The New York Knicks are preparing for the upcoming season and news and rumors have been coming out.
Check out the latest buzz below.
Anthony to Primarily Play Small Forward
Carmelo Anthony has been playing power forward a lot for the past two seasons but will play primarily at small forward in the upcoming season.
“We got too many,” Anthony said of power forwards on the roster. “I don’t need to go down there and battle. For what?”
“If it comes down to it, I’ll go back there. But I doubt it. They’re going to move me. We’re pretty packed at four and five positions,” he added, reported ESPN.
“I was always a small forward,” Anthony added. “Coach K [USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski] made me a power forward.”
Coach Derek Fisher says that most of the players will be playing multiple positions within the triangle offense.
“Our wing players do the same things on both sides of the floor,” Fisher said.
“So it just depends on what’s ultimately best for the team … We like the big guys on our roster right now, so we at least want to give them an opportunity. But we’ll see how it goes over these next couple weeks.”
Jackson Sits in on Practice
New Knicks president Phil Jackson sat in on practice recently with general manager Steve Mills, but made sure to stay out of the way.
“I think they did a good job, including their staff. The guys had their voice. The players are attentive and enthusiastic,” Jackson told the New York Daily News. “When you’re a coach and you start two-a-days, you’re butt and your legs give out. Doing what I do, you have to sit there for a couple of hours and attentively you try and stay in tune with what’s going on out there.
“There are times you want to get up and you want to say something and you resist. Let them feel their way out there.”
Meanwhile, players are praising new coach Derek Fisher, who is implementing the triangle offense that Jackson pioneered.
“It sort of seems like he’s done it before,” Iman Shumpert said.
“I didn’t think he’d be that good off the bat. But he speaks as if he’s been coaching for years.”
The practices at West Point featured discipline and a back-to-the-basics mindset, including throwing chest passes.
“It’s unbelievable how many small things we’ve been going over,” J. R. Smith told the New York Times. “It’s all stuff we’ve heard. It’s just stuff we haven’t done in so long.”
“It doesn’t take long to have this atmosphere permeate and become a part of who you are,” said Fisher.
The schedule included sharing lunch with cadets. Center Jason Smith said watching the 4,400 cadets eat lunch in 20 minutes was incredible.
Fisher noted that the team’s practice that afternoon was particularly sharp.
Shumpert said that the focus on the fundamentals, including two-man passing drills, was useful.
“When we start playing, those passes feel a lot crisper when you’re throwing them,” he said. “You’re more comfortable because you’ve worked at it for 10 to 15 minutes.”
Stoudemire, Bargnani Trade?
Trade talks involving Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani have picked up again.
The Sheridan Hoops blog says that both players will be shopped around.
“After making his initial moves, Jackson will continue building a championship roster around Anthony,” it said.
“With Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani in the final year of their contracts, expect both players to be shopped–but only as cap clearing pieces in return for a star from a rebuilding team.”
The obvious star would be Rajon Rondo, who has been linked to the Knicks.
Bleacher Report recently said that the Boston Celtics and Rondo will need to part ways, and that top destinations include New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
“The New York Knicks and the sudden cap flexibility they’ll have in 2015 are one possibility,” it said.
“Back in July 2013, the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reported that, ‘[Carmelo] Anthony told friends after the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Nets, he figured the Knicks would make a play for point guard for Rajon Rondo. Anthony believes Rondo would be the perfect piece and would be super motivated in New York to attempt to knock off Garnett and Pierce,'” it noted.
“While there are three seasons (including the 2014-15 campaign) remaining on point guard Jose Calderon’s contract, the Knicks remain an intriguing destination for Rondo. With contracts belonging to Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani expiring next summer, new team president Phil Jackson will finally have the resources to attract Rondo and likely others. Rondo would arguably supply Anthony with the best sidekick he’s ever had, forming one half of a superstar core that could put New York back on the NBA’s map.”