Chris Copeland is going to leave the New York Knicks if he is offered the right amount of money, and with the short flashes of scoring ability he showed last season, he can be a guy that can score 15-20 points on a daily basis so expect him to get paid.
Even though he didn’t account for very much of the Knicks offense last season, the Knicks still have to find a way to replace his scoring.
To me there are two very logical options the Knicks should look at.
Firstly, bring back Shawne Williams.
Williams can be signed to a veteran’s minimum deal and when he last played for the Knicks, he was a hit man from behind the arc. One worrying sign is that Williams lost focus on and off the court once leaving the Knicks and he ended up arrested.
If Williams sits down and gets his act together, he could prove to be a very valuable player for the Knicks not only for his offensive contribution but for his defensive contribution.
Copeland was not known for his defense last season and it showed as Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson decreased Copeland’s minutes as he served as a liability. Williams is a solid defender and would definitely serve as an upgrade for Copeland on the defensive side of things, and judging by his last stint with the Knicks, possibly on the offensive side of court too.
The other option is that Woodson shows more trust in his young players.
One thing that hindered Iman Shumpert’s growth in Woodson’s first season was because of his sudden decrease in minutes.
Woodson would be foolish not to play Tim Hardaway Jr., who is much better on the defensive end, and can score in different ways rather than rely on the three ball.
If Woodson puts a little bit more trust in his younger players then the Knicks will find it easy to replace Copeland’s scoring.
The Knicks should look to make a move quickly to show their intent on whether or not they want Copeland back in orange and blue so that a long saga doesn’t evolve and also so that it doesn’t distract the Knicks as they try to prepare this Knicks team for a new season.
The acquisition of Andrea Bargnani adds a second scorer, but the Knicks would be smart to find a replacement that can fill Copeland’s shoes off the bench.