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Props Slaps
 2 years ago '06        #11161
lmnop 122 heat pts122
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$20,874 | Props total: 931 931
Knicks looking to get Trevor Booker or nah?
 2 years ago '04        #11162
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
 Parkchester said:
Knicks looking to get Trevor Booker or nah?
of course, that ain't change from last season...but looks like he'll be back with the Wizards for now at least unless they don't wanna be under the cap
 2 years ago '04        #11163
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
Berman

LAS VEGAS — Derek Fisher still is undefeated as a head coach, even if it’s the summer-league head coach.

In a spate of irony, Fisher faced former Knicks legend Patrick Ewing and the Knicks walloped the Hornets 95-72. Fisher’s squad, which is 3-0, led by 31 points at halftime with the triangle offense sizzling in Sin City.

As Knicks president Phil Jackson walked out of the Cox Pavilion, he said of Fisher, “We’re having fun. That’s good.’’

Jeremy Tyler, on whom the Knicks have a team option, was team-high with 19 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. dropped in 19 and Shane Larkin added 14. Backup point guard Langston Galloway, who could receive an invitation to training camp, was 7-of-10 for 17 points.

Ewing, Steve Clifford’s a.ssociate coach with the Hornets, is 0-3 during summer-league play. He joked if he keeps losing this badly, he’ll soon be back at MSG Network. Jackson never interviewed Ewing, who has been an NBA a.ssistant coach for nine years.

Meanwhile, Fisher has been more active on the bench, at times sitting with players during action to talk with them.

“I love basketball,’’ Fisher said. “I love the nuances and details that go into the game. It’s the way my brain worked as a player, reading the floor and game. Having a front-row seat to that action, it’s exciting. I’m loving every minute of it.’’ **
On MSG Network, Jackson said, “Derek has a lot of experience. He may not be an experienced coach on the bench yet, but he has experience that I think surpasses a lot of people by the manner he has.’’

Rookie Cleanthony Early, drafted 34th, sat out with a sprained ankle but should return Wednesday. … Cole Aldrich has been shut down for summer league with a calf sprain. He re-signed Friday.
 2 years ago '04        #11164
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
Berman

LAS VEGAS — With Carmelo Anthony officially on board, Knicks rookie coach Derek Fisher guaranteed the Knicks will be a playoff team this season, and will eventually compete for a championship with Anthony as the “anchor.’’

The Knicks missed the playoffs during a miserable 37-45 campaign last season that nearly led Anthony out the door. Anthony had told confidants he didn’t want to ever experience a season like that again.

“My opinion is, based on our roster and who we’re going to become, we can compete for playing in the playoffs and playing for a championship in the Eastern Conference,’’ Fisher said Monday after the Knicks’ summer-league victory over Charlotte, in his first remarks since Anthony’s signing became official. “When that happens, putting dates on it, that’s not my job.’’

As constituted, the Knicks’ starting five may be Samuel Dalembert at center, either Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani at power forward, Anthony at small forward and J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon in the backcourt. Knicks president Phil Jackson may be viewing Stoudemire as a backup, and has told confidants he thinks Bargnani will have a big season in his contract year.

“I believe in our guys,’’ Fisher said. “Even if nothing else changes, we’re good enough to be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, but we have to go out and prove it.’’

Fisher’s theme since getting hired last month was that basketball experts are underrating the Knicks’ talent.

“A lot of people feel everybody around Carmelo needs to be different,’’ Fisher said. “I don’t necessarily agree with the mind-set. We have some very good basketball players on our team.’’
Fisher has not spoken to Anthony since Sunday’s official announcement, but in their two meetings, the rookie coach has impressed upon Anthony that this season the offense won’t be all about him, as it was under Mike Woodson.

“I haven’t gotten to that point analyzing his individual game in terms of strengths and weaknesses,’’ Fisher said. “What I most thought about it [was] how much easier the game will be for him. We won’t just give him the ball and say, ‘Save the day.’ We’ll utilize guys around him to be successful, build trust, build chemistry, build a fun way to play for guys, and that will make our defense better.

