Last month, Knicks captain Amar’e Stoudemire told Knicks Journal
that he was keeping in touch with teammates like Carmelo Anthony and Landry Fields and planned to organize team workouts in Los Angeles within the coming weeks.
While during the NBA lockout, team officials cannot contact players in regard to different training regimes during the offseason, team captains are most definitely fair game.
According to Alan Hahn,
STAT has demonstrated leadership by reaching out to teammates, including Anthony, Fields, Chauncey Billups, Andy Rautins, Roger Mason Jr., Jared Jeffries, Jerome Jordan, and rookies Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson.
All of the noted players are under contract with the Knicks for whenever the next NBA season will begin, except for Mason Jr. and Jeffries. That being said, Mason Jr. is a good friend of Stoudemire’s and just so happens to be the Vice President of the Players Union, so he’s certainly a valuable man to keep in the fold. Mason Jr. has also expressed interest in returning to New York next season after seeing a bigger role off the bench following the trade for Melo and company.
While the return of Jeffries will depend on the Knicks’ cap situation following the end of the lockout, he’s clearly found a niche as a defensive specialist in Mike D’Antoni’s system (ironically) following two stints in orange and blue.
Hahn notes that any exclusions from his list should not necessarily be emphasized, as players like Ronny Turiaf, who will be absent from the workouts, is only so because of obligation to the French National Team.
Shawne Williams, a free agent who upped his stock with a comeback season with the Knicks, has also made it clearly that he is willing to do what it takes to return to the team next season as well, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him there as well. Derrick Brown, who prior to the lockout had a qualifying offer extended to him by the Knicks, is currently interning at Warner Bros. Records. No word on the likes of Toney Douglas, Renaldo Balkman, Bill Walker, and free agents Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter.
These workouts will reportedly begin sometime in August.