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Phil Jackson spoke with the media on free agency, the draft, Carmelo Anthony, and more

The Zen Master sheds some light on his thoughts regarding this past season and plans for the future.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA playoffs power on around them, the lottery-bound New York Knicks look toward the upcoming summer. The NBA draft and free agency await, and Phil Jackson had some words for the media this this morning. Nothing revelatory, but the Knicks' president touched on a wide range of Knicks' topics. Some highlights:

On this summer's free agent crop:

This makes sense. The Knicks probably shouldn't enter free agency assuming their draft pick will be an All-Star candidate right away. That's a ton of pressure on a young player already dealing with a lot of change. It'll be on Carmelo Anthony and the veterans to drive improvement next season.

Sounds right!

Probably wouldn't lead with that, but there may be some interest remaining in the mystique of the Triangle offense around the league.

Good to hear Jackson note the risk in overpaying free agent talent. It sounds as if Jackson is willing to spend this summer, but is loath to simply fling money at the biggest free agents on the market. The Knicks have historically chased expensive names during the summer to little avail, so judicious shopping makes for a welcome change.

On Knicks' roster needs:

Derek Fisher and Jackson seem to be on the same page regarding their goals in roster construction. Jackson makes it clear that defense is going to play a large role in Knicks' interest this summer. His line about needing a rim protector earned some snickers on Twitter from those recalling the recent Tyson Chandler trade, but Tyson turns 33 this fall. Even if the team committed to retaining him, the need for quality rim protection would likely rear its head soon. Jackson didn't forget to mention needs on offense as well.

With players like Melo, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Langston Galloway under contract it remains important that the Knicks find someone who can create more offense at the rim. Nice to hear it from the mouth of the President.

On the draft:

No. I mean, okay: Due diligence. Let's not, though.


This is one of the most important decisions New York will make. My vote is still for French Montana, but I'll hear arguments for Clyde, Nas, Dennis Doyle, Spike Lee, or Mariska Hargitay. Not for Taylor Swift.

On this past season:

Still no obvious dissonance between the front office and the coaching staff, and that's a good sign.

Jackson noted that the most losingest team is no guarantee to win the first overall pick. Which is true! Mathematically, though, it would have been nice to have the best odds at it.

On Carmelo Anthony:

Never too late to grow into a leader, I suppose!

Jackson expects Melo to take part in the Knicks' recruiting pitches in free agency. A lot was made of Anthony's ability to influence other talent to consider New York when Melo signed his five-year contract last summer, and hopefully he can swing some good players.

Okay! We knew this already, but it's still unsettling to hear.

On Jose Calderon:

Even considering his age, Calderon's regression was of concern. Hoping for a full recovery from the Spanish guard.

On Tim Hardaway Jr:

On the future:

Humble goals, to be sure, but it would still be a huge leap for the Knicks to take. Jackson isn't promising championships, especially after the season we just endured.

Jackson's legacy was scrutinized when he took over as Knicks' president. Already one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Jackson seemingly had little to gain from taking over as head of the Knicks' front office. Other than that boatload of cash, of course. Still, the Knicks desperately needed a mind to come in and right the ship after years of front office gambles. Jackson sounds like the right guy for the job, just as he did a year ago, but it remains to be seen what his legacy as a Knick executive will ultimately be. If he merely lays the foundation for future contention I would see his tenure as a success.

It was a nice appearance from Phil. It's good to hear him share his thoughts on the team, even if he isn't revealing much new at all. Not long until the draft lottery now, my pals!