You don’t need a traditional, ball-dominating point guard in the triangle offense, at least as Phil Jackson likes to see it run. What is required is more like what Knicks’ coach Derek Fisher did during his days on the court — play defense and knock down threes.
Someone like Patrick Beverley.
The Knicks are making a run at the Rockets’ point guard, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
A source told Sporting News at the opening of free agency that the Knicks have “major interest” in Beverley, and that the interest is mutual. The Knicks contacted Beverley shortly after free agency began.
The Knicks were not the only team interested, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
Beverley is a restricted free agent, meaning the Rockets have the right to match any offer. And they do want to keep him. Last season Beverley averaged 10.1 points and 3.4 assists per game but his season was cut short by a wrist injury.
To pry Beverley out of Houston would require the kind of head-turning offer that the Rockets felt they just couldn’t match. The Rockets are already paying Dwight Howard north of $22 million and James Harden more than $15 million, they don’t want to take on any huge long-term deals (GM Daryl Morey prizes flexibility).
The Knicks have the cash and could overpay now thinking the deal will not look as bad as the cap spikes by nearly $40 million over two years.
The Lakers are bringing out the big guns — and we don’t just mean the effort to clear out a cap space and go after a couple max contract stars.
The Lakers are bringing their biggest names into the room for their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge just after free agency starts — including Kobe Bryant. From Sam Amick of the USA Today.
According to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, Bryant is expected to be part of the meeting with Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The meeting with the big man who is widely expected not to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers is also expected to include Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, vice president of public relations John Black, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.
Lakers fans, before you celebrate this, remember Kobe was in the room before. His saying he was staying a few more years and his presence seemed to derail an already fragile meeting with Dwight Howard two years ago. Last year Kobe was not in the room, but then he and Carmelo Anthony spoke later and both questioned if their games would would really blend well. (They were right by the way, that would have been a ball-stopping mess.) His presence in the room is no guarantee — not everybody loves him.
But Kobe is being active in free agency this year, he has already called DeAndre Jordan to lobby him.
The Lakers are one of the front runners for Aldridge and could land other top free agents, and they have a reputation for making good pitches. But there is nothing quite as random and unpredictable as NBA free agency.
The fact Greg Monroe was going to leave Detroit was right up there with “Jeb Bush might run for president” for the worst kept secret of the last couple months award.
We know four or five teams have meetings set up with Monroe — the Knicks are considered the strong front runners to land him — and none of them are the Pistons. While coach and GM Stan Van Gundy has given lip service to bringing Monroe back, Monroe himself confirmed he is moving on to the New Orleans Advocate. (Hat tip Eye on Basketball.)
He also said Van Gundy’s offense and the Pistons already having Andre Drummond sealed the deal with the move.
“I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece….
“Stan had smaller teams in Orlando (Magic) years ago,” Monroe said. “Dre is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”
In the next 48 hours, expect Van Gundy to deny he’s not wanted in Detroit, but that’s just part of the dance. SVG has a franchise anchor in the paint in Drummond and wants shooters and athletes around him to open up the floor and play off him. That system works (the Magic made it to the Finals, remember) and they just traded for Ersan Ilyasova, who is a much better fit than Monroe as a four in that system.
The Knicks have long been the front runners to land Monroe, but the Lakers, Celtics, and other teams want to get their foot in the door. One interesting possibility is Portland, where they are about to lose LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency and will be looking for another young, quality big man to put next to Damian Lillard. That team would be a lot closer to winning than the Knicks, Lakers or Celtics.
We’ll see in a couple days where Monroe’s meetings are.