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New York Knicks Express Interest in Samuel Dalembert

July 14th, 2013 at 1:15 PM
By Matt Agne

Samuel Delembert isn't exactly the greatest center in the world but he's far from the worst. In fact, he can make a real impact on the defensive end of the floor. However, this off-season Dalembert has found himself on the outside looking in as far as in-demand big men. There still is one last place Dalembert may be able to land a solid salary, with the Dallas Mavericks. However, that hasn't stopped the New York Knicks from checking in with Dalembert's agent about his availability.

'Samuel Dalembert and the Sixers' photo (c) 2009, Kevin Burkett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Samuel Dalembert is a 6'11", 250 pound center from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was selected 26th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in Philadelphia from 2001-10, for the Sacramento Kings from 2011-11, the Houston Rockets from 2011-12 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 2012-13.

Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork the Knicks are interested in Dalembert's services.

The Knicks are interested in one of the best centers still available in free agency,Samuel Dalembert, according to a player source. 

On Friday, the first day of the NBA summer league at UNLV's Cox Pavilion, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald and Dalembert's agent, Marc Cornstein, were spotted chatting. The Knicks currently have no real backup behind Tyson Chandler, as Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace are all gone, and Kenyon Martin and Earl Barron are still free agents. 

Now, the reality is that Dalembert is worth more than the Knicks can pay him. He made $6,698,565 last season with the Bucks. There's honestly no reason why a player of Dalembert's defensive skill with a passable low-post game is still available. However, most teams have used nearly all of their available money at this point so the chances of Dalembert getting his normal rate of play are dwindling with every passing day.

Quite frankly, the Knicks are wise to check in on his availability and interest in playing in New York. There's very few good teams with money left and the Knicks have an edge over teams with just the veteran's minimum left to offer because they have slightly more with around $1.7 million remaining after re-signing Pablo Prigioni.

That being said, the chances of the Knicks signing Dalembert probably aren't that good for one reason, the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas missed out of signing Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum so at this point they are getting desperate to find a center to play next to Dirk Nowitzki.

'Dallas Mavericks' photo (c) 2009, Mike - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Luckily for Dallas they still have a little more than $3 million to offer Dalembert for next season. While it's likely Dalembert chooses the money instead of winning he knows he can start in Dallas and you can't blame someone for taking double the salary New York can offer him.

That being said, the 32-year-old is coming off an injury filled salary where both he and Milwaukee fell out of each other's graces. Dalembert only played 47 games in the 2012-13 season. However, he averaged 6.7 points, 1.1 blocks, 0.4 steals, 0.4 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 16.3 minutes a game with the Bucks.

Dalembert isn't the starting center he use to be but he'd be a very good reserve center. In Dallas he'd get to remain a starter and his numbers would probably keep dipping. in New York, he could backup Tyson Chandler and allow the Knicks to keep a defensive big in the game at all times. That seems to be a role he's more fitted for at this point in his career.

However, players almost always take the money over winning or better fits. Honestly, you can't blame them. Playing careers are relatively short as compared to other professions and players need to get their money while they can.

Signing Dalembert would be a major boon to the Knicks frontcourt. He could benefit from the reduced minutes and role and do the dirty work down low like rebounding and playing interior defense the Knicks need. Dalembert could help the Knicks deal with the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat who all have different frontcourt matchups to deal with.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News reports Dalembert and the Mavericks are working towards a deal.

The Mavericks and Samuel Dalembert continue to negotiate a free-agent deal, and a source said Saturday that both sides seem optimistic that an agreement will be reached, and that they are inching in that direction.

That would seem to indicate that New York is out of the running for Dalembert. However, if something were to happen in negotiations the Knicks could be there to pick up the pieces. Probably the most encouraging thing about the Knicks looking into Dalembert is the fact they are doing their due diligence on probably the best center remaining on the market. That is a very good sign and good job by Glen Grunwald.

Part of job of an NBA general manager is to look into all possible roster additions. Dalembert would be a great addition to the Knicks roster. The fact that there's no reason New York should be able to afford him shouldn't discourage the team from trying. After all, it's clear that the market hasn't been what Dalembert expected. When he's forced to take less your team had might as well see if he's willing to do it with them. That's exactly what Grunwald did. 

It doesn't seem like it's going to work out for New York but the answers automatically no if you don't ask the question. Plus, the Knicks may have forced the Mavericks to use the rest of the money they may have used to lure another free agent the Knicks covet. Either way, looking into Dalembert was a good move by the Knicks. Maybe next time they'll get a player they never thought would be available to them.

Tags: Andrew Bynum, Basketball, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Glen Grunwald, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Pablo Prigioni, Samuel Dalembert, Tyson Chandler

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