Ike Diogu should have made the New York Knicks roster in the first place. He played very well in the pre-season and brought a lot of what the Knicks have lacked all season. Mostly, rebounding and toughness. That being said, he didn't make the final roster. However, who late additions to the roster — Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih — haven't had that great of a time this season. As a result, both will be bought out of their contracts and the Knicks will be down to 13 players. Reportedly the Knicks could look to Diogu as a possible option to fill one of those roster spots.
While it was nice to see the New York Knicks put a premium on developing young talent this off-season they should have never done so at the expense of the team. The fact that Cole Aldrich made the team over Ike Diogu is nothing short of a joke. Meanwhile, Aldrich has shown almost no justification for the roster spot and Diogu has performed will in the D-League. Now that the Knicks have created roster spots it's possible the Knicks right their previous wrong and add Diogu to the roster.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Diogu could fill one of the two open roster spots for the Knicks.
Diogu is in the D-League with Bakersfield, averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. He showed rebounding ability and a mid-range jumper for the Knicks during the preseason.
The Knicks could certainly do worse than signing Diogu. Quite frankly, he should be on the team already anyway. For one reason or another things didn't work out for Diogu in New York before the season. However, this could be New York's chance to correct that mistake.
Diogu isn't the type of player that will turn this season around for the Knicks. However, he is the type of player the Knicks should have wanted to keep around. Especially when his roster spot went to a young player like Cole Aldrich who has shown little to no promise.
That being said, the Knicks are a luxury-tax penalty paying team who already has 17 players on the payroll this season. They could decide to either leave the two roster spots vacant or only sign one player. However, between players being released and bought out there should be plenty of free agent choices for the Knicks to pursue.
The Knicks also will have interest in proven veterans who were recently bought out, including Earl Clark, Ben Gordon and Antawn Jamison.
They have interest in Danny Granger and Glen Davis as well but Granger is expected to sign elsewhere and Davis has already committed to the Los Angeles Clippers. That being said, would anyone be surprised to see Chris Smith back with the Knicks?
One thing for sure, changes are coming for the Knicks roster. Change is probably a good thing but it's sad to see it come under these circumstances. World Peace is a shell of his former self but his arrival to New York was celebrated and he played well before needed knee surgery. People forget how he'd just come off the best year of his four with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In fact, he looked healthy and spry upon his return. He might not be Ron Artest anymore but he's a defensive-minded veteran with championship experience and the Knicks are just throwing that away. It's a shame because he's a guy who really wanted to be here. He always seemed destined to be a Knickerbocker and unfortunately things didn't work out.
Beno Udrih has never seen eye-to-eye with coach Mike Woodson and came here expected to run a two-point guard system only to find the team going in another direction. His absence should open up more time for rookie Toure Murry. That's a good thing for the organization.
The sad thing is that the front office was unable to trade Udrih, who had plenty of interest around the league, for a second round pick. That would have been a wise move. Instead the Knicks will have to pay him to leave without compensation. Letting go of two of your three players with championship rings? That's the Knicks way.
Hopefully these buy-outs don't come back to bite the team. At this point in the season they probably won't. The Knicks have plenty of point guards and World Peace was in and out of the rotation anyway. However, there's an even greater need for small forward depth now and it can't look good around the league that the front office couldn't pull off a minor trade or make it a full season with a home town free agent.
Then again, what should any of us expect? The Knicks front office rarely has looks good and when it does James Dolan makes sure to mess that up. Sorry Donnie Walsh.
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