Free Agency Rumors
Fizdale was a guest on “The Jump” on Monday afternoon and insisted, despite the 17-65 record in his first year as coach of the team that has struggled for the better part of two decades, the Knicks have something to draw the top players to join in. “[We’re having] a lot of conversations, a lot of angles that we’re trying to make sure that we show guys when they come in,” Fizdale said.”I think we’ve got a lot of positive things to show.”
David Fizdale: “Scott Perry and Steve Mills have done a heck of a job laying this thing out. We’ve got the most cap space. We have seven picks over five years, which means whoever we do get, we can continue to build around them, and I think that’s a great position to be in. We did all that in a course of a year and we laid down our culture, so I’m really excited about where we’re at.”
David Fizdale: “I think that we want the type of people that embrace those situations. So I think going into free agency, like I said, we’ve got a lot of good things that we can show and how this is going to be a different deal going forward with the Knicks. I think we’re going to end up doing some good things.”
Former Net Paul Pierce believes Brooklyn could build on that young core during free agency this summer. “I think every team has their own path, and there’s not one blueprint that’s the right way,” Pierce said. “I believe when you’re trying to build a championship contender you look at how Philly’s done it, and you look at how Golden State has done it through the draft. There’s no right way. You’ve got to have a great infrastructure for one. You can’t overspend on guys who are not really franchise players. Based on what Brooklyn’s been able to do, based on them not having the draft picks and being able to put together a team nobody expected them to be in this place. They’re in a good place, and I look at them as a free agent destination being that they have low costs (money against the salary cap), they’ve been able to develop Russell into an All-Star, Dinwiddie is coming into his own, and they have very serviceable players, and that can be a great free agent destination in their future.”
At 32 years old (he turns 33 in August), Green does not prefer being a basketball nomad. He would like to stay with the Wizards this summer as he aims for a new contract in free agency. “I would love to come back,” Green said. “Great set of guys on this team. I loved playing with Brad [Beal], John [Wall].”
But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn’t offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards’ new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green’s defensive rating was 112.6. The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career.
The Durant rumors started before the Knicks played a game, and point guard Emmanuel Mudiay was aware of it. He spoke to SI TV about it, and while this was not a distraction, it became a difficult topic to ignore: “I wouldn’t say it’s weird. I would say it’s kind of expected. It could get weird for a rookie or a second-year guy. Just because you’re not really used to that, but at the same time, that’s just what the media is going to do. They’re going to try to build up a story, and that’s their job. That’s what they have to do, so you kind of just have to keep your head down and finish out the season and play every day as if he’s not there — which he’s not there yet. “Is that someone New York definitely wants? No doubt, with what he’s done in his career. The scorer he is. The type of player he is. The type of person he is. I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction, but I would say you can’t miss it. “