The New York Knicks still have some money to spend this offseason—albeit, not much—and forward Austin Daye is the most recent player to be worked out by the team, reports Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
Daye, a 6'11" small forward, has the size to play under the basket. The fact that he's rail-thin, however, has prevented that from becoming a reality. He played last season for both the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 12.3 minutes per game and shooting quite well from downtown.
He shot 41.8 percent from deep, averaging 1.7 shots per game. He's not a big-time rebounding threat, however, so the Knicks could potentially frown upon that aspect of his game. A man nearly seven-feet tall should be able to pull down more than the 6.6 per game he would have averaged in 36 minutes.
Daye, a former 15th overall pick by the Pistons (2009), has never lived up to the hype. A versatile "big man" who can shoot and run the floor is something that a ton of teams would go far, but Daye hasn't been the most consistent of peformers.
His best season came back in 2010-11 when he played 72 games, 16 of which he started. In 20.1 minutes of action per game, he averaged just 7.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He's yet to put up numbers remotely close to those since.
The Grizzlies chose to let Daye walk after not presenting him with a qualifying offer, clearly expressing their distaste in having a player like Daye on the roster. Should he come to the Knicks, there's no doubting the fact that he'd be strictly a bench filler. Head coach Mike Woodson could choose to use him for a few minutes a game, but the Knicks have others that are more deserving of playing time.
Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Metta World Peace and C.J. Leslie will all see playing time at small forward, meaning there won't be much playing time to go around there. At power forward, Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani will occupy nearly all the playing time.
The Knicks are likely just doing their due diligence in looking to use their final few minimum-level contracts. Daye may not be much of a difference-maker for the team but, if he's signed with those expectations, then it could be a match made in heaven.
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