Shooting guard Arron Afflalo -- owner of a player option for next season -- spent the last few weeks of 2015-16 coming off the bench, and didn't seem to enjoy the role one bit. Now that the season has concluded, Afflalo let it be known that he will be looking to start in 2016-17, regardless of who he plays for. Per Marc Berman:
"Obviously that would be first choice,'' Afflalo said of hunting for a starting job. "I still believe I'm one of the premier 2-guards in this league. Part of being an elite 2-guard in this league is opportunity, you have to be in a certain environment where you can excel and show what you can do. Hopefully that contributes to winning. I still believe I'm that player. I'll find the best opportunity for me whether it's in New York or anywhere else.'
"I chose new York,'' Afflalo said. "I wanted to be here. I was very optimistic about the season. From that standpoint, it was a little disheartening. I'm thankful it was a great opportunity. The environment in New York City is unbelievable. The fans are unbelievable. The experience was everything I thought it would be outside the winning. That's the part I thought we'd have more of this year."
So Afflalo still believes he has the skills to be an elite, starting-caliber 2-guard; all he needs is the opportunity. Did the Knicks provide him with that opportunity in 2015-16? He started 57 of the 71 games he played this season and was given the second-most minutes on the team -- believe it or not, he played more total minutes than starting center Robin Lopez, who appeared in all 82 games. He averaged 11.3 field goal attempts per game, third on the team behind Carmelo Anthony (18.2 FGA) and Kristaps Porzingis (12.3 FGA). That's some serious opportunity!
The Knicks have made it clear they consider Afflalo a bench player moving forward, and Afflalo has made it equally clear he intends to look for a starting job. This relationship appears to have run its course.