As they prepare for the offseason, the New York Knicks will have to get creative in terms of adding to a roster that ended up being a disappointment in 2013.
One of those additions could come from Italy.
The Knicks are rumored to be showing interest in Gani Lawal, as his agent Dan Curtin told Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
The Knicks will likely work him out after he finishes the season with Italian team Virtus Roma. Curtin said he could envision a one-year contract at the minimum level with an NBA team.
If Lawal’s name sounds familiar, he played with Iman Shumpert at Georgia Tech from 2008-10.
Lawal was with the Phoenix Suns in 2011, but tore his ACL in practice the day before Phoenix played the Knicks, in what was Amar’e Stoudemire’s first return to Phoenix. Since then, the 24 year old has played in the D-League, Poland, China, France and now Italy.
If the Knicks would end up signing him, they would be getting a physical player who can rebound and finish strong around the rim, all things the Knicks were missing in their playoff series loss against the Indiana Pacers.
The 6’9″ Lawal had only played two minutes in one NBA game before suffering his knee injury. However he had a good 2013 season in Italy, averaging 13.6 points, 8.4 rebound and 1.5 blocked shots per game, while shooting 62.9 percent from the floor.
After signing Chris Copeland, James White and Pablo Prigioni from international team’s last offseason, the Knicks could hope to hit pay dirt with another international player this offseason.
Who knows if Lawal is that guy, but after watching the Knicks get outmuscled by the Pacers, it certainly couldn’t hurt to add some more toughness.
Right now, Lawal has three workouts confirmed — with the Magic, Pacers and Raptors — and he’s expecting about five more, including the Knicks.
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