The New York Knicks have agreed in principle to sign former Portland Trail Blazers Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo. Lopez, 27, has agreed to a four year 54 million dollar contract, while Arron Afflalo, 29, agrees to a two-year 16 million dollar deal, Afflalo’s deal also carries a player option in the second year.
The Knicks are finalizing a four-year, $54 million agreement with free agent center Robin Lopez, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2015
The New York Knicks are coming off of a season in which they went an abysmal 17-65 in an injury filled season for Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, can use the help that both Lopez and Afflalo will provide. Lopez, coming off of a solid season in which he averaged 9.6 points 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, a defensive big with a limited offensive game will provide the Knicks with interior defense they haven’t had since Tyson Chandler was roaming the middle in New York. Lopez should be a good fit in the Knicks triangle system as he is a pretty decent passer for a big and makes fairly decent decisions. While Aaron Afflalo should provide floor spacing and wing defense opposite of Carmelo Anthony.
President of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson tried to make other moves for bigger names such as Greg Monroe and even tried to set up meetings with LaMarcus Aldridge. Both of whom declined to sign with the Knicks, as Monroe takes a deal with the young Milwaukee Bucks and Aldridge declining to even meet with the Knicks president. The Knicks ability or lack there of to land bigger names, led them to sign Lopez and Afflalo. Lopez may in turn end up being a better fit than say a Greg Monroe because of the defense he will provide but this isn’t the big splash that the New York faithful were hoping for.
The inability of the Knicks and the Lakers to come away with the bigger free agents might just be a sign of the times in the new NBA, the internet has made the Knicks and Lakers biggest advantage, market size, mean nothing.
This leaves the Knicks in a crossroads of sorts, they have an aging superstar in Carmelo Anthony who signed a five year 124 million dollar deal just last season, the Knicks have to decide if they should be trying to win or rebuild. Both of these signings are moveable if the Knicks happen to decide it’s time to rebuild but moving Anthony would be a bit tougher. Still the signings of Lopez and Afflalo could propel the Knicks into a lower playoff spot this season. With the roster still with needs the Knicks could still have another signing or two to make.