“That’s what he wants. … He wants to be in an environment where everybody is effective. He wants a balanced basketball team.’’

Jackson has said the team still needs to add another rebounder and perhaps a another backup small forward in case rookie Cleanthony Early isn’t ready. Jackson could offer the $3.27 mini mid-level exception, but doesn’t want to dole out a long-term deal to cut into cap space in 2015 and 2016.

Fisher said he wants to build a strong relationship with Anthony.

“Whether player to player or coach to player, it’s about the relationship,’’ Fisher said. “I’m not nervous about building the type of relationship with Carmelo we both need for us to be successful. We’re human beings and grown men. We’ll talk and work together. I’m not nervous about being myself.

Fisher and Anthony weren’t friends when Fisher was still a player.

“I think there’s a great deal of respect that’s gone both ways,’ Fisher said. “Hopefully that will help us build a mutual respectful relationship. It’s a great opportunity not just for me, but for Carmelo. We spoke in person twice about what a coach could provide. He’s comfortable with that part. The toughest part for him was: Will our roster be competitive enough to win?’’
 2 years ago '04        #11165
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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Kenyon Martin wants back, for now the only thing preventing it is an ankle injury
 2 years ago '07        #11166
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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 Born_Loser said:
Kenyon Martin wants back, for now the only thing preventing it is an ankle injury
I'm against it, he needs to retire and let the rooks get some pt.




  1 - 0 STRK: 1 w in a row WIN PCT: 100% 217 (-134) 
  Career: | Aug 16: 47-24, Rank #82 | Aug 15: 53-44, Rank #135 | Aug 14: 155-91, Rank #48 | Aug 13: 64-32, Rank #54 | Aug 12: 212-123, Rank #30 | Aug 11: 333-187, Rank #38 | Aug 10: 1090-567, Rank #11 | Aug 09: 2-1, Rank #328 | Aug 08: 3-1, Rank #625 *
 2 years ago '04        #11167
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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for sh*ts and giggles, ur Phillip, would you sign Carlos Boozehead?
 2 years ago '07        #11168
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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$16,384 | Props total: 277 277
 Born_Loser said:
for sh*ts and giggles, ur Phillip, would you sign Carlos Boozehead?
Nah fam I think he's overpriced, and amare is ready to start..

We signed Jason smith tho don't know why




  1 - 0 STRK: 1 w in a row WIN PCT: 100% 217 (-134) 
  Career: | Aug 16: 47-24, Rank #82 | Aug 15: 53-44, Rank #135 | Aug 14: 155-91, Rank #48 | Aug 13: 64-32, Rank #54 | Aug 12: 212-123, Rank #30 | Aug 11: 333-187, Rank #38 | Aug 10: 1090-567, Rank #11 | Aug 09: 2-1, Rank #328 | Aug 08: 3-1, Rank #625 *
 2 years ago '04        #11169
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
 Funeral James said:
Nah fam I think he's overpriced, and amare is ready to start..

We signed Jason smith tho don't know why
Boozer would be cheap since he's amnesty tho, only reason why I brought this up was for that
 2 years ago '07        #11170
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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$16,384 | Props total: 277 277
 Born_Loser said:
Boozer would be cheap since he's amnesty tho, only reason why I brought this up was for that
Didn't know he got amnestied, he wants to go to the heat but don't think they have enough for him.




  1 - 0 STRK: 1 w in a row WIN PCT: 100% 217 (-134) 
  Career: | Aug 16: 47-24, Rank #82 | Aug 15: 53-44, Rank #135 | Aug 14: 155-91, Rank #48 | Aug 13: 64-32, Rank #54 | Aug 12: 212-123, Rank #30 | Aug 11: 333-187, Rank #38 | Aug 10: 1090-567, Rank #11 | Aug 09: 2-1, Rank #328 | Aug 08: 3-1, Rank #625 *
 2 years ago '07        #11171
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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$16,384 | Props total: 277 277
 Parkchester said:
Knicks looking to get Trevor Booker or nah?
I think the jazz picked him up and the wizards replaced him with kris humpries




