As Phil Jackson searches for affordable ways to improve the New York Knicks it's become apparent that the team is in the market for power forward depth. Who will the team target and who will they ultimately bring in to add depth to the Knicks front court?
Now that Carmelo Anthony is back on board with the New York Knicks it's time to look around in free agency and see if there's anyone who can strengthen the squad from off the bench. This player could be a veteran's minimum signing or a player worthy of the mini mid-level exception.
Is there a player out there who can help the Knicks next season? Is there a player who are worth adding to the team on a multi-year deal? What kind of player is Jackson looking for?
Did you know the Knicks were in the market for Chris "Birdman" Andersen? Before re-signing with the Miami Heat the Knicks made a push to bring Andersen to New York.
As it turns out, the Heat gave him more than the Knicks could offer but the fact that the Knicks were in the running for his services is telling. Clearly the Knicks are in the market for a power forward.
Several teams made strong pushes for Andersen – including a late bid by the New York Knicks – but Andersen wanted to return to a roster core and franchise that will move on without LeBron James.
Another player the Knicks have been attached to is Trevor Booker. Most believe Booker will return to the Washington Wizards but that hasn't stopped the Knicks from trying to see if they might be able to add him to their roster.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports the Knicks are interested in Booker.
Meanwhile, #Knicks have continued to show interest in Washington PF Trevor Booker, per source.
Booker is undersized for a power forward and is a better defender than offensive player but he makes for his short stature with his strength and athleticism.
That being said, the Wizards are working on a new contract for Booker. However, the Knicks have interest in him and will keep an eye on him incase contract talks breakdown with Washington.
The Knicks tried to sign Brand for the mini mid-level exception but he was able to find larger offers and told New York to move on. As it turns out, Brand ended up on the Atlantic Hawks.
However, Chris Vivlamore of AJC.com reports the Knicks are once again in the market for the former maximum salary big man.
The Hawks and Knicks have expressed interest in Elton Brand, the unrestricted free agent center. #ATLHawks #Knicks
Brand is now 35 but was a defensive anchor for the Hawks last season. Not bad considering he was playing under a 1-year, $4 million contract.
It isn't known how much it might take to get Brand under contract. However, for the right price Brand could be a great addition to the Knicks roster.
After all, despite his age Brand has remained a productive players. Last season with Atlanta, Brand had a Per 36 average of 10.7 points, 2.2 blocks, 1.0 steal, 1.9 assists and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Another player Knicks 101 suggested for the Knicks last off-season was DeJuan Blair. He ended up signing with the Dallas Mavericks.
However, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports that Dallas is not in the market to re-sign Blair.
Mavs moving on from DeJuan Blair is sign he made it clear he wasn't coming back for the minimum. Can get more after quality year in Dallas.
Washington and Dallas are in advanced discussions on a potential sign-and-trade deal that would land DeJuan Blair with Wizards
Blair is only 25 and had a very nice season with Dallas. In 15.6 minutes per contest, Blair averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds last season. For his career, Blair has averaged 7.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per night.
Blair might end up heading to Washington but between his age and productivity he should be a player Jackson is after. He'd fully be worth the Knicks' mini mid-level exception and taking up a small amount of money that might be used on someone else next off-season.
Signing Blair wouldn't make the Knicks a title contender, but it would strengthen New York's bench. It would also add both experience and youth to the frontcourt and help ensures the Knicks remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.
It's unknown what power forward the Knicks might end up bringing in. However, it's clear they are in the market for one. It also seems pretty obvious that they are targeting defensively-minded big men. Hopefully Jackson can bring someone in who can remain healthy so the Knicks have to rely on Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani suiting up for them.
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