NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Carmelo Anthony has a thing for Rajon Rondo.
Perhaps tired of seeing the free agent star train bypass the station at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks’ superstar told a few reporters on Monday that he thinks the veteran point guard would be a very good fit in New York’s triangle offense.
Regardless of whether Rondo likes the system or not.
“I think Rondo — just me personally, I don’t want to be tampering — but I’ve heard he said he wouldn’t thrive in a system like this,” Anthony said in Denver, where the Knicks will play Tuesday night. “I think he’d be perfect in a system like this.”
The Knicks have struggled for years to put top flight talent around Anthony, who will turn 32 at the end of May. They got lucky in the draft with Kristaps Porzingis, but otherwise have filled their roster of late with decent, but low-upside players.
The result this season has been a 26-38 record, including just four wins in their last 20 games.
Rondo has reportedly said the triangle offense doesn’t fit his skill set. While ball movement is the hallmark of the Phil Jackson approach, Rondo excelled for years in Boston as a penetrating guard with a flair for the pretty pass. Now with the Sacramento Kings, the impending free agent has revived his game, averaging 11.9 points and a career-high 12 assists per game.
Melo said what Rondo does best would work just fine with what the Knicks are trying to do.
“It is a misconception about that. Some of the keys of our offense is penetration, getting in the paint,” Anthony said. “Pushing the pace, transition. Creating in the paint for bigs, for yourself, everybody else. I think a point guard would love that. Especially a point guard who can penetrate, create for yourself, create for others. I think it’s a perfect opportunity for him.”
Anthony, who is averaging 21.7 points this season, has anointed himself as the Knicks’ free agent ambassador. He knows his window for success in New York is drawing to a close and now it’s time to be the ultimate pitchman.
“Put me at the head of the table, and let’s go to work,” Anthony said.
As of right now, the Knicks are expected to have $18 million in salary cap space this summer.
“If we want this team to be better, if we want more pieces of this team, I don’t have a choice but to go out there and do my job and try to get people to come,” Anthony said. “And for them to see it from my perspective (more) than anybody else’s perspective — see it from a player’s perspective.”