  1 - 0 STRK: 1 w in a row WIN PCT: 100% 217 (-134) 
  Career: | Aug 16: 47-24, Rank #82 | Aug 15: 53-44, Rank #135 | Aug 14: 155-91, Rank #48 | Aug 13: 64-32, Rank #54 | Aug 12: 212-123, Rank #30 | Aug 11: 333-187, Rank #38 | Aug 10: 1090-567, Rank #11 | Aug 09: 2-1, Rank #328 | Aug 08: 3-1, Rank #625 *
 2 years ago '06        #11172
lmnop 122 heat pts122
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 Funeral James said:
I think the jazz picked him up and the wizards replaced him with kris humpries
welp. we got Jason Smith

as a bench player i ain't even mad

in Phil we trust
 2 years ago '04        #11173
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
Berman

Point guard Jose Calderon was traded three weeks ago from Dallas to the Knicks, but he didn’t really become teammates with Carmelo Anthony until Sunday’s official announcement of Melo’s re-signing.

In less than two weeks, Calderon will be teammates, too, with the Gasol brothers — one of whom he tried to lure to New York this July (Pau) and one of whom he will attempt to lure to New York next July (Marc).

Calderon, the Gasol brothers and the rest of Team Spain gather for training camp July 25 in Madrid to prepare for the World Championships that begin in late August.

But first things first. Calderon, new quarterback of the Knicks triangle offense, has his sniper in Anthony.

“A player like him, one of the best in the league, you always want to play with someone like that,’’ Calderon told The Post Tuesday from LaGuardia Airport. “It’s real exciting to be able to start playing with him, to have that kind of player on the team.”

Calderon, whose 3-point prowess and always solid a.ssist-to-turnover ratio, has lost twice to Anthony’s Team USA in the Olympic gold-medal game. He knows him more from speaking with him at international competitions than from the NBA.

“I think he can do everything,’’ Calderon said. “The team was working the right way two seasons ago but last season, he’s trying to do more than he needs to. The way we want to play, the way I play, will be able to make the game easier for him.

“He can score a lot of points but doesn’t have to do everything. We need to help him. We have to do it as a team. He’s our guy and leader, but we all got to be accountable and ready to help him in every aspect of game.”

Pau Gasol signed with the Bulls over the weekend, but Calderon did his best. Calderon confirmed a Post report he attempted to recruit his Spanish teammate.

“I loved for him to be here,’’ Calderon said. “He’s a great player. He knows how to play the system and is one of the best in his position. I tried. I did my best — texting him and tried calling him a couple of times to see what he was thinking.’’

Look out Memphis. Calderon will soon spend lots of time with 2015 burly free-agent center Marc Gasol, who has become the Knicks’ top priority in free-agency next July. With Anthony’s carefully structured contract, Knicks team president Phil Jackson believes he has enough for a near-max player and a solid second contributor. The Knicks will be desperate for a starting center in 2015 with Tyson Chandler in Dallas and Sam Dalembert in the final year of his contract.

It seems the ideal fit.

“He’s a great friend,’’ Calderon said. “He’s a great player, been playing with him for a while now. Ask anyone in the league, they’d want to play with him. Hopefully we’ll see what happens, but you always want to play with one of the best players at his spot. He’s proved that the last few years.’’

Marc Gasol has already texted Calderon “congratulations’’ on his New York move. But Calderon admitted at first he was upset when he got notified. No longer. He found a house in Westchester on Sunday and a school for his young kids.

“I wasn’t expected to get traded from Dallas. We got San Antonio to a seventh game [in the first round of the playoffs],’’ Calderon said. “I felt I wasn’t one of the problems. I got the feeling I was going to stay there a little longer. After a few hours, I realized I had a great opportunity to be with Phil, coach [Derek] Fisher and Carmelo and fit perfectly in the system.’’
The Knicks agreed to terms with power forward Jason Smith, who missed the last portion of last season with the Pelicans due to knee surgery, on a $3.3 million pact. The Knicks used their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Smith, known as a good mid-range shooter and shot blocker.

