NBA Rumor: Arron Afflalo Free Agency

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Ian Begley: Arron Afflalo says that a desire to a start will be one of the factors he weighs as he decides on his 2016-17 player option, which is worth $8 million. “I still believe I’m one of the premier two guards in this league and part of being an elite two guard in this league is opportunity,” Afflalo said. “You have to be in a certain environment where you can excel and show what you can do and hopefully that contributes to winning. And I still believe I’m that player so I’ll find the best opportunity for me whether it’s in New York or anywhere else.”

The interim coach seemed to suggest that his decision to move Afflalo to the bench will make him a hotter commodity in free agency. It was a strange comment considering Afflalo will have to first opt out of his contract, a move that seems more likely by the day. If Afflalo opts out, the Knicks would have enough cap space to sign a max player. “Him coming off the bench adds nothing but value to him,” Rambis said. “Because whereas some teams may not be looking at him if he decides to opt out of his contract, because they might not have a guy in his position coming off the bench, well they start to go, okay, he’s got the right attitude to come off the bench. And now they can add some productivity for him. So I just think the more versatile the players are, the better they are around the league.”

The whiff of drama, which normally wouldn’t be all that meaningful in the final chapter of a lost season, takes on added importance for the Knicks, given Afflalo’s player option for $8 million next season. Should he decide to opt out of the second and final year of his contract—and that seems feasible, given his displeasure with the demotion and the squabbling that followed—the Knicks would move closer to having enough salary-cap space to sign a max-level free agent this summer.

Arron Afflalo to opt out?

Equipped with a player option and a strong showing as the Knicks secondary scorer this season, Arron Afflalo told the Daily News he’s looking for at least one more big contract. “Yeah, it’d be nice. It’d be nice,” the 30-year-old said. “But you do what you can. Whatever opportunities present themselves you never know. I’ve always looked at myself as a player who will have some longevity in the league based on the way that I play. I don’t rely too much on being overly athletic. I just try to be smart, take care of my body.” Afflalo’s option for next season is worth $8 million, but he can probably command a greater amount over multiple years in the open market. The Knicks do not own his Bird Rights and would have to dip into their cap space to re-sign Afflalo if he doesn’t opt in.

He signed a two-year, $16 million contract, but has an opt out after this season. Part of the reason Phil Jackson decided to join the Knicks on this road trip and eschew scouting the college tournaments — his team doesn’t have a first-round pick — was to witness the Knicks’ potential free agents. “I really don’t know what I’m doing to do,’’ Afflalo told The Post. “We’ll definitely have to address that when that times comes. Of course. I had a great first-year experience here. Obviously some ups and downs. One of those things I have to have a discussion with management and see how things go.”

But Afflalo, who played 11/2 seasons with Anthony in Denver, thinks the Knicks can make it work. The veteran shooting guard also said Anthony was instrumental in him signing with the Knicks, and he’s happy to be reunited with him. “I believe he had a lot to do with it,” said Afflalo, who signed a two-year, $16-million deal. “I know they value his opinion here in the organization. He was a big part of me getting here. He’s very happy that I’m here. He spoke highly of me when asked, and that’s all you can ask for.”
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