Greg Monroe meets with the Knicks early Wednesday morning.
After huddling with top target Greg Monroe shortly after midnight Wednesday morning — without a deal — the Knicks’ free-agency quest will move out west for meetings in Los Angeles with less likely signees DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Monroe, the Detroit big man deemed a strong fit for the triangle offense and a more realistic candidate to be added, met with Phil Jackson and Knicks brass early Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where his agent David Falk is based.
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Monroe, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game last season for the Pistons, also met with Milwaukee and is scheduled to sit down with Portland in D.C. later Wednesday, with the Lakers also interested.
Aldridge, a four-time All-Star forward with Portland, already has met with contingents from the Lakers and Houston in L.A. He reportedly also has visits set up by Dallas, San Antonio, Toronto and Phoenix on Wednesday and then Jackson and the Knicks on Thursday.
The Knicks will talk first on Wednesday with Jordan, the NBA leader in rebounds last season (15.0 per game) with the Clippers. He also has drawn interest from the Lakers, and had dinner with Mark Cuban and the Dallas front office soon after the signing period opened.
As for guards, the Knicks expressed early interest in Portland’s Arron Afflalo, Portland’s Wesley Matthews, Houston’s Patrick Beverley (restricted) and San Antonio’s Danny Green. The latter, a North Babylon (L.I.) native, said Tuesday in a radio interview that he’d listen to the Knicks’ pitch, but he agreed Wednesday morning to a four-year, $ 45 million deal to remain with the Spurs.
“For sure, anybody turning down a meeting with them would be crazy,” Green said on ESPN 98.7 radio’s “Hahn and Humpty Show” with MSG’s Alan Hahn and former Isles goalie Rick DiPietro. “It starts with them and (Carmelo Anthony), as well.
“I don’t think people are scared of the Knicks. They’re rebuilding…. Some guys want to go where they’re already winning. They get a couple of good pieces this summer, I’m sure it will attract more guys.”
Knicks aren’t considered frontrunners to land LaMarcus Aldridge (l.) or DeAndre Jordan.
The Spurs also have agreed to trade center Tiago Splitter to the Hawks, as Yahoo Sports first reported, perhaps clearing enough cap space for them to land Aldridge, a Texas native.
Elsewhere around the league, Pelicans star Anthony Davis agreed to a five-year $ 145 million extension to stay in New Orleans and San Antonio restricted free agent Kawhi Leonard agreed to re-up with the Spurs for five years and $ 90 million.
And Dallas forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who the Knicks had planned to meet with later this week, agreed quickly to a four-year $ 30 million deal with Portland.
Another player who interested the Knicks, Atlanta forward DeMarre Carroll, also ended up out of their price range, getting $ 60 million over four years from Toronto.
“#WeThe North I will be playing for Toronto Raptors next year!!!! I’m Blessed for this Opportunity!” Carroll tweeted.
According to ESPN, point guard Goran Dragic also reportedly is re-signing with Miami for $ 90 million over five years.
Kevin Love announced Wednesday beneath an “Unfinished Business” headline on Derek Jeter’s Players’ Tribune website that he’s “going back to Cleveland” for a reported five-year contract worth $ 110 million, while former Knick center Tyson Chandler landed in Phoenix (four years, $ 52 million).
Yahoo also first reported that restricted free agents Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton will receive five-year, $ 70 million extensions from Phoenix and Milwaukee, respectively.
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