With Arron Afflalo on board, the Knicks have made significant progress in improving their roster. While he is not the big name player Knicks fans were hoping for, Afflalo is one of the more underrated 3 and D men the free agent pool has to offer. A guy who can shoot the three while playing great defense on the other end of the court is very valuable in today’s NBA and the Knicks acquired one at a great price.
Afflalo will be reunited with Carmelo Anthony, a teammate of his for over a year while they were both playing in Denver for the Nuggets. Afflalo already has the respect, chemistry, and trust of Carmelo Anthony. This is great for the Knicks because it means that there will be no period where the two players have to get comfortable playing with each other. They can go straight to trying to win games for the Knicks.
After ranking in the bottom half of nearly every defensive category, the Knicks needed a defensive stopper and that’s exactly what they got in Afflalo. Throughout his career, Afflalo has always been known as an above average defender. In his career, he has averaged just over one defensive win share per game. He can guard multiple positions out on the perimeter. The Knicks will call on Afflalo to guard the opposing team’s best wing and he will do a great job of making things difficult for them.
On top of his defense, Afflalo is a terrific three point shooter. For his career, he is a 38% three point shooter. This shows that he can provide floor spacing and knock down open shots when the ball gets kicked out to him.
Afflalo is a underrated scorer as well. He can create scoring opportunities for himself if called upon to do so. In his two years in Orlando, he averaged 17.3 PPG on 45% shooting. This will give the Knicks a second option to go to on offense and will help ease the offensive load that Carmelo had to carry last year.
Afflalo will be a veteran presence in the locker room and on the court. He will be called upon to be one of the leaders of the Knicks and mentor rookies Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant.
With many 3 and D players signing max, $70 million contracts, the Knicks got a steal in Arron Afflalo. They were able to sign him to a two-year, $16 million dollar contract. This enabled the Knicks to sign a valuable role player while maintaining enough cap space to go after other free agents. Afflalo will help the Knicks defend the perimeter while also knocking down 3 pointers on offense. He will also be able to handle some of the scoring load while taking some of the offensive burden off of Carmelo Anthony.
The signing of Aaron Afflalo was a great way to start off what will hopefully be a big off season for the Knicks.