ESPN reports that Carmelo Anthony is already attempting to recruit free agents for the New York Knicks in advance of the NBA free agency period that begins Tuesday night at 12:01 a.m. ET.
The Knicks are set to meet with DeAndre Jordan this week, and are planning to make a big push for LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, Arron Afflalo, and possible Wesley Matthews, as well. Carmelo Anthony has already called Jordan, Aldridge, Monroe, and Afflalo.
Jordan plans to also meet with the Mavericks, Lakers, and Clippers, according to sources. Aldridge, who sources say is certain to leave Portland, will meet with the Spurs, Mavericks, and Lakers.
New York’s pitch to Jordan is that he would be the team’s second option behind Anthony, as opposed to his current position with the Clippers, as the third option behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Sources say this distinction is very important to Jordan.
New York also plans to emphasize that in the Eastern Conference, the path to becoming an all-star and a playoff team is much easier than in the West.
Jordan and Aldridge will fit well in the Triangle offense that the Knicks run. Afflalo can be used as a corner wing player in the main Triangle set. Monroe could work well in the low-post setting, which he is used to. Matthews can balance the weak-side as a spot-up shooter.
The is the first time that Anthony has played much of a role in the restructure process, as Amar’e Stoudemire was already in New York when Carmelo was imported, and Tyson Chandler was an opportunistic pick-up for the team. Anthony knows his window is closing, and needs help to bring success back to New York. It is no surprise that Anthony has been contacting players of less offensive prowess, since Carmelo wants to absorb as many possessions as possible.
Anthony has never seen the need to pursue players and convince them to come to New York. It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, he will have on their decisions. Kobe Bryant has been known to come on too strong in these meetings, but Anthony’s attitude is much less intense, though their offensive styles are very similar. Anthony knows that if the team does not pick up some big free agents this summer, he will be looking at another losing season, and at age 31, he doesn’t have many more opportunities.
The Knicks will be throwing around a lot of money, and Anthony will be selling star power and the draw of being a superstar for the Knicks in New York City.
[Image via Getty Images / Elsa]