The New York Knicks don't believe their chances of landing Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol in free agency in the summer of 2015 are "too good," according to a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Over 19 games this season, Gasol is averaging a career-high 19.8 points with 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 blocks while leading the Grizzlies to a 15-4 record and establishing himself as an early candidate for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award. The 29-year-old, who has said that he doesn't see himself "anywhere else", is considered one of the best defensive big men in the league.
The Knicks project to have enough cap space to add a so-called "max" player such as Gasol. From the report:
The Knicks are closer to landing Duke center Jahlil Okafor in the draft than they are to landing Memphis center Marc Gasol in free agency, according to an NBA source.
As the Knicks plummet to the bottom of the league, a source told The Post the club doesn’t believe its chances are too good of landing the Grizzlies stud center with their 2015 cap space — not that Knicks president Phil Jackson won’t try like mad.
The Knicks are 4-17 and have lost seven consecutive games. They host the Portland Trail Blazers (15-4) on Sunday.
Finishing with one of the league's worst records would increase New York's chances of landing a favorable draft pick, but Berman notes that "Knicks management" believes posting a good record is one of multiple keys to attracting free agents.
Okafor, a 6-foot-11, 270-pound center, is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft by the scouting website DraftExpress.