Why the Knicks Should Not Give Arron Afflalo a Big Contract

Mar 5, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Arron Afflalo has a player option this summer and is looking to cash in on the opportunity, here is why the New York Knicks should not re-sign him.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, New York Knicks Arron Afflalo is looking for at least one more big contract.

"“Yeah, it’d be nice. It’d be nice,”“Usually it’s just finances, really,”“You can obviously look at team opportunity. But mainly it’s just team opportunity and finances.”“But you do what you can. Whatever opportunities present themselves you never know. I’ve always looked at myself as a player who will have some longevity in the league based on the way that I play. I don’t rely too much on being overly athletic. I just try to be smart, take care of my body.”"

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Afflalo is currently averaging 13.8 points, 3.7 assists, and 2 rebounds per game. Thus far, his first season with the Knicks has been disappointing. New York lost Afflalo during the final preseason game, diagnosed with a mild hamstring strain, which caused him to miss the first eight games of the regular season.

Afflalo has been wildly inconsistent throughout the year, scoring as much as a season-high 38 points, to as little as four points on seven occasions… With 16 games in single-digit scoring…

When New York first signed Afflalo this past summer, he was saying all the right things, such as being “very, very, very hungry to succeed”, taking on a leadership role, and most importantly of all, being the perfect complementary player to Carmelo Anthony. We really have not seen these promises come to fruition…

Afflalo was supposed to be the second-leading scorer on the team, but currently he is third (just slightly), behind rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis. Although, he has provided some solid three-point shooting, converting at a rate of 39.2%, helping spread the floor out for Melo and Porzingis.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Afflalo’s game is his defense. According to ESPN,  Afflalo is ranked 79/97 shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus at -2.08. This puts Afflalo worse than James Harden at defensive real plus-minus…who had a hilariously defensive sequence against the Knicks earlier this season.

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With Afflalo playing defense, he allows opponents to shoot at a higher conversion rate than their normal season average… allowing an overall diff % of +3.3, as per NBA.com. From within six feet of the basket, Afflalo diff% is +18.6, while from within ten feet of the rim, his diff % is +15.4. Afflalo being a good defensive player is nothing more than a reputation of his past at this point, as he is severely below average now…

Despite the lackluster season, Afflalo has been enjoying his time as a Knick.

"“New York’s been a great experience,”“Obviously we’ve had some struggles the second half of the season, but it’s been a great experience. I love the city. Got great teammates.”"

Even though Afflalo may be enjoying New York, does the organization feel the same way about him? Afflalo will be 31 years old this year. His game has deteriorated, especially defensively… so will the Knicks be willing to be the team to give him the one last big contract he is looking for?

Hopefully not… at this point in his career, Afflalo barely moves the needle… with a .1 value over replacement player, as per Basketball-Reference. If Afflalo is looking to cash in, the Knicks might as well look else where for a cheaper option. And according to advanced metrics, it will barely make a difference.

Next: The Knicks should focus on bringing back Lance Thomas

So let’s hope New York makes the wise decision and move on from Afflalo. Look for a better option at shooting guard this summer.