LaMarcus Aldridge said he strongly considered the Knicks in free agency – until they asked him to play center to accommodate Kristaps Porzingis at power forward.
I still think Aldridge would have chosen the Spurs – who are better, play in his home state and play in a state without income tax. But it’s at least possible Aldridge would have chosen the Knicks if they pursued him as a power forward.
One person who believes New York could have gotten Aldridge with a power forward pitch: Carmelo Anthony.
the Knicks forward learned only recently, through a conversation with Aldridge at Team USA training camp, why a meeting never happened. As the Daily News reported, the Knicks wanted Aldridge to play the unfamiliar position of center to free up minutes at power forward for rookie Kristaps Porzingis.
“I didn’t know that. When he told me that, I didn’t know that. I took my headband and threw it across. . . . I honestly didn’t know that,” Anthony said.
It should be noted that Anthony — who was in an exceptional mood during the two Team USA practices this week — was playful and smiling while recalling the headband toss. But his belief was sincere that Aldridge, who signed with San Antonio for $90 million, would’ve chosen New York.
“I think we could have gotten LaMarcus. I believe, the conversations me and him had, it was a big chance that he was going to end up in New York,” Anthony said. “So I don’t really know where the playing the center position came in. I know from when I was talking to him we had a greater shot of getting him.”
Again, I don’t believe this matters. I think Aldridge would have signed with the Spurs either way, and I think other teams – including the Suns – would have also appealed to him more than a Knicks team offering a power forward spot.
But for those who thought New York would lure Aldridge – apparently including Melo – this has to be infuriating to hear. It’s no secret Aldridge prefers not to play center. When he’s picking his team, that matters.
Melo has clearly stated he’s happy with the Knicks’ offseason and supports Phil Jackson. Whether Melo truly feels that way or is just toeing the company line, I don’t know.
Whether he’ll continue to say he’s happy with New York’s direction… I don’t know that, either.