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RUMOR: The Knicks will pursue Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in free agency

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Also they’re in on Carmelo and out on Harkless

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

A former Kentucky player that the Knicks are tied to? No way!

According to Marc Berman of the NY Post, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the latest in what will surely be a long line of former Kentucky players that the Knicks are tied to in this and future offseasons:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft who has established himself as a defensive specialist, is on the Knicks’ free-agent radar when the market opens a few days after the Nov. 18 draft.

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According to sources, the Knicks also view the player known as “MKG” as a solid locker room guy. Kidd-Gilchrist, however, wouldn’t address the Knicks’ desire to improve their outside shooting.

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Kidd-Gilchrist is a Kentucky product and played for new Knicks assistant Kenny Payne, two things working in his favor. Knicks senior VP William Wesley is also very close to the Kentucky program, when he was an agent consultant for Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

...cool? Maybe the 27-year-old MKG still has something new in his bag, but to this point in his career he’s been a player that’s struggled to find a position thanks largely to a mostly nonexistent 3-point shot (he’s at 27.2% from deep for his career). Seems to me like the Knicks’ interest in him probably has more to do with familiarity than talent, since Leon Rose is tight with Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Knicks just hired former Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne.

There was a couple other little nuggets, too:

The Knicks still plan to pursue former star Carmelo Anthony, even if they can’t pull off a trade for his buddy, Chris Paul. The Post has reported Anthony would be eager to join the Knicks if they land Paul.

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The Knicks have no plans to re-sign small forward Maurice Harkless, who came from the Clippers in the Marcus Morris deal in February that also netted the Knicks the 27th pick in the draft.

Again, two things that aren’t wholly unsurprising, though it would be kind of weird for Melo to entertain a return to the Knicks if there was an offer for him to return to Portland on the table. He saw his most success since his glory days with the Knicks with the Blazers.

As far as Harkless, that’s fine. I was lucky enough to get to cover a few Knicks games in person, and while he did a good job saying all the right things, it was pretty clear that going from a title contender in the Clippers to the lottery contending Knicks was a bummer for Moe last year. I hope he finds greener pastures.

Meanwhile, Berman also notes that the Knicks are interested in Isaac Okoro in the draft, and I’d agree that they should be more interested in him than MKG. Let’s just go with that.