The Knicks will be looking for a point guard in free agency, but won’t consider Jeremy Lin or Ty Lawson, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. A source tells Berman the team isn’t impressed with Lin’s defense and thinks Lawson’s off-court problems, which include two DUI offenses, make him too much of a gamble. Mike Conley is considered the best free agent point guard on the market and will probably be the Knicks’ first target. Berman writes that Carmelo Anthony prefers Rajon Rondo, but many in the team’s front office believes he dominates the ball too much. Some other possibilities are Brandon Jennings, D.J. Augustin and Tyler Johnson.
There’s more this morning out of New York:
- New coach Jeff Hornacek, who was officially hired this week, said his three-year contract was timed to coincide with team president Phil Jackson’s deal, Berman writes in the same piece. “He had three years left, so he wanted to make it as mine,’’ Hornacek said. “Phil wants to bring winning basketball back to New York. I’m excited he brought me along to help do that.’’
- Another possible answer at point guard is Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead, Ian Begley posts on ESPN Now. Whitehead worked out for the Knicks Saturday and reportedly had an impressive showing. Jackson prefers tall points guards, and Whitehead qualifies at 6’5″, plus he grew up in the New York area, so the pressure of playing in the city shouldn’t affect him. The Knicks are hoping to acquire a draft pick, and Begley speculates that they may have to trade into the late first round to land Whitehead.
- Former Knick J.R. Smith, now in the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers, says he feels bad that Anthony is stuck in an unstable situation in New York, writes Fred Kerber of The New York Post. Hornacek will be Anthony’s fifth head coach in nearly seven seasons with the Knicks. “When he first got there, I’m sure he felt they were going to work toward something, which he did being the second team in the Eastern Conference at one point and then the drop-off,” said Smith, who was traded to Cleveland midway through the 2014/15 season. “I’m sure it was disappointing for him. But he’s a soldier. I’m sure he’ll get through it.”
- The development of Kristaps Porzingis will determine how successful Hornacek is in New York, contends Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Vaccaro says the new coach’s biggest challenge will be to ease Anthony into a second-fiddle role while building the team around Porzingis.