Knicks Sign Earl Barron

In a move reminiscent of last year’s D-League merry-go-round, the New York Knicks signed Earl Barron. Unlike last year’s 7-footer du dix jour, I don’t see much in his game statistically. In his 1000+ NBA minutes and his nearly 2000 D-League minutes Barron is neither a shot blocker (0.8 blk/36 in both NBA & NBDL), rebounder (7.9 reb/36 NBA, 8.7 reb/36 NBDL), nor scorer (42.6% TS% NBA, 54.1% TS% NBDL). From an old scouting report, it seems his only strength is his mid range jump shot.

Ironically on the same day they signed Barron, New York faced Chris Hunter, a former NBDL center who was signed by the Knicks at the end of last year, but didn’t make the team. Hunter has played in 52 games for the Warriors averaging only 12.9 minutes per game. However the Golden State center has started 7 times this year, and recently notched his first double double in a win against Memphis.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

25 thoughts to “Knicks Sign Earl Barron”

  1. Earl Baron, huh? What, was Duke Viscount not available?

    But, hey– since the D-League merry-go-round is open again, why not waive Bender and test drive another no-chance-in-hell-of-ever-seeing-playing-time-under-D’Antoni-next season player?

  2. The difference between this season and last season is that Earl Barron is 28 and has already proven he cannot play in the NBA. Hunter could actually block a shot once in a while, unlike Barron. I suppose it’s a prerequisite to be a bigman for D’Antoni that you cannot block a shot, though.

    I do not follow the D-League even a little bit, but I have to guess that there’s someone in the league under 28 who has a better chance of being a diamond-in-the-rough than Barron. Then again, I guess if you can actually play basketball and you’re not in the NBA there’s a 90% chance you’re in Europe right now. Maybe Barron has improved and finally put it together?

    Knicks already appear to have missed out on Reggie Williams, whoever he is.

  3. I know the big man from the NBDL that many here wanted the Knicks to sign earlier who I think was like leading the NBDL in rebounds or blocks, if not both, got a tryout during the season with Dallas or some other team and wasnt even signed because he looked so bad during the tryout. I know many people say NBDL stats are meaningless because the competition really is pretty bad. Nothing compared to European leagues for sure.

  4. “it seems his only strength is his mid range jump shot. ”

    I know this will be making a mountain out of an ant hill, but this is sort of worrying. A. because it’s another example of Walshtoni favoring “shooters” over basketball players. In this case it doesn’t really matter, but if they continue the trend going forward it could result in disaster. B. because it’s another example of Walshtoni liking “shooters” who cannot actually shoot. As Mike said, Barron’s NBA stats stink. The season where he actually played a bit, 07-08, he shot .371 eFG% on jumpers, and 69% of his shots were jumpers. Hopefully he’s improved and roaming the country on a bus for $30,000/year has him dying to get back in the league and actually make an impact this time.

  5. In defense of David Lee. I know his defense is weak, but he is a home grown talent that seeks to constantly improve his game, his defensive liabilities lie in the fact that the coach stresses offense not defense. The Knicks need a big bodied mobile shot blocker, for the price I wold rather keep Lee. Boozer to slow, Amare contract year, Bosh maybe if we can swing a point guard. No, Lee is not the primary option but he can be part of a good supporting cast. Gallo or Chandler off the bench, TD off the bench. walker SG, The position that needs to be filled are at the C and PG position neither one has been addressed. A superstar would be nice, but a true hard nosed leader is what’s needed most. hopefully not another old or broken down player.

  6. Impressive as it may be the Lee triple double should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Warriors are 1st in pace.
    Warriors are 29th in defensive eff.
    Warriors are 30th in OREB%
    Warriors are 30th in DREB%

    So, there will be plenty of chances to score, no defense will be played, and anyone who feels like getting a rebound can just help themselves. He is a good player so he should put up NBA Jam like numbers. Keep in mind who he played.

  7. True, Thomas, true. But Lee IS improving. Last year against the Warriors he had 37 points, 21 rebounds, and only 2 assists!

