PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Arron Afflalo has worked out with Carmelo Anthony in Las Vegas and New York, and he believes the Knicks superstar is optimistic about the upcoming season.
"From our conversations, yeah," Afflalo said Wednesday at a Knicks basketball camp. "I don't like speaking for somebody. But from our conversations and the way he's working in the gym, I would say so.
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"He's very committed. He seems very, very, very hungry to succeed. And we'll see. It'll be here shortly."
There have been reports that Anthony hasn't been happy with the moves that team president Phil Jackson has made this offseason, starting with the drafting of 7-3 project Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick and the acquisition of rookie guard Jerian Grant for Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Knicks didn't land any of the marquee free agents, either. Their haul has been Robin Lopez, Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Kyle O'Quinn, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin. They also re-signed Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson.
It will take time for them to mesh, and Anthony, 31, may not want to wait another year or two to contend. Even Knicks legend and broadcaster Clyde Frazier, in an interview with ESPN.com, wondered whether Anthony will ask for a trade, "if he sees that this is not happening."
But Afflalo, who played 11/2 seasons with Anthony in Denver, thinks the Knicks can make it work. The veteran shooting guard also said Anthony was instrumental in him signing with the Knicks, and he's happy to be reunited with him.
"I believe he had a lot to do with it," said Afflalo, who signed a two-year, $16-million deal. "I know they value his opinion here in the organization. He was a big part of me getting here. He's very happy that I'm here. He spoke highly of me when asked, and that's all you can ask for."
It's been 41/2 years since the two played together in Denver, and Afflalo has changed. He was more of a defensive stopper then, and now he's added scorer and solid three-point shooter to his resume. Afflalo thinks he and Anthony will play well off each other.
"He's a guy that draws so much attention and now that I feel like I'm more confident, more effective all over the court I just feel like it's going to be twice as good," Afflalo said. "I'm extremely excited to play with him. I know he's excited that I'm here and we're going to make it work."
Afflalo said he watched film of the triangle and studied the offense before signing because he knew he wanted to play for the Knicks, and believes he can be effective in it because of his midrange game and skills in the post.
He also said "Phil has done a great job" putting together the roster, and thinks the personalities of the players will lead to a successful season.
"I believe all the guys he brought in have some sort of defensive, selfless mentality about wanting to protect our house," Afflalo said. "I think it's going to work out."
While he was in Las Vegas, Afflalo watched some of the Knicks' summer league games and came away impressed with Porzingis.
"He's good," Afflalo said. "He's obviously got a lot of talent, some God-given gifts being that tall and that athletic. What I love most about him was just his mentality and his humbleness. I really feel like he wants to get better, he wants to be the best player he can be. With that mentality and those tools it's just a matter of time."