The New York Knicks are assessing the roster and seeing if general manager Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson can find someone available to help the team for the rest of the season. Although they are saying that nothing is happening at the moment it isn't preventing them from looking. Could the best friend of a heated rival be the answer to the Knicks frontcourt woes? Close friend of Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh and long-time NBA journeyman Josh Powell might be able to fill the needs of the Knicks.
Josh Powell is a 30 year old 6'9", 240 pound power forward/center from Riverdale, Georgia. He played college ball at North Carolina State from 2001-03 and went undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Powell played for Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody in Russia in 2003, Scafati Basket in Italy from 2003-04, the South Crescent Lightning of the World Basketball Association (WBA) in 2004, JuveCaserta Basket in Italy from 2004-05, the South Crescent Lightning (WBA) in 2005, the Dallas Mavericks from 2005-06, the Fort Worth Flyers of the NBA D-League in 2006, the Indiana Pacers from 2006-07, the Golden State Warriors in 2007, the Los Angeles Clippers from 2007-08, the Los Angeles Lakers from 2008-10, the Atlanta Hawks from 2010-11, Liaoning Dinosaurs in China from 2011-12, Brujos de Guayama in Puerto Rico in 2012 and Olympiacos in Greece since 2012.
Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork reports the Knicks could potentially look into the availability of Josh Powell.
A source close to the Knicks said that Grunwald "needs to make that call ASAP," referring to releasing a player to sign someone else. However, the big man field is small, which includes Hilton Armstrong, Tony Battie, Josh Boone, Brian Cook, Dan Gadzuric, Troy Murphy, Josh Powell, Samardo Samuels, Henry Sims, Ben Wallace, Hakim Warrick, Hassan Whiteside and Sean Williams.
The source said that the Knicks should target the 6-9, 240-pound Powell, who's currently playing for Greek powerhouse, Olympiacos, because the 30-year-old is "still young and strong, and a solid rebounder." While Sims and Samuels have been blowing up in the D-League this season, they're both younger and Woodson prefers veterans. That's why Kenyon Martin was brought in, and he's added a big boost defensively.
It is very likely that over the next week or so that many free agent names will pop up. While it's clear that the Knicks will address the frontcourt depth issue in the off-season, the team needs help for the stretch run of this season.
While the Knicks veteran laden roster has helped put them at the top of the Atlantic Division, it's also backfired on them as the season has progressed. To correct the problem the Knicks will have to think outside the box and bring in players who will come for cheap and can produce immediately. If they're younger, even better.
What are the Knicks in need of? First of all, a healthy body. After that, they'll be looking for a player who can rebound and play defense. Someone who is tough and isn't afraid to bang bodies down low and make a hard foul when needed.
He'd also give the Knicks a much needed boost in low post play that they've missed since the departure of Amare Stoudemire. While Powell's NBA stats aren't the most impressive, he is a guy who is a veteran and can play the style of basketball the Knicks need right now.
With 15 players under contract, there would need to be a cut made in order to bring in reinforcements. The biggest obstacle the Knicks face in improving their roster may be Mike Woodson. He's publicly optimistic that Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas can return to contribute this season. While Thomas has already shown he can tough his way through his injury and contribute is is very unlikely Wallace can help the Knicks in the playoffs.
Keeping Wallace seems much more like a respect issue than a basketball decision. Wallace still want to play so Woodson is going to give him his chance. After a two-year retirement and missing about two-thirds of the year with a lengthy injury, Wallace making a positive impact is very unlikely. That would likely mean James White would be the cut casualty. He's been in and out of the rotation all season but he's never made an impact.
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