New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony called guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to express he was not pleased with team president Phil Jackson's draft moves, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
In the first round of the draft, New York selected Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis, who is believed to need more time to develop than some other prospects before making a significant impact in the NBA.
A source told Isola that Anthony told a close friend "are we supposed to wait two or three years for this guy?" while Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reports that Anthony feels "betrayed" by the Knicks' draft strategy. SI.com's Chris Mannix gave the Knicks a C+ grade for the Porzingis pick:
First, Kristaps Porzingis can play. He’s an incredibly skilled, perimeter-oriented big man who can stretch the floor and make the mid-range jump shot. He’s at least two years away from doing anything at an NBA level, but if developed right he could be a franchise player. But there are legitimate concerns in Porzingis’s camp about how he will handle the pressure of New York, and he won’t help a team desperately trying to maximize the last few years of Carmelo Anthony’s contract. If the Knicks are patient, they could have a star. If not, they could ruin a promising prospect.
Anthony signed a five-year contract with the Knicks last summer.
The 31-year-old played in 40 games before undergoing season-ending knee surgery in February. Anthony averaged 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists while posting a 21.7 Player Efficiency Rating, his lowest since 2011-12 (21.1).
New York finished 17-65, the worst record in the Eastern Conference.