This offseason is sure going to be interesting for the New York Knicks, both for prospective players and those currently on the roster. From the latest ruling on Bird rights to free agents available on the market, GM Glen Grunwald is going to be keeping himself quite busy this summer.
You see, the Knicks are expected to be legitimate contenders next season for the first time in what feels like an eternity. After going 18-6 in the regular season under new coach Mike Woodson, the sky seems to be the limit.
Yet, the 2012-2013 season is a few months away from beginning, and the Knicks still have a lot to do as rumors continue to swirl around the halls of Madison Square Garden. I've had my ear to the ground for a while, so here are some general updates out of Knicks camp.
He's not one of the big-name free agents, but Ronnie Brewer is a thrifty signing for the New York Knicks. A 6'7" wing who can play either the 2 or 3 spots, Brewer's defense is what makes up for his paltry shooting ability.
As NBA.com's David Aldridge reports, Brewer's deal is two-year pact:
Knicks continue to build backcourt, agreeing 2 terms with ex-Bull Ronnie Brewer on one-year deal, per source. Check the Hang Time Bkog soon.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 24, 2012
As the Knicks have nothing left to offer but the veteran's minimum, this means Brewer likely took a pay cut instead of a bigger check with the Minnesota Timberwolves and a handful of other teams still looking for wing help.
While the Knicks have mentioned J.R. Smith as their starting two-guard, it's very logical that Smith may return to his bench role now that Brewer is on board. Teams like to have some reserve firepower with the second unit, and the Knicks don't have a lot of scoring on the bench at the moment.
On the other hand, their starting lineup will have plenty of hungry mouths who need defensive help. Letting Brewer begin each half could help balance out this team while making sure Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Smith don't cut into each other's shots.
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Maxwell Ogden
It was previously reported that the New York Knicks had come to an agreement with Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni. As of July 24th, that has finally been made official as the Knicks inked the international star to a contract.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com has the story.
Knicks have officially signed Pablo Prigioni.— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) July 24, 2012
Prigioni could give Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd a