Before he signed with the San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge had a meeting scheduled with the New York Knicks that was canceled by both him and the team. Aldridge said he was ‘excited’ and ‘interested’ about the Knicks, before he learned of New York’s commitment to develop Kristaps Porzingis at the forward position, leaving him strictly at center. More from the New York Daily News:
“If the Knicks had any hope of signing LaMarcus Aldridge as a free agent – and he said they did after a recruitment from Carmelo Anthony – it was erased by their commitment to Kristaps Porzingis.
Aldridge, among 34 players at Team USA camp at UNLV this week, detailed Tuesday to the Daily News why he canceled his sitdown with Phil Jackson this summer even though he said: ‘I was excited to meet with them.’
‘They were saying they wanted me to be more of a center to let their guy develop and I just wasn’t looking to be that,’ Aldridge said. ‘So I was looking to play power forward, and they weren’t really interested.’
By ‘their guy,’ Aldridge was referring to fourth overall pick Porzingis, the 7-foot-3, 19-year-old Latvian slotted for time at power forward. Aldridge, who has played power forward for most of his career, would eat up the minutes at that position and perhaps hinder Porzingis’ development.
‘If they’re going to tell me that I have to play center and I don’t want to play center, then of course it’s mutual after that. But before that I was excited to meet with them. I was interested,’ Aldridge said. ‘But they wanted to have their draft pick play and I get it.'”