    (And just to reinforce your point, here are the lines of Lee’s chief Free Agent competitors vs the Warriors this month:

    Amar’e: 37 (12-15 FG), 8 rebs
    Boozer: 25 (12-14 FG), 13 rebs
    Bosh: 24 (8-13 FG), 11 rebs, 5 assists

    …and Bosh plays them again today, so look for him to one-up Lee in his FA audition)

  8. Channing Frye announced today that he is opting out of his final year in Phoenix to become a free agent. You think Mike D’Antoni will push to get him this summer? I mean he doesn’t play defense, but he’s a shooting center who will run, and is showing in Phoenix that he can compliment a talented 4 pretty nicely. Not a better option than Marcus Camby, but who knows?

    A list of cheaper free agents I think the Knicks will consider bringing in this summer to compliment a max guy:
    PG: J.J. Barea, Raymond Felton (even though he wants to stay in NC, Donnie Walsh is a UNC alum), Jason Williams, Rafer Alston
    SG: Anthony Morrow, Manu Ginobili (probably not cheap), Roger Mason, Mike Miller(G/F), Josh Howard (G/F)
    SF: None necessary with Gallo, Wilson Chandler, and Bill Walker as cheap options
    PF: Udonis Haslem (very unlikely, but he’s solid), Tyrus Thomas(again, unlikely)
    C: Brendan Haywood (I know he could be expensive), Marcus Camby, Channing Frye

    so say next season, our roster looks like this:

    PG: Rafer Alston
    SG: Joe Johnson
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Chris Bosh
    C: Channing Frye/Marcus Camby
    1GOB (1st Guard Off Bench) TD
    7th: Wilson Chandler
    8th:Bill Walker
    BR (Bench Rider): Eddy Curry

    Not so bad, huh? I think this team is a 3rd seed in the east over a D-Wade/Amar’e/Michael Beasley 6th or 7th seed, Atlanta, A Derrick Rose/David Lee Chicago team,Milwaukee, Boston, Charlotte, and whoever else is thinking about the playoffs next year. To me, this team can beat out Orlando next year, but the one area of concern with this team is there are no bigs to come off the bench, but that is what a deadline-trade for good ole fat sacks’ expiring deal is for. Here’s another scenario:
    Say we take on Ben Gordon’s/Rip’s contract in a trade with the Piston’s this summer, because that experiment blew up early. And Joe Dumars is the same guy who signed Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox, and an old Ben Wallace would solve his paint problems. Its only right that he takes on Eddy Chubby, I mean Curry. Then we have a capable 2 guard if Joe Johnson takes a bigger deal with Washington, New Jersey, or some other team that’s bound to freak out, like the Clippers (JJ can play some 3 next to EG). So then we’d still have a decent 2 guard (realistically Rip, Ben Gordon is worth more. We’ll grow to hate Rip soon enough, calling him R.I.P.), Chris Bosh, and a LOT left over for role players. Say this comes to fruition
    PG: Raymond Felton
    SG: Ben Gordon
    PF: Chris Bosh
    C: Brendan Haywood
    7th:Wilson Chandler
    8th: Bill Walker
    9th:Channing Frye

    Now i don’t like this plan 1/2 as much as the 1st one, but its realistic. Thoughts?

  9. the plan above stated is assuming Joe Johnson take 10-11 mil, so we can split the 5 between Rafer Alston and Marcus Camby, or Channing Frye if we picks winning in NY over money elsewhere.

  10. A couple of random notes from the Celts-Cavs game (ok ok, I know I should be outdoors, I only watched the 4th quarter!):

    1) LeBron’s foul shooting was atrocious and really cost his team the game. **

    2) They were down by 2 with about 12 seconds left, and he attempted a pull up 3 from about 27 ft., with Jamison wide open cutting to the basket. I think he ended up with 40+ points and a bunch of assists, but he missed all of his 3 pointers plus the foul shooting woes. **

    3) At one point the Celts were like 1-12 from the field in the 4th and in the process of blowing a 17 point lead, and after KG made a shot, he spouted his usual filth including “You can’t guard me!” I love the guy’s intensity, but he really does have to shut up sometimes.

    ** I think I’ll still take him on my team.

  11. rafer alston is absolutely totally washed up. Not to mention that he’s poison. Whenever he doesn’t get minutes he whines and whines. I wouldn’t take alston for free. I’d rather put Johnson at point guard and start wilson chandler.

  12. @latke
    okay, so instead of Rafer Alston how about Jason Williams. He’s a capable PG who’ll sign for the vet. minimum

  13. Damn, I know I hate on Nate alot and am not surprised at all he is playing like crap for the Celtics but today he was a DNP-CD. 10 players played for the Celtics but not Nate. I wonder if the Celtics fans will be chanting “We want Nate” next game.

  14. You mean another team hasn’t fallen in love with Nate’s game?

    Thank God baseball season has started.
    Baseball and then summer FAs…

    Did someone actually suggest trading for Frye???
    Good Lord, I hope we do better than him…

    Yankees just nailed a double steal to go up 5-1 on the Sox.

  15. And just to complete my earlier post, Chris Bosh v. Golden State tonight: 42 points on 19 shots, 12 rebounds, and 5 steals. (Oh yeah– he also missed a game winning lay-up at the buzzer…)

  16. BBA,

    Whatever you think of Nate, how can you not be surprised that a guy with a career PER of 16 is playing at a PER of 12.6?

  17. Simple, with the Knicks he has played with shitty teammates for the most part and has been allowed to come off the bench and basically do whatever he wanted on offense w/o forcing him to really play any semblance of defense whatsoever for the most part.

    Now with the Celtics he has to play a disciplined game on offense since he has teammates who are actually alot better than him for the most part and not go 10 feet under every screen on defense w/o being called up on it. D’Antoni has always said Nate is more of a SG than a PG on offense but the Celtics have Tony Allen and now Finley as backup SG’s, not to mention Daniels who apparently has fallen out of favor too since he was the only other DNP-CD today along with Nate. Doc Rivers obviously wants no part of Nate as the backup PG even though Rondo plays a boatload of minutes anyway so hell it looks like Doc isnt even willing to go 10 minutes with Nate as the backup PG even now.

    Im sure he will play vs the Knicks on Tuesday and I wouldnt be surprised if he lights them up a bit but you cant tell me you are surprised that Nate is not fitting in with a team that preaches Defense and doesnt ask/allow Nate to just dominate the ball on offense and try to score almost whenever he wants.

    Look Im sorry I brought his name up again but obviously no matter what stats you throw at me, D’Antoni, Larry Brown and apparently now Doc Rivers, I will never like him as a player that much, certainly not as a player on a championship caliber team. But who knows as I mentioned last night he might do well in the playoffs if given the chance and prove me wrong but I am not counting on it.

  18. I just read stuff in the Boston newspapers to see what was up with Nate’s DNP and Doc Rivers said that what you saw today was his playoff rotation. Ouch.

    I wonder if the Knick writers will bombard Doc Rivers on Tuesday with questions about why Nate isnt playing now the way they did D’Antoni….

  19. That doesn’t explain why he’s putting up a TS% of .510, which, again, he hasn’t done since he was a rookie. That has absolutely nothing to do with defense. I’m not saying he’s playing well for the Celtics–he’s not–I’m saying that there was no reason to expect he would suddenly play this poorly offensively after playing much better his whole career.

    The Celtics are a throroughly average offense: 15th in the NBA. The Knicks are only 18th. His new teammates are not any better offensively than his old ones. If anything, playing with better teammates and being forced to take better shots would only help his scoring efficiency. Call it the Jamal Crawford effect: Crawford could score whenever he wanted on the Knicks and stunk, now that he’s in a more defined role with much better teammates he’s taken off.
    Nate’s TS% has been .550 for 3 of the past 4 seasons, under two different coaches with almost entirely different teammates, so a TS% of .510 is just not what you’d expect all personal opinions aside. As much as I hate Duhon right now, there was no reason before the season to think he’d revert to the worst TS% he’s had since his rookie year. Whether Doc Rivers knows what TS% is or not, if Nate was at .550 he’d be a better offensive sparkplug and it would be noticeable to Rivers and the naked eye. Nate would be playing in the Eddie House role. In case you didn’t notice House is also not a PG and is even worse on D than Nate.

    “doesnt ask/allow Nate to just dominate the ball on offense and try to score almost whenever he wants.” He still has a usage rate of 21.5 for Boston and he’s taking over for Eddie House who shot the ball whenever he wanted… that’s not it.

    You really needed D’Antoni to tell you Nate’s more of a SG than a PG on offense?

    Larry Brown played him over 20 mpg for 72 games as a rookie, so don’t give me that bullshit. He’s known for not playing rookies much and he’s known for bitching about all his players.
    D’Antoni played him too, besides one 14 game stretch. D’Antoni played him 30 mpg last season. You can’t just bend facts to support your personal opinions.

    “Doc isnt even willing to go 10 minutes with Nate as the backup PG even now.” First you say he’s a SG, then you knock him because Rivers won’t play him at PG???? Anyway, as I went to great lengths to point out in a previous thread, Doc Rivers isn’t a good offensive coach and doesn’t necessarily make good personnel decisions. This is a guy whose “scoring punch” off the bench comes in the form at a 6-5, 330 lb lineman with a .490 TS%. He played Bill Walker a total of 29 minutes all season, most of those coming in 2 games against the Nets. The same Bill Walker who is playing well for the Knicks.

    When you mix in blatant misinformation and irrelevant points it kills your case.

  20. Let me be clear that I don’t have a real problem with Doc Rivers not playing Nate Robinson–as you yourself point out he’s got other options. I do have a problem with your “I told you so” attitude over 300 minutes in which he’s clearly not playing his best, and using Doc Rivers not playing him as justification for your issues with the guy.

  21. Well honestly if it wasnt for the 1000 people here making such a big deal about Nate’s benching then I wouldnt care at all about Nate not playing for Boston as a point being proven (granted the media was worse than the pro-Nate crowd here). But you guys made D’Antoni look like the dumbest coach in the history of sports because he was benching Nate.

    The only reason it was truly annoying was because the Knicks actually played decent at the time and while admittedly it probably didnt have that much to do with Nate’s benching we couldnt even enjoy the nice streak the Knicks were on because the Nate fans were still complaining the whole time about his benching. Even during game threads any time the Knicks struggle for a 2 minute stretch there was always some stupid this wouldnt be happening if Nate was playing crap. Maybe it was mostly tongue in cheek but again it was so damn annoying that during the best Knicks stretch in a long time the focus was more on Nate not playing than on the Knicks winning.

  22. To me Rivers not playing Nate is a lot different from D’Antoni not playing Nate. The Celtics have comparable or better players around and in front of Nate, the Knicks really didn’t. Duhon was the only true guard playing more than 6 minutes most nights. Chandler did a great job sliding over to SG, but Duhon’s play alone was enough to make a case for Nate. Duhon this season was the equivelant of a starting pitcher with an ERA of 12.00, and those guys just don’t stay in your rotation all season. He had a few good games (one or two really good games), but on the season it was really painful to watch him.

    The streak was nice, but to put up your best record on a sustained basis it’s generally suggestable to play your best talent. D’Antoni’s inconsistency in terms of the lengths of the leashed he had on players–super short for some and super long for others–was frustrating. Nate was one blatant example of that, counter-balanced by Duhon’s abysmal play. Another example would be the Knicks getting killed inside all year, but D’Antoni staying away from 2 bigman line-ups at all costs (what would be conventional line-ups to every other team besides GS). As much as I don’t mind Darko not having played for his attitude, at some point shouldn’t D’Antoni have thrown Lee at PF and Darko or Hill at C to see what happened? Outside the box thinking can be great, but there’s a reason 90% of NBA teams play both a PF and a C.

    If the Knicks had been able to sustain a high level of play (maybe not as high as that stretch, but .500 ball or something), the voices for Nate would have died down hard. It was equally frustrating for me to read “Nate got benched, Knicks are winning, correlation = causation AND this streak can be sustained.” The streak was unsustainable, but a nice reversion after the terrible start.

  23. Yeah I remember how some anti-Nate people did get a bit too eager to say Nate’s benching all of a sudden made the Knicks a good team and obviously it was proven it didnt matter if he played or not they were just a 30 win team. I totally agree with that part but like you said it was a nice reversion after the terrible start which was hard to enjoy because the Nate not playing overshadowed it. Hell after every game the NY papers game recap almost always had the Knicks now are [insert record] since the Nate benching which grew tiresome.

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