The Wizards officially announced that they would not be matching the Knicks’ offer on Jared Jeffries today, making the 6’11” forward an official member of the New York Knicks.
Whether this is a good thing or not is a whole other matter.
In his ESPN chat today, John Hollinger wrote about the signing: “It was a slightly more productive use of their money than just setting it on fire, but not by much. Washington essentially replaced his production with a minimum-wage guy in Stevenson.” This is consistent with Hollinger’s position earlier this offseason on Jared Jeffries, who he seemed to believe was one of (if not THE) most overrated free agent of this free agent season.
However, while it seems a fairly significant stretch to believe that Stevenson will really replace most of Jeffries’ production, that does not even really address whether this was a good pick-up for the Knicks (then again, it’s a chat answer, you can’t expect depth).
We’ll get more information tomorrow, but for now, all we have for reactions to the deal is the AP report on the topic.
In it, Ernie Grunfield explains, “Jared’s representative made it crystal clear that he preferred being in New York, And we feel we have plenty of players who can take up the slack. We have players that want to be here.” I think that’s a good way of looking at it by Grunfield, even if it is prototypical spin.
One interesting thing about Jeffries is, let’s say he is NOT a great defender, he certainly IS now the best defender on the KNICKS (unless Balkman is amazing right out of the gate), and I think that, in and of itself, does have some value.
In any event, whether this was a good signing or not, it has now maxed the Knicks out on players they can offer contracts to, and with the way Isiah loves to “discover” talent, I find it hard to believe that the Knicks are happy about being maxed out, especially since four of the players of the fifteen are small forwards (Rose, Richardson, Jeffries, Balkman) and three of those four are players who expect to get significant minutes. Look for the Knicks to at least try to make another move in the future to clear up some roster room.
Hopefully, either Dave or Mike will be tomorrow to give us a more in-depth look at the signing, but I figure y’all would like somewhere to react to it for now.