The New York Knicks are trying to avoid a dumpster fire from taking place as the team continues to try and recruit top free agents to the Big Apple. The pressure is on team president Phil Jackson to really deliver during the next few days as Knicks' fans do not intend on having a repeat of the 2014-15 season. While there are still some marquee players eyeing New York, will the Knicks be forced into a different plan?
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Greg Monroe is likely headed to the Knicks. LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol and Kevin Love are no longer options as Tyson Chandler was also swept off the market to the Phoenix Suns. Begley reports that the Knicks were one of the first teams to meet with Monroe as they place a multi-year deal at his feet. The Knicks are counting on Monroe. The team needs the center to anchor their defense as doubt remains in whether or not Kristaps Porzingis is truly ready to start.
A max deal for Monroe would equal out to around $15 million per season. That would leave the Knicks with around $12 million to spend in free agency. That would make things difficult for other moves. Begley reports the Knicks next move is to sign a shooting guard to help with scoring. Danny Green re-signed with the Spurs leaving Wesley Matthews or Arron Afflalo as options. It was reported by ESPN that Carmelo Anthony already called Afflalo about a deal. That contract was finalized on Wednesday according to ESPN.
Dwyane Wade could also end up being an option, but the Miami Heat do not intend to let that happen. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, Wade is toying with leaving the Heat and the Knicks would be interest. The issue is that Wade wants a contract similar to what Kobe Bryant signed which would give him close to $20 million per season. New York cannot afford that and neither can anyone else.
The Knicks have backup plans should Monroe surprise people and head elsewhere. According to RealGM.com, Robin Lopez is a good backup to Monroe. The Portland Trail Blazers traded for Mason Plumlee which means Lopez is out. At 27, the center could be a solid piece to the defense in New York. David West could also be a big help. After opting out of his deal with the Indiana Pacers, New York could chase him after missing out on both Aldridge and Love.
"I'm waiting for my phone to go off right now so I can hear some good news, but it's a waiting game," Anthony said, via MSG's Tina Cervasio. "You see guys are signing up early right now and I think this free agency will be done in a short time."