The New York Knicks are expected to be active in free agency this summer and players like Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan, David West, Rajon Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Brook Lopez and Paul Millsap could be potential targets on the market and this comes as Carmelo Anthony is reportedly upset about Phil Jackson's draft selection of Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks won just 17 games this past season, but they ended up with the fourth overall pick in the draft lottery, pushing them away from players like Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell. Jackson went with Porzingis at number four and he is considered a project player that may need some time to develop. The pick was booed by fans and according to media reports, Carmelo Anthony was "unhappy" with the selection. The Knicks also added Jerian Grant in a trade in the first round.
It's definitely too early to call Porzingis a bust without having seen him play in the NBA at all, but most scouts he agree he will not be a primary piece this season. With that in mind and with Anthony's hope that the team can contend fast, many in the NBA see the Knicks being aggressive in free agency over the next two summers. The Knicks could have a projected $25 million to spend this summer and Frank Isola at the NY Daily News reports that Greg Monroe is likely the top target for the Knicks.
According to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, Monroe is already looking to set up meeting in free agency and he is setting one with the Knicks. Zwerling called the Knicks a "strong candidate" for Monroe and this comes after Frank Isola reported earlier in the year that Monroe to the Knicks is "as close to done" as a deal can be at this point in the offseason. Monroe is a top target for the Knicks, but no one should be considered a slam dunk for New York after the season they just had. Monroe reportedly will meet with eastern and western conference teams and according to Vincent Ellis, Monroe so far has not set a meeting with the Pistons.
Stan Van Gundy said that that the team is planning to try and re-sign Monroe and Reggie Jackson, but the Pistons have not been good in recent years and Monroe could consider leaving. Monroe had the chance to sign an extension last year when he was a restricted free agent, but he bet on himself heading into unrestricted free agency and he ended up having a career season. Monroe comes in after averaging 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds this season and that should give him a long term contract.
Anthony later came out on social media and wrote that he was okay with the Porzingis pick and that he supports the Knicks direction when it comes to building a team. Either way the Knicks will have to be aggressive in free agency if they want any chance at contending, even if Porzingis can contribute as a rookie. The team could have traded the pick or went with Justise Winslow, but Jackson and the Knicks front office felt Porzingis was the best value at the spot.