With the free-agency period dying down of late, it’s natural to surmise if the New York Knicks are content with the formation of their roster as they head into camp in the fall.
If the franchise is not content, than what pressing needs do the Knicks have to address before they open camp in October?
Well, to many, the Knicks could be better served by having some insurance at center to back up Tyson Chandler. As it stands right now, Chandler sits as the only member of the team with any experience at the position. Unless you can count on Kenyon Martin (or gasp, Andrea Bargnani) for back-up minutes at center, than the depth and experience at the position is rather thin. Considering Chandler’s recent injury concerns, this is a position that should be fortified before the season begins.
What is intriguing is what kind of impact Jeremy Tyler can make. If you saw any of the Las Vegas Summer League, you saw a talented big man with some polished moves. Tyler, 22, who is 6’10, 260, is only scratching the surface of his potential. With a little coaching, he’s not that far off from making an impact. But do you want to bank on him considering his limited experience?
It might be in the Knicks best interest to scour the free agent market for a cheap, minimum-salary center who can effectively spell Chandler.
Among the centers the Knicks could pursue (according to NBA.com Free Agent Tracker) include, but are not limited to Drew Gooden (who has been mentioned here) DeJuan Blair, Aaron Gray, Jason Collins, Joel Przybilla, Johan Petro, Cole Aldrich and ex-Knick Earl Barron.
Out of that bunch, you got to like the upside that Blair possesses. While a bit undersized at 6-7, Blair is a load to handle on the block. In San Antonio, he felt the crunch of playing behind Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. He’s a guy who needs a change of scenery to be productive.
If given playing time, Blair can be an effective post player who gets in there and defends and rebounds. In four years with the Spurs, Blair has averaged 7.8 points on 52.8 shooting to go along with 5.8 rebounds. Blair is your textbook junkyard dog and his style could fit in real well with the Knicks and their fans.
In any event, the center position should be addressed and it ought to be interesting to see how the final roster shakes out, and if the Knicks look to upgrade at the position in the coming weeks.
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