In a move that may well bookend a surprisingly busy offseason, the Knicks appear poised to sign veteran point guard Beno Udrih to a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, according to Coach Mike Woodson.
In the wake of Jason Kidd’s departure, landing a third point guard to supplement Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni — re-signed to a three-year, $5 million, partially guaranteed deal on July 10th — was of paramount concern for the front office. Mission accomplished.
That the Knicks were able to land Udrih marks a small but not insignificant coup: At 31, the Slovenian point guard has plenty left in the tank, and brings a combination of size, quickness, shooting, and passing to a back-court rotation that experienced something of an accidental renaissance down last year’s stretch, when two-point guard lineups became a staple of Mike Woodson’s offense — and an efficient one at that.
Memphis and San Antonio were both said to have been in contention for Udrih’s services, but Udrih ultimately decided with the Knicks, no doubt due in part to the team’s propensity for two-headed point guard lineups.
While Udrih has never been a world-stopping defender, his offensive versatility alone — crafty in transition, dangerous on mid-range jumpers, serviceable (35% career) from deep, and capable of playing either guard spot — should proof a much-needed boon for a bench unit shaping up to be one of the deepest in the league.
An interesting tidbit from @TommyBeer: Beno is just one of four active point guards to have totaled 2,200 career assists and fewer than 1,000 turnovers. He has a tendency to get a bit cavalier with the ball on occasion, but this kind of ratio is definitely promising — particularly considering the team’s top-tier turnover rate a season ago.
According to Mark Stein, the cap hit on Udrih will be less than 900K, but the signing will move them to more than $16M beyond the tax threshold, which means the 2013-14 tax bill is up to $32,341,250. And forty cents.
The Knicks were considering a bevy of stopgap solutions at the position, including Bobby Brown and Chris Duhon and I’ll just end that sentence here.
Be it for fit or fashion, this was a good get. Nice going, Glen.