The Knicks had a lot of holes in their roster this past season, but one spot in particular became a serious problem as the season went on: Forwards/Centers. In September the Knicks looked to be stockpiling power forwards for whatever reason as they had Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Andrea Bargnani. Supposedly Glen Grunwald felt Andrea Bargnani could backup Tyson Chandler on a nightly basis with the only insurance being Cole Aldrich. Kenyon Martin in theory was the back up center, but he was hurt more than ever, playing in only 32 games. This plan had several flaws to begin with.
Carmelo Anthony stepped up and averaged over eight rebounds a game, but the Knicks really lacked that hard-nosed interior defender off the bench, especially when Chandler broke his leg. Here we take a look at the viable options for the Knicks this offseason in finding that big man. Keep in mind the Knicks have virtually no cap space outside of the Mid Level Exemption and the Veteran’s Minimum.
1. Al – Farouq Aminu, 6’9″ Forward
The former 8th pick in the draft is long, athletic and prides himself on both defense and rebounding. At the same time, he has really struggled to shoot the ball, but with this Knicks team, there won’t be many shots for him to take anyway. Per 36 minutes, Aminu averaged 10.1 points and 8.7 rebounds this past season with New Orleans. His length allows him to guard multiple positions, and at only 23 years old, he still has a lot of time to develop. Last year, Aminu made $3.7 million, and based off his failure to meet lofty expectations, I think he will be in the Knicks’ price range.
2. Josh McRoberts, 6’10” Forward
For those of you who watched the Miami-Charlotte series, you should be excited he’s on the list. Against the top team in the NBA, McRoberts averaged 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. That’s a pretty nice stat line for a power forward against any team. This past season he averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and a whopping 4.3 assists. What really stands out with McRoberts as a player is his ability to pass. Phil Jackson will be installing the triangle offense with whoever his next coach is (Steve Kerr?) and to make that work, you need a good passing big man. McRoberts could find himself fitting in nicely in New York, provided he opts out of his $2,652,000 million player option this year.