As the free agency period has all but slowed to a crawl, the New York Knicks are coming off a very productive week in which they signed both Jeremy Tyler and Beno Udrih to contracts.
But there is still work to be done for Knicks’ general manager Glen Grunwald as he has one contract left to hand out.
May 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) argues a referees call in game three of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats New York 82-71. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
While we have heard rumor after rumor about which players the Knicks are still looking at, the Knicks still have one hole to fill, which should make Grunwald’s decision very easy on what he should do with the Knicks 15th contract.
The Knicks seemed to have improved a little at every position, except a true backup center to spell Tyson Chandler.
Sure Knicks’ head coach can use the likes of Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire at the 5, but having a legitimate center and not a power forward playing out of position is a big deal for this Knicks team.
Chandler is 31 years old now and while that doesn’t seem like he is aging, he is entering his 13th season in the league and has accumulated a lot of wear and tear on his body. In addition, Chandler is asked to do too much for this Knicks team and his body broke down by the time the playoffs came around last season. Being able to spell Chandler a little more often this season would be a luxury for Woodson.
Having another guy that can rebound and make up for his teammates breakdowns defensively (and there are a lot of them) is something this Knicks team could benefit from having.
There’s only one problem with that theory- the available centers on the market is a very ugly list.
We are talking about names such as Cole Aldrich, Earl Barron, Jason Collins, Hamed Haddadi, Jared Jeffries, Jerome Jordan and Shavlik Randolph.
Those guys won’t exactly help matters much having to spell Chandler at times during the season.
Neither will adding another power forward.
With the Knicks going small a lot and Carmelo Anthony logging most of the minutes at the 4, it will be a struggle to get Amar’e Stoudemire, Martin and Andrea Bargnani enough minutes.
The ideal situation calls for the Knicks to add another true center that can step up in a pinch if Chandler is injured or just to be available to cut Chandler’s minutes by a couple per game.
But which of these guys should the Knicks target?
Personally I feel the plans should be to target none of them and head into training camp with 14 players under contract. They then can bring in some non-guaranteed guys for training camp so they have enough bodies.
From there the plan should be to watch the waiver wire. Other teams will certainly be dropping some talented players that are squeezed out by the numbers. The Knicks may just be able to scoop up someone that could offer a little more promise than the current crop of available centers.
The worst case scenario is that they turn to a guy like Aldrich, Barron or Jordan after camp ends.
The bottom line is that the Knicks really need to think about adding a backup center, however there’s no need to rush.
If they stick to their plan, they should be able to find someone useful by the time the regular season tips off.
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