New York Knicks: 5 Free Agents the Knicks Should Target

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May 2, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche (0) is defended by Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) during the second half in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. The Nets beat the Bulls 95-92. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Andray Blatche – Forward – 2012-2013 Stat Line: 82 GP 19.0 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 51%FG, 5.1 REB, 1.0 AST. .7 BLK, 1.0 STL

2012-2013 Salary: $1.14 Million

After an atrocious 2011-2012 season with the Washington Wizards where they amnestied his $6 million a year contract, Blatche came back strong this season with the Brooklyn Nets.  He signed a veteran minimum $1.14 million contract and provided great around the rim scoring and rebounding as the back up for Brook Lopez. Being 6’11” and weighing in at 260 lbs. could really help fill the void of inside scoring and an overall inside presence that the Knicks lacked in the playoffs especially against the Indiana Pacers.

After having a come back year with the Nets where he received many most improved player of the year votes, he is likely to get more than the veteran minimum and more towards a mid-level exception, but he’s defintely worth it.

DeJuan Blair – 2012-2013 Season: 61 GP 14.0 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 52%FG, 3.8 REB, 0.7 AST. .2 BLK, 1.0 STL

2012-2013 Salary: $1.05 Million

Blair’s role on the Spurs declined this year from over 21 minutes a game to 14 minute a game due to the increased role of 7’1” Tiago Splitter as one of the bigs on the team. Also being undersized for his position at 6’7”makes it hard for Greg Popovich to implement him into the rotation. But in the 24 games that Blair has played 30 minutes or more, he has averaged almost 16 points and 12 rebounds, similar stats to his college years at Pittsburgh.  He can provide great burst of energy off the bench, and has the soft touch around the rim to score.  But most of all he can rack up those rebounds.

Blair’s only 24 years old and has already improved in his decision making on the court and maturity off the court since his rookie year.  But due to his limited minutes to show his talent and the fact that he has no ACL in both knees (makes him have very little vertical), Blair won’t be making that much more money than his rookie contract and would be affordable for the Knicks to target.

Dec 15, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Joel Przybilla (10) defends during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Clippers won 111-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Przybilla – 2008-2009 Statline - 23.8 MPG 82 GP 5.5 PPG, 63%Fg, 8.7 REB, 1.2 BLK

2013-2013 Salary $854,389

Playing for the Portland Trail Blazers for the bulk of his career, Przybilla added size, defense and rebounding. But the past three years have been filled with serious injuries as he twice ruptured his right patella tendon. He finally was healthy at the beginning of the season and signed with the Milwaukee Bucks but only appeared in 14 games due to the rise of the young Larry Sanders.

While the last person the Knicks need is another guy in his 30s who’s suffered through multiple injuries, Pzrybilla says that he hasn’t been this healthy in years and feels he could contribute to a team.  Przybilla has proven in years past that he can be an effective big man down low and he deserves another shot.  The Knicks could sign him for the veteran minimum and he and Camby (whichever one is healthy at the time) could receive some backup minutes for Chandler when height is needed.


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