When you invest $124 million in somebody it is in both yours and their best interest to protect them from any unnecessary harm. Possibly fearful of Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder issues in the past few years the Knicks went out and got a couple of guys who can play both small and power forward.
Travis Outlaw isn’t really a banger per se, but he is big, has played down low, and is a decent enough rebounder to put him there for stretches. The Knicks are also likely banking on his three point percentage, which was above 30% for the first time since 2009-10 (35% last season) will find its way back into the mid to upper thirties to help stretch the floor.
Quincy Acy is really the guy that can save Melo’s body from the physical pounding of the power forward position. Even if Jeremy Tyler were on the team next year, the fact is there will be stretches where either Andrea Bargnani or Amar’e Stoudemire will be the center next year. While Carmelo Anthony set a career high with 8.1 rebounds per game the Knicks seem to be a little hesitant on relying on him to fulfill that role.
Acy last year averaged 13 rebounds per 100 possessions last season, which would be second on the team behind Dalembert (if you discount Cole Aldrich). Playing Acy alongside Stoudemire or Bargnani won’t help protect the rim but it will help the team’s rebounding efforts and will free up Anthony to be a part of fast breaks, shoot from the outside, and the physical pounding he risks against certain power forwards.
Because both Acy and Outlaw and play multiple positions, playing either with Anthony still allows him to set up as the power forward on offense, which is the main reason to play him there at all.
Acy actually shot 43% last year from 10-16 feet, which isn’t great but if he can improve a little on that defenses have to at least be aware of him. Outlaw, as previously stated had a decent season from behind the arc last season and its imperative that he continues to improve there. If he does it would be great for the Knicks to keep that floor spacing that they need to really allow Anthony to thrive.
Overall the deal wasn’t a game changer. It is unlikely that in throughout the season we will be crediting or blaming this trade on how the Knicks are playing. It could go a long way though in keeping players healthy via more depth and removing the heavy lifting from Anthony.