Jackson was trying to land a rebounding big man and lost out on Washington power forward Trevor Booker, who signed with Utah on a 2-year, $10 million deal. Kenyon Martin, coming off ankle surgery, still is a possibility. In the last few days, combo forward Shawn Marion, who was with Dallas, became a free agent.
 2 years ago '07        #11174
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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$16,384 | Props total: 277 277
If we can get gasol





  1 - 0 STRK: 1 w in a row WIN PCT: 100% 217 (-134) 
  Career: | Aug 16: 47-24, Rank #82 | Aug 15: 53-44, Rank #135 | Aug 14: 155-91, Rank #48 | Aug 13: 64-32, Rank #54 | Aug 12: 212-123, Rank #30 | Aug 11: 333-187, Rank #38 | Aug 10: 1090-567, Rank #11 | Aug 09: 2-1, Rank #328 | Aug 08: 3-1, Rank #625 *
 2 years ago '04        #11175
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
Berman

Knicks president Phil Jackson said Sunday the team will be fiscally responsible and not just throw money around the rest of summer because it had an exception.

In other words, with New Orleans power forward/center Jason Smith agreeing to terms Tuesday for $3.72 million mini mid-level exception, Jackson feels the 7-footer can really help.

That Smith agreed to sign for just one year also aided the Knicks’ cause as they protect cap space for 2015. The Knicks were outbid for Washington power forward Trevor Booker when he agreed Tuesday to a two-year, $10 million pact. The Post first reported the Knicks had Smith as a target when free agency began July 1.

Jackson had said he wanted another rebounding big man and Smith can block shots and shoot from long range. His price tag was manageable because he sustained a season-ending knee surgery, limiting him to 31 games last season.

Smith, 28, averaged 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 27 minutes per game, shooting 46 percent. But he had early-February knee surgery in which a loose piece of cartilage was removed. Out of Colorado State, Smith was the longest-tenured Pelican at four years.

With Jackson believing Andrea Bargnani fits the triangle and is in store for a bounce-back year, there’s a small chance Jackson would deal Amar’e Stoudemire as a cost-cutting measure to get the Knicks out of a harsh luxury-tax bracket. They would have to find a team under the cap willing to absorb his $23 million contract — such as Philadelphia. But the Sixers would want an additional player in order to take on Stoudemire’s onerous contract.

The best bet is Jackson keeps the status quo because starting center Samuel Dalembert played just 20 minutes per game last season with Dallas, Bargnani had a season-ending injury and Stoudemire occasionally sat out back-to-backs to rest his knees and was on a rising minutes restriction for much of the season.

The Knicks re-signed Cole Aldrich, but the Smith signing could affect the status of Jeremy Tyler, who has a team option and is on the summer league squad. Jackson still believes he has too many guards and may have to cut Wayne Ellington if he can’t trade him for a big man.
 2 years ago '04        #11176
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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Berman

Carmelo Anthony will make $5 million less than the maximum, clocking in at five years, $124 million, but the bigger number is the $1.4 million he has opened up in cap space for 2015, when the Knicks are expected to chase free-agent center Marc Gasol.

With Anthony’s contract filed with the NBA office, the details have emerged, including Anthony having a no-trade clause. The Post has learned he also has a maximum 15 percent trade kicker. If he were to waive his no-trade, any club interested in dealing for him might see that trade kicker as a large deterrent.

The trade kicker gives Anthony less of a chance of forcing a trade. However, Anthony has the what-is-now-standard opt-out after four years, as first reported by ESPNNewYork.com.

Anthony will start out at the maximum salary of $22.4 million. According to a source, instead of taking the maximum 7.5 percent raise of $1.8 million in the second year of the deal, he will take a smaller percentage increase, gaining $400,000.

The Post had reported Anthony would not take his 7.5 percent increase in Year Two. Knicks president Phil Jackson had laid out five contract proposals, including the $129 million max deal Anthony passed on.

The Knicks hope to add a max-like player such as Gasol and a solid mid-level sidekick. Jackson said on MSG Network’s summer-league broadcast: “We would like to get two good players that could possibly come in and bring some youth and some strength to us.”

