Carlos Arroyo: NY would be 'great situation'

In addition to a starting center, the Knicks have been on the hunt for a solid backup point guard for Chauncey Billups, and they've reportedly contacted unrestricted free agent J.J. Barea.

But there's another Puerto Rican who would fit well in New York: Carlos Arroyo, who played for the Heat and Celtics last season.

"I love New York," Arroyo told ESPNNewYork.com. "It would be a great situation for me -- aside from being the largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S. (laughs). I have a great relationship with Chauncey, Melo and Amare, especially with Chauncey since we played together in Detroit [from 2004 to '06]."

Don't forget Carmelo Anthony is half-Puerto Rican. Not only would Arroyo be welcomed off the court in the community, but the 32-year-old has experience and some success playing alongside three stars: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Last season, in 42 starts in Miami before he was traded to Boston, he averaged 5.6 points and 2.0 assists in 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.8 from the field and 43.8 percent from three (a career-high).

Arroyo can not only push the ball, but he doesn't hold the ball and can find the open man quickly. In Mike D'Antoni's offense, running the pick-and-roll would come naturally for Arroyo, who mastered it with Dwight Howard in Orlando from 2005 to '08. He understands the role of the backup point, having played in the NBA for nine years, and an added plus is that he's a creative ball-handler who can penetrate the lane and shoot off the dribble.

Arroyo spent most of the offseason in Puerto Rico, where he caught up with family and friends. He also stayed busy with sponsor obligations and his commitment to the Puerto Rican national team. In the gym, he and former Florida International University teammate and current Utah Jazz shooting guard Raja Bell worked out with their trainer, Don Kelbick. Arroyo met him during his last season on the Panthers in 2000-01. Together, they worked on cardio, game situations and lot of shooting.

Arroyo couldn't discuss the teams that have inquired about his services, but he did say, "I've been a free agent before so I know it takes time to get a deal done. But I believe this time around negotiations will happen a lot faster." He's very excited to continue to represent Puerto Rico in the league -- perhaps this time alongside Melo and the rest of the Knicks' Big Three.

"I feel a great responsibility in being one of the ambassadors for our country in the NBA," Arroyo said. "It's a privilege that I've earned because of my dedication and sacrifice to the game. I'm living my dream."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.