The New York Knicks are still in the market for some additional frontcourt depth and have been linked to a few names since free agency began, but could they be holding out hope for former Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson?
According to ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, the Knicks do have interest in Johnson, however once again their salary cap problems could prevent them from adding some needed depth as Johnson is likely to be in search of a mini mid-level deal.
Source: #Knicks have had interest in Ivan Johnson, but he’s in market for mini midlevel deal. Could be open to min “depending on situation.”
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 22, 2013
However the longer free agency goes on and Johnson doesn’t get that mini-mid level deal, there is a better chance that he could be willing to accept a minimum deal in the right situation.
Johnson is a hard-nosed player who would be a good fit on the Knicks roster.
While it is true that they need a backup center and the 6’8″ Johnson is a power forward, he would help the Knicks in a couple of areas that they desperately need help in- rebounding and toughness in the paint.
Johnson’s overall numbers, 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game aren’t really that impressive. However his per 36 minute numbers are nice at 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds.
In addition, Johnson ranked among the Top 10 in the NBA last season in rebounds Per 40 minutes.
That alone would be a boost to a team that finished 26th in the NBA in rebounding a year ago. Considering the additions the Knicks have made so far this season, that’s a number that’s not likely to get much better next season.
The Knicks need frontcourt players who can rebound, play defense, and finish capably around the rim, all things that Johnson does well.
A guy like Johnson would go a long way to adding quality depth and size to a team that desperately needs it.
We will see if the Knicks will be able to afford him when it is all said and done.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.