Walt Frazier doesn’t agree with his friend Phil Jackson’s opinion of Carmelo Anthony.
Jackson thinks Anthony should be in a different uniform next season and play for a contender. Frazer wants Anthony to remain a Knick, and for them to put better players around him.
“I would like to see Melo stay,” Frazier said Tuesday night after representing the Knicks on stage at the NBA Draft Lottery. “There’s a lot of negativity going on right now, so I don’t know.
“I don’t think he’s the problem. They have to improve defense, get some more talent and having Melo would be fine.”
Anthony has a no-trade clause, so he has the right to block any deal. Jackson has said twice in the last month that he thinks Anthony should chase a championship, saying the Knicks are not close to winning one.
“We’d just like for him to have success somewhere,” Jackson said last week at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. “We’re not going to be there. Hopefully we’ll maybe be a playoff team next year. It would be tough to consider us possible champions.”
It will be another important offseason for the Knicks, who dropped from seventh to eighth in the lottery. Frazier believes the Knicks should take a point guard with the pick, as well as see if they can land one in free agency since Derrick Rose’s contract expires June 30.
“It’s crucial,” said Frazier, the point guard for the Knicks’ only two NBA championship teams. “We need an orchestrator. That’s what we’ve got to have. So it looks like Rose might not be back, so they definitely have to get a point guard.
“Free agents — I’ve heard [Jrue] Holiday’s name, some different guys out there. They’ll be checking that out as well.”
If the Knicks do trade Anthony, they likely would be in even more of a rebuilding state. Frazier, the MSG analyst, said Knicks fans can handle that, contrary to popular opinion.
“As long as they play hard,” Frazier said. “The Knicks’ fans will stick with you if you give 100 percent. But if you don’t do that they’re not going to have patience with you.
“If they got no new players, if they improved defensively, there were so many games we were in, just couldn’t get that stop to turn it into a victory. That has to be the focal point as well.”