Feb 15, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby (23) reacts to a play against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Portland defeated Golden State, 93-91. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

New York Knicks Meeting with Marcus Camby

One thing that was evident last season is that the New York Knicks really need a backup center to play behind Tyson Chandler.

April 22, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Houston Rockets center Marcus Camby (29) against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

When Chandler was on the bench or out of the lineup the Knicks defense suffered majorly as a team. That can’t happen if this team even wants to contend.

With the Houston Rockets in rebuild mode (or at least it seems that way), center Marcus Camby no longer lists a return to Houston as his top choice.

Instead, it looks as if the Knicks will be competing with the Miami Heat once again, this time for the services of Camby. The problem is that Camby has made it known that he has no interest in signing for the veterans minimum, which puts both teams in a very tough spot.

The Knicks have interest in Camby but would prefer not to use the $3.09MM mini mid-level exception that he is seeking, a source told Marc Berman of the New York Post.  There’s a chance that they could also acquire Camby via sign-and-trade, just like they may wind up doing with Jason Kidd.  Trade chips that could be used include rookie Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson, and Toney Douglas.

Berman presents another scenario is splitting the $3.09MM mid-level exception between Camby and Spanish League point guard Pablo Prigioni, who would take about $700k.  The 35-year-old recently said that he is waiting for the Knicks to reach out to him but his first option is to return to Caja Loboral.

If the Knicks could find a way to lock up Camby and re-sign Jared Jeffries to a veteran’s minimum contract, suddenly the frontcourt is deep with guys that will play defense and rebound.

The Knicks have enough scoring. Getting stops is what’s important, especially come playoff time.

Camby is 38 years old and has been in the league 16 seasons now, but the former Knick can still play defense and rebound the ball, averaging 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during the 2011-12 season.

Despite the age, the former Knick would be an asset with his length in the paint.

The hard part now is finding a way to get a deal done.


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Tags: 2012 Nba Free Agency Jared Jefferies Marcus Camby NBA News New York Knicks Tyson Chandler

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