July 1 is nigh, which means that -- despite my strongly-worded protestations -- it's already time for the Knicks to start pursuing free agents. Reports are already coming in about meetings the Knicks have planned. Nothing too specific about time or level of interest, just this kind of stuff:
Hearing that the Knicks -- besides presumed free agent targets such as L-Aldridge/G-Monroe/D-Carroll -- will get a meeting with David West— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 28, 2015
How far Knicks go with David West obviously depends on how far they get with other targets, but he's said to be serious name on their board— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 28, 2015
An under the radar free agent will be Dallas' Al-Faroqu Aminu. Sked to visit NYK, BOS, POR, TOR & NOP, w/Mavs still in mix.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 28, 2015
I definitely presumed the guys Stein listed would be targets, but I can't quite tell if this is confirmation that those guys plan to meet with the Knicks. Like, I wouldn't be surprised if LaMarcus Aldridge never gives New York the time of day, but if he wants to, sure, whatever. Strikes me as a strange fit in both directions, but that's a conversation for another day.
Anyway, for a preliminary list of potential new friends, this is a nicely balanced list. You've got a couple obvious big-ass max candidates, a guy like Carroll who's gonna get paid but maybe not all-the-way paid, and two names in West and Al-Farouq Aminu who seem more like smaller, shorter-deal candidates.
I want the Knicks to maximize the value of the signings to come not just by grabbing the best players, but by mixing fat long-term deals with some small- and medium-sized ones of varying lengths. No more rosters built of 3 or 4 massive deals and a dozen tiny contractual pawns. Teams like those are essentially frozen in places.
Contracts staggered by size and duration offer more flexibility to make trades, more outs if guys don't end up fitting as expected, and, conversely, more windows to go all-in if the team feels ready to contend.
The list of names leaking on June 28 probably says more about whose agents feel like talking than it does about the Knicks' plans, but I'm still encouraged to see some non-obvious, non-huge names among the bunch this early. Wednesday, this begins to get real.
Update: DeAndre Jordan, too. Another obvious guy. Another likely max (and/or someone who'd want a max in the near future.)