turn to down his $8MM option. Williams has a $4.598MM option, but could be aiming for a raise after a productive season. Also headed toward free agency are Lance Thomas, Langston Galloway and Kevin Seraphin.
The Knicks are expected to be major players in the free agent market, particularly with an eye toward improving their backcourt, and Berman mentions Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan as a possible target. “If you have the opportunity to make additions in free agency, you should take advantage of that,’’ Anthony said. “That’s why you have salary cap money in the offseason.”
There’s more news out of New York:
- Center Robin Lopez, one of the team’s free agent additions last summer, has excelled in the triangle offense, Berman writes in a separate story. Lopez is averaging 10.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game after signing a four-year deal worth about $55MM. After a slow start in New York, he began to adapt quickly after Rambis replaced coach Derek Fisher in February. “To see him blossom, to see what he’s done, he’s a smart basketball player, high basketball IQ,’’ Rambis said. “We’re encouraging him to do a lot offensively. In the past he wasn’t asked to do those things. He just had to gain confidence and his teammates had to gain confidence in him.’’
- Fisher was fired partly because he wanted to make adjustments to the triangle, tweets Frank Isola of The New York Daily News.
- Anthony’s future in New York will overshadow the Knicks’ offseason, according to Keith P. Smith of RealGM. Anthony is under contract for three more seasons, but a no-trade clause gives him some say in his future. If Anthony decides he wants out of New York, Smith said the team will start rebuilding around Kristaps Porzingis. If Anthony stays with the Knicks, team president Phil Jackson will try to create a contender as quickly as possible.