On Wednesday, we learned that the Knicks are in negotiations to retain Kurt Rambis as an assistant on new head coach Jeff Hornacek‘s staff, and we passed along the names of several free agent targets viewed as “realistic” for the team, including a handful of veterans who are working out at a Knicks mini-camp. We’ve got a few more items out of New York to round up today, all courtesy of Ian Begley of ESPN.com, whose latest piece is chock-full of interesting tidbits. Let’s dive right in…
- Asked which position the Knicks will prioritize this offseason, general manager Steve Mills provided an unsurprising reply. “It’s clear we need a lead guard, someone that can really carry the load, day in and day out,” Mills said during an MSG Network program. “That’s something that I think is one of our biggest needs.”
- According to Begley, Arron Afflalo has yet to make a decision on his $8MM player option for 2016/17, but the expectation is that the veteran guard will opt out, potentially leaving the Knicks even more short-handed in the backcourt.
- Begley hears that Jordan Clarkson has fans within the Knicks organization, but Clarkson will be a restricted free agent this summer, and appears likely to stay with the Lakers.
- Mills indicated that New York hopes to sign 2015 second-round pick Willy Hernangomez this offseason. “We won’t be able to do anything until July 1 but we’re in conversations about that,” the GM said.
- We’ve heard previously that the Knicks plan to acquire a draft pick, and Begley notes that the team has been working out prospects, emphasizing the triangle offense in those sessions.
- Mills, on the possibility of getting involved in the draft: “Teams have multiple picks, so some of those teams are going to be interested in moving their picks. A lot is going to depend on who is there in the draft that we really like. We have a feel for if there are any players that we really like that we think can impact this team and then we’ll go out and aggressively get a pick if we think something’s there. But we also have to balance the number of young guys on the roster versus veterans that we may be able to bring in through free agency or trade. So that’s a balance that we’re constantly looking at.”
- Mills added the Knicks expect to have “a pool of 30 or 40 players” that they’ll look at in free agency, with the intention of adding at least a couple free agents from that group. “The most important thing is to understand who the guys are that you have a really good chance of getting so that you’re not chasing the guys that you really don’t have a chance,” Mills said.