The dynamic between Arron Afflalo and Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis has been the subject of close scrutiny of late amid Rambis’ decision to use the shooting guard in a bench role and their odd disagreement over the basic issue of whether they had a conversation about it. The latest curious dispatch comes from Rambis, who suggested Sunday that Afflalo’s free agent stock benefits from playing as a reserve, and it’s a remark that hints at an assumption Afflalo will turn down his $8MM player option for next season, observes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Him coming off the bench adds nothing but value to him,” Rambis said. “Because whereas some teams may not be looking at him if he decides to opt out of his contract, because they might not have a guy in his position coming off the bench, well they start to go, OK, he’s got the right attitude to come off the bench. And now they can add some productivity for him. So I just think the more versatile the players are, the better they are around the league.”
See more on Afflalo amid items from the Atlantic Division:
- Nets radio broadcaster Chris Carrino’s comment Friday suggesting Brooklyn might have interest in Afflalo appears to have been speculative, but Afflalo’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, is friendly with Nets management and worked with Brooklyn on the Deron Williams and Joe Johnson buyouts within the past year, NetsDaily points out.
- Lance Thomas appears unlikely to return to action this season after suffering a sprained knee last month, Rambis said, but the Knicks coach has high praise for the soon-to-be free agent, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post. “He’s a huge asset for us,’’ Rambis said. “We miss him a lot — his voice, energy, enthusiasm. He almost embarrasses other guys when they’re not playing as hard as he does.’’
- Raptors D-League GM Dan Tolzman is pleased with the progress of Bruno Caboclo, who’s played 37 D-League games and five NBA games this season, as Doug Smith of the Toronto Star relays. Caboclo, the 20th pick in 2014, will reach the midpoint of his rookie scale contract at season’s end. “The fire that he’s now playing with is something you’d never see out of the guy before and he’s now building a little bit of confidence … he knows that he’s good enough and he’s getting closer and closer to being ready for the NBA level,” Tolzman said. “He’s still playing catch-up but the strides he made are so large from what it would have been had we not had this opportunity for him.”