Phil Jackson Says Knicks’ Priority is Free Agency, Not Draft

by March 15, 2015
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Knicks team president Phil Jackson is the man in charge of the unenviable task of re-building a broken team. And while the Knicks will almost assuredly wind up with a top-3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft thanks to holding the League’s worst record, Jackson says free agency is the team’s main focus right now. More, from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com:

By virtue of what he called a “project gone awry,” New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has spent more of this season scouting college players that could help them in the future, rather than cleaning up the team’s present.

 

But while scouting is a huge part of his new job, it’s not how he plans on rebuilding the franchise.

 

“We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents,” Jackson said Thursday morning after the Knicks held shootaround at UCLA before their 101-94 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. “A hundred and ninety players or so are going to be free agents. Not half the league, but like a third of the league is going to be free agents. So that’s where our priority stands.”

 

The Knicks (12-51) have the worst record in the league and are in line for a very high lottery pick. Jackson said he hopes to find a future franchise player in the draft who can help the Knicks for the next 10 years.

 

But his main focus will be on finding the right mix of free agents who can help turn the team around quickly.

 

The Knicks are expected to have at least $25 million to spend in free agency this summer.

 

“What we’re trying to do is look at what advancement there can be in the short-term,” he said. “How quickly we can recover and get back in the hunt?”