Jose Calderon could be a key factor in recruiting Marc Gasol. He will be teammates with the Gasol brothers — one of whom he tried to lure to New York this July (Pau) and one of whom he will attempt to lure to New York next July.

Calderon, the Gasol brothers and the rest of Team Spain gather for training camp July 25 in Madrid to prepare for the World Championships that begin in late August.

The Knicks will be desperate for a starting center in 2015 with Tyson Chandler gone, Sam Dalembert in the final year of his contract and Jason Smith, who signed Tuesday, agreeing to just a one-year deal. Marc Gasol seems the ideal fit.

“[Gasol’s] a great friend,’’ Calderon told The Post Tuesday from LaGuardia Airport. “He’s a great player, been playing with him for a while now. Ask anyone in the league, they’d want to play with him. Hopefully we’ll see what happens, but you always want to play with one of the best players at his spot. He’s proved that the last few years.’’

But first things first. Calderon, new quarterback of the Knicks triangle offense, has his sniper in Anthony.

“A player like him, one of the best in the league, you always want to play with someone like that,’’ Calderon said. “It’s real exciting to be able to start playing with him, to have that kind of player on the team.”

Calderon, known for his 3-point prowess and always solid a.ssist-to-turnover ratio, has lost twice to Anthony’s Team USA in the Olympic gold-medal game. He knows him more from speaking with him at international competitions than from the NBA.

“I think he can do everything,’’ Calderon said. “The team was working the right way two seasons ago but last season, he’s trying to do more than he needs to. The way we want to play, the way I play, will be able to make the game easier for him.

“He can score a lot of points but doesn’t have to do everything. We need to help him. We have to do it as a team. He’s our guy and leader, but we all got to be accountable and ready to help him in every aspect of game.”

Pau Gasol signed with the Bulls over the weekend, but Calderon did his best. Calderon confirmed a Post report he attempted to recruit his Spanish teammate.

“I loved for him to be here,’’ Calderon said. “He’s a great player. He knows how to play the system and is one of the best in his position. I tried. I did my best — texting him and tried calling him a couple of times to see what he was thinking.’’

Marc Gasol has already texted Calderon “congratulations’’ on his New York move. But Calderon admitted at first he was upset when notified of the trade. No longer. He found a house in Westchester on Sunday and a school for his young kids.

“I wasn’t expected to get traded from Dallas. We got San Antonio to a seventh game [in the first round of the playoffs],’’ Calderon said. “I felt I wasn’t one of the problems. I got the feeling I was going to stay there a little longer. After a few hours, I realized I had a great opportunity to be with Phil, coach [Derek] Fisher and Carmelo and fit perfectly in the system.’’
 2 years ago '04        #11177
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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$40,714 | Props total: 2231 2231
Begley

J.R. Smith is confident the Knicks can win the Eastern Conference this season, but is he confident he’ll be a part of the team?

Smith appeared on ESPN2’s First Take on Wednesday and talked about the Knicks’ glut at shooting guard and said he “wouldn’t blame” Phil Jackson and the Knicks if the team decided to trade him last season.

“No. Absolutely not. The way I was playing, I was playing like a person who didn’t want to be there,” Smith said. “Not looking as focused as a person should be in that situation that we were, in the trenches. I wouldn’t blame them at all.”

Of course, the Knicks didn’t deal Smith by last season’s trade deadline. But the Knicks this season are a bit overstocked at shooting guard with Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert on the roster.

Hardaway Jr. and Shumpert were mentioned in recent trade discussions between the Knicks and other teams that were centered around Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, according to sources.

Smith said on Wednesday that he’s “cognizant” one of the shooting guards on the roster could be traded before the start of the season.

“Yeah, because that’s just the way the numbers work, honestly,” he said. “When you have so many people at that same position and you’re trying to juggle between, ‘We’ll he’s got to play 20 minutes, he’s got to play 30 minutes, he’s got to play 25 minutes, it’s tough to do. That’s why whenever I’m in the gym I try to do the best. [I’m] not worried about those guys (the other shooting guards). But [I want] to make sure I’m evolving my game so I can play multiple positions and keep my talent on the floor.”

