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Chris Wilcox Could Help the New York Knicks

November 25th, 2013 at 9:54 PM
By Matt Agne

Chris Wilcox played briefly, 25 games, for the New York Knicks during the 2009 NBA season. During that short time he was able to average 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in just 13.2 minutes of play. Per 36 minutes that's an average of 14.7 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. Wilcox isn't an All-Star but he is a professional with lots of experience who can still give a team solid minutes. With the Knicks lacking big men and struggling in the paint Wilcox could give the Knicks a boost in the frontcourt.

'New York Knicks' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Chris Wilcox is a 6'9.5", 221 pound power forward/center from Raleigh, North Carolina. The 31 year old has 11 years of NBA experience and was the eighth overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. For his career he's averaged 8.2 points, 0.4 blocks, 0.5 steals, 0.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds over 19.9 minutes per game. Those numbers project out to 14.9 points, 0.7 blocks, 0.9 steals, 1.3 assists and 8.9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

What does all that mean? He's not old but he's a very experienced veteran. He's tall and has a wide, muscular frame. He's tough and can give you depth at both frontcourt positions. Furthermore, he's a guy who is use to coming off the bench.

Wilcox isn't any kind of offensive focal point or even considered much of a threat. However, he's actually pretty efficient with the ball in his hands. He's also skilled in the pick-and-roll, can run the open floor and finish at the rim.

Defensively, he's very solid. He uses his athleticism to defend the low and high post. However, he's been foul prone throughout his career. While he doesn't block many shots he does contest shots well and uses his quick hands and jumping ability to disrupt shots. His strength is rebounding which is a big need area for the Knicks.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Clippers are looking into Wilcox as a fallback option to Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom remains the leading candidate to be signed by the Los Angeles Clippers to fill the opening they have in their frontcourt rotation. 

By far. 

But there's at least one other known name on the Clippers' list behind Odom in terms of potential in-season signees: Chris Wilcox.

Yet sources say the likelihood remains that Odom will ultimately get the call as he continues to work his way back from an offseason of off-court tumult. One source told ESPN.com last week that no deal with the Clippers "is imminent" but added that he'd be "surprised" if Odom doesn't wind up as a Clipper for the third time.

Now, it seems like Odom is all but destined to end up back in Los Angeles. It's the only place he wants to play, the Lakers are terrible and Odom has shown too many skills over the years for coaches and front office staff to pass on for the veteran's minimum.

However, this reports also indicates that Wilcox is back to full health. Last season Wilcox tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and required surgery in the off-season to repair it. Now he's just looking to prove his worth.

Gary Washburn of Boston.com reports how Wilcox is hoping to prove he can still contribute to a club after dealing with a plethora of injuries in recent years.

"It was tough, it never got better," he said. "I just thought I would give it some rest after the season and I would barely put my hand in a fist. It didn't get any better."

Wilcox missed most of the 2011-12 season after having surgery in March 2012 to repair an enlarged aorta. He said he never got into premium basketball shape following surgery. He is using this summer for that purpose.

"I have been working hard on my shape and to get back to there I was before," he said. "I still have a cast on my hand but I should be ready for the season. I just want to prove that I can still play."

Why shouldn't the Knicks give him that chance? It's been made painfully clear how much the Knicks need help in their frontcourt and no one outside of Carmelo Anthony has played well enough to demand a roster spot.

Wilcox isn't the kind of player that's going to turn the Knicks season around but he's the kind of tough veteran that could help them get going in the right direction. It's hard to believe Mike Woodson wouldn't embrace the arrival of another veteran.

Wilcox spent the last two seasons in Boston with Doc Rivers. He knows exactly what to expect from Wilcox from his time with the Celtics. However, there's pressure to add Odom to the Clippers who believe they're already a legitimate championship contender.

If the Clippers pass on him, Wilcox can give the Knicks some solid depth down low. He's a player you shouldn't ask to do too much but he's also a pretty safe option for an end-of-bench player.

If the Knicks want to turn this season around they need to stop ignoring their depth problem in their frontcourt. Cole Aldrich simply isn't getting it done. Yes he's younger than Wilcox but he probably is what he is at this point. We know what Wilcox is, a better option and he's healthy. That's all Steve Mills should need to know when contemplating making an offer for his services.

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Tags: Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Wilcox, Cole Aldrich, Doc Rivers, Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Clippers, Mike Woodson, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Steve Mills

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