After a whirlwind Day 1 of NBA free agency, the New Yok Knicks finally made a move on Thursday morning. With their first signing of the summer, Phil Jackson and Co. could be ready to make a few more signings in the coming days.
Arron Afflalo has agreed to a two-year contract worth $16 million with the Knicks. The second year is a player option, according to ESPN. Following their worst season in franchise history, the Knicks are likely to fill out their roster with players of Afflalo’s ilk, unable to sign any of the top free agents on the market.
The shooting guard certainly isn’t a franchise-changing player, and he won’t make the Knicks a contender. He wasn’t very efficient last season, and he saw his scoring average drop 5.9 points from the previous year. But the deal is a bargain for New York, considering the contracts that were handed out on Wednesday.
With the salary cap expected to explode over the next two years, players are getting contracts that they might never have gotten a year or two ago. DeMarre Carroll signed a four-year contract worth $60 million, and Khris Middleton will be paid $70 million over five years.
Knicks still have about $19 million in cap space after the Afflalo agreement, enough to make competitive offers to top big men on the market
â€” Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 2, 2015
If the Afflalo signing is any indication, Greg Monroe could also be on his way to New York. Before the start of free agency, the Knicks were believed to be the favorites to sign both players. Now that Afflalo has agreed to play for the Knicks, the Detroit Pistons’ big man could be next.
Monroe met with the Knicks on Wednesday, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as potential destinations for him, as well. Monroe is a good scorer in the paint, averaging 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds last year.
If New York can’t sign Monroe, Robin Lopez could fill New York’s need for a big man. The Knicks met with Lopez on Wednesday night, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks could also be in the mix for him.
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan are the premiere big men on the market, but it would be a surprise to see either one land with the Knicks. New York and Aldridge are scheduled to meet on Thursday, but the three Texas teams are the frontrunners to sign the All-Star. New York reportedly has a meeting with Jordan, planning to offer him the chance to be their No.2 scoring option, but he’s much more likely to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Other players that the Knicks reportedly have interest in include Patrick Beverley K.J McDaniels, Derrick Williams and Landry Fields.