Smith also touched on several other subjects on First Take.

On how strongly he believes the Knicks, coming off a 37-win season, will win the Eastern Conference:

“Extremely. I’m confident. I don’t play to lose.“

On what went wrong last year:

“For one, it was unacceptable the whole year. I’m not going to make any excuses for myself. Coming back from knee surgery is a tough thing to come back from. I didn’t expect to be at that top tier, where I was. We had a lot of confusion going on [regarding] what we were going to do as far as schemes and stuff like that. And some people didn’t agree with it. ... And it just caused confusion and before you know it, some people were doing what they want to do and other people were doing what they want to do and there was just a lot of confusion. We just didn’t agree. We agreed to disagree a lot of the times.

And everybody knows in order for five guys to be on the same page, like the Spurs were ... everybody has to be on the same page and we weren’t.”

Was focus an issue for you?:

“I put so much pressure on myself to come back, especially after [the] suspension and being hurt, to be back [to] where I was the year before, winning the Sixth Man. But after that I put so much pressure on myself ... [I tried] to try to take some of the pressure off and just have fun with the game. That’s where the shoe incident came into play and just [wanted to] try to ease the tension a little bit and it wasn’t working. None of the things that I had going on in my mind was working. And unfortunately it just so happened, I believe, to be the worst year I’ve had in the NBA, including my rookie year. So I’m just looking to bounce back.”

On playing for Derek Fisher:

“I love Derek. I’ve known Derek since my rookie year when I played out in Long Beach, it seems like so long ago. Ever since the first day I met him to now, he’s been the same person. He’s probably one of the most consistent, professional people I’ve ever met in this business and I can’t wait to play for him.”

Question: If the Knicks deal one of their three shooting guards, who should they move?
 2 years ago '07        #11178
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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I wanted JR gone earlier but I want to keep JR now with Fish & Phil cuz he could really evolve, like Nate Robinson under Thibs.

Plus we got him for the cheap, keeping him will help keep Melo happy, since he's godfather to JR's kids.

I wanna keep Shump too, but his price may be driven up after this season. He may be what we need or a piece to get us an upgrade. We'll wait & see.
 2 years ago '04        #11179
Born_Loser|M 82 heat pts82
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Berman

The player many regard as the steal of the second round so far hasn’t been the boon of the Las Vegas summer league.

Knicks rookie Cleanthony Early, selected 34th out the Bronx and Middletown via Wichita State, still must show the Knicks he can be Carmelo Anthony’s backup at small forward. Early is the only legitimate small forward on the Knicks roster, and team president Phil Jackson is hoping he can fill the bill.

Nevertheless, Jackson also has investigated adding another small forward to the band.

“Early’s looking good, but he’s still green,’’ Jackson said.

Early has played in two of the first three summer league games, missing the last one with a sprained ankle. Early is expected to play Thursday when the Knicks start the knockout round of summer-league action against the winner of the Denver-D-League select game.

Early scored 13 points in the opener, hitting 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range, and highlighted his day with a driving dunk over veteran Ivan Johnson, but he struggled with his shot in Game 2, going 3-of-8.

“He still hasn’t shown he wants to put the ball on the floor,’’ one NBA scout told The Post. “But his defense is good. He plays hard.’’

Early will go down as Jackson’s first draft pick as an executive. The Knicks had Early on their board anywhere from the 16th pick to the 23rd.

Early is so enthusiastic about working under Jackson, he’s reading one of his many books to, as Anthony said, “get a head start.’’

“I think a lot of people like Early, and I think one of the hesitations is, in this weird world we’re in now, is that he is 23 years old,’’ Jackson said on an MSG Network broadcast this week. “People are looking for 19-, 20-year-old players to come in, and we said we want a mature player. Get a guy that maybe … can step in the lineup and start playing. A lot of kids they are still developing physically. He is a developed player physically.’’

Scouts, however, believe Early must get stronger and still has a lot to prove in Las Vegas and training camp.

Despite his critics, nobody can wipe the smile off Early’s face.

“I smile all the time,’’ Early said. “I’m happy. I live life.’’

The Knicks drafted Greece’s Thanasis Antetokounmpo at No. 52 to stash in Europe, but they also have another option if his brother prefers to stay in the U.S.

The defensive-minded swingman, who showed his rawness with seven fouls in the summer league opener, still can play in the D -League without costing a Knicks’ roster spot as long as he’s unsigned. They keep his rights and he would make the $30,000 D-league max.

Antetokounmpo’s entire family moved to Milwaukee, where Giannis plays.

“He is “Thanacious,’’ which is the name I call him,’’ Jackson said. “ Obviously, that is going to be his nickname, right? He is just a ball of fire. He still has to learn how to play, but he brings a certain energy that you just can’t replace on the floor.’’

Mark Bartelstein, agent for 7-footer Jason Smith, told The Post his client should be “a great fit’’ because he “passes well and is a pick-and-pop guy.”

Smith’s market value would have been higher than the $3.72 mini mid-level he signed for, but he had knee surgery in early February, ending his season and marking him as injury-prone.

Bartelstein said Smith wanted a one-year deal to lift his market value and said the Pelicans couldn’t sign him after they made the Omer Asik trade.

“He protects the rim, plays with great physicality, takes the hard foul, he’s a really good basketball player,’’ Bartelstein said.
 2 years ago '04        #11180
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The Knicks were thrilled J.R. Smith accepted a four-year, $24.5 million guaranteed deal last July, offering him the most they could under the Early-Bird exception.

It was surprising hours later that Smith, coming off Sixth Man of the Year honors, came back to the Knicks and said he changed his mind. The flaky shooting guard wanted a 3-year deal with an opt-out after two seasons to maximize his value.

That Smith opt-out next June looms large now as Knicks president Phil Jackson eyes his hefty cap space in 2015 to add more marquee players alongside Carmelo Anthony. Anthony agreed not to take his 7.5 percent pay raise in Year Two, of his new deal giving the Knicks $1.4 million more to play with.

Smith’s opt-out decision could greatly impact the Knicks’ future championship plans, increasing the amount of cap space they would have.

Smith had an inconsistent season, an awful start partly because he played tentatively after last summer’s knee surgery.

If Smith has a bounce-back season, he could be just c*cky enough to opt out of the last year of his deal that would pay him $6.4 million.

If Smith opts out, the Knicks could have an estimated $32 million of space with the salary cap expected to rise to $66.5 million. Even with all the cap holds for the remaining roster spots, that room would be enough for a max player — Marc Gasol’s max is just $18.5 million because he’s coming off his rookie-extension contract — and another solid contributor in the $10 million range (Dwyane Wade?)

The only players on the books for 2015 are Anthony’s $22.9 million, Jose Calderon’s $7.4 million, Pablo Prigioni’s guaranteed portion $450,000 and Tim Hardaway’s $1.3 million. Figure the Knicks execute the team option on Shane Larkin’s $1.7 million.

If Smith opts in, however, the total cap space drops to $25.5 million, not the same “wiggle room,’’ as Jackson might say. A lot of roster spots need to be filled, including the Knicks’ 2015 first-round draft pick.

Smith opting out could benefit the club — even if it means him staying with the Knicks for a longer-term deal if he takes to the Zen Master and rookie coach Derek Fisher.

Smith appeared on the ESPN show “First Take’’ Wednesday and admitted he was unfocused last season in an honest interview.

“I was playing like a person who didn’t want to be there, not looking as focused as a person who should be,” said Smith, who had a strong five weeks and finished averaging 14.5 points.

“I’m not going to make any excuses for myself, but knee surgery is a tough thing to come back from. I didn’t expect to be [back to] where I was.”

Smith, 28, still believes he has the talent to be an All-Star. If he moves in that direction in 2014-15, he might be untying shoelaces in another city.

“Extremely realistic,” the Knicks shooting guard said when asked how realistic it was the Knicks could win the East.

“I’m confident,” he said. “We’re in a great place. Melo is obviously the biggest piece to the puzzle. He’s the captain of the boat, and we’re just trying to turn the machine.”
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