If you missed Off-season Musings 1.0 check it out.
Again, this is a quasi-open thread to discuss potential losses and additions. Same ground rules as last time, yeah?
1. Let’s stay away from pure rosterbation, shall we? With little cap space for major free agent signings and few assets worth trading, Chris Paul is not walking through that door. It’s not impossible I suppose, but the Knicks aren’t well positioned for that kind of deal.
2. Check out your idea before posting. You can check trades against the CBA any number of places, including realgm. You can also find player contract and team salary cap information at basketball-reference.
POSSIBLE LOW-KEY ADDITIONS — PRO PLAYERS
It’s always hard to anticipate these kinds of moves without inside information. We don’t know exactly what the future holds for New York’s free agents, Martin, Smith, Prigioni, and Copeland. Regardless, the Knicks still need a backup for Tyson Chandler. Last off-season’s plan was clearly to throw bodies at the position. Unfortunately, those bodies were brittle and old. So Chandler still ended up playing too many minutes, until he got injured, sick, and generally worn down. Enter Roy Hibbert, and it just got ugly. I will admit to feeling like scooping up older bigs with skill last off-season was moneyballing some market inefficiency. Mayhap we look at a few younger bodies this off-season?
Here are a few under-the-radar names I’m keeping an eye on. They don’t address every need–certainly not Melo’s* alleged demand for an additional scorer–but I’m concentrating on potential bargains.
*I usually turn a jaundiced eye to any “reporting” from the Post. So I don’t know how accurate Melo’s alleged demand is. I feel fairly confident, however, that someone at the Post believes New York needs another “scorer”. In my humble opinion the Knicks could use, as much as anything, for Tyson Chandler to develop a 15-18 foot jumper the same way Udonis Haslem did.
• Brandan Wright is a solid two-way rotational big (not a small forward though) who probably carries too little bulk to ever be more than an 18-20 minute, matchup dependent 4 or 5. He may never play 82 games. So even though there is a lot to like, his price tag might stay reasonable. Here’s a great write up on Wright at MavsMoneyBall. Sure, Dallas likes him but if they’re serious about getting in on Dwight Howard they may have to let Wright walk even if its for reasonable money.
• Al-Farouq Aminu is only 22. I’m not sure how much bloom is left on that rose though. The Pelicans failed to pick up his option, despite the fact that he seems to have come into his own as a one-dimensional (elite) rebounding forward. The Pels need offense and they have already invested a high draft pick (Xavier Henry, plus a lot of other backup bodies) at his position. They like Aminu, and may not let him walk unless someone overpays. Given his limited skill set though, no one may back a dump truck filled with cash up to his door. New Orleans could probably keep him for reasonable money, but with another high draft pick on the way the numbers game may not favor Aminu staying in New Orleans. For the right price Aminu could provide New York the flexibility to go big without having to play Melo at the 3. He’d generally allow Woodson to keep a rebounder on the floor when Chandler is resting.
• Shaun Livingston is a fairly safe bet to return to Cleveland. In fact, I’m not even sure he could play for New York since he can’t shoot the three. Still, I’ve always liked Livingston. He’s a solid defender, excellent passer and rebounder. He also had a good season backing up Kyrie Irving. The second-tier guard market is a buyer’s market this off-season. So pair Livingston’s injury history with Irving’s, and the Cavs may consider finding a backup with less injury risk (not to mention more scoring punch). For his part, Livingston won’t be able to command much, which may well lead him back to Cleveland.