NBA Rumors: Reason Why New York Knicks Have Benched Arron Afflalo

NBA rumors have been swirling around Arron Afflalo. For much of the season, the 30-year-old shooting guard has been utilized as a starter for the New York Knicks. Interim head coach Kurt Rambis has been utilizing Sasha Vujacic as the starter, even though he spent much of the season watching from the bench. According to ESPN, Rambis is not punishing Afflalo by utilizing him behind Vujacic. Rambis is simply trying to balance out the scoring in his rotation.

On the surface, these remaining games for the New York Knicks don’t seem like they matter much. It would take a miracle for the Knicks to make the NBA Playoffs. They also don’t have a first-round selection in the upcoming NBA Draft. Wins and losses don’t mean anything, so it’s all about the other things happening on the court. It’s all about shaping things up for the following season next fall.

Sasha Vujacic [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]

Close followers of the New York Knicks know that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the way that Kurt Rambis is utilizing Arron Afflalo. The former UCLA Bruins star can opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent, a move that makes a lot of sense because the salary cap in the NBA is rising to a record level. It is being said that he wants to be a starter in the National Basketball League, so that increases the chances of him leaving the Knicks.

When asked about being utilized as a bench player by the New York Knicks, Arron Afflalo has had trouble hiding his disdain for the situation. The 6’5″, 215-pound guard stated that it was his job to be a professional, so he’s going to do what the Knicks feel is best for the team. Afflalo did not sound convincing enough that he was buying into the system.

New York Knicks guard Langston Galloway
Langston Galloway [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]

It’s understandable that Arron Afflalo would have issues with being behind Sasha Vujacic on the depth chart. The former Los Angeles Lakers guard isn’t a part of the future plans for the New York Knicks. He might not even be with the team when the next season starts in the fall. It would be a bit easier for Afflalo to swallow if the Knicks were starting Langston Galloway ahead of him. The 24-year-old guard is a part of their plans for the future.

In his defense, Kurt Rambis stated that he is using Arron Afflalo off the bench because he wants more offensive production off the bench. There were nights where Afflalo was the best offensive option for the New York Knicks, more so than Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Afflalo enjoyed the offensive freedom from former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher, and he produced some of the best games of his NBA career during that stretch.

Kurt Rambis [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

With or without Carmelo Anthony around, the New York Knicks are hoping to find guards that are young enough that they can be paired with Kristaps Porzingis for a good amount of time. At 30 years of age, Arron Afflalo does not seem to fit the bill. As much as he enjoys playing for the Knicks and being reunited with Anthony, Afflalo knows that this might be his last chance in the NBA to collect a huge paycheck. He’s going to go where it’s best for his career and family.

Along with Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo was one of the best players for the New York Knicks. That made many believe that he was a part of their future. However, Kurt Rambis is letting the world know that is not the case, especially if he becomes the permanent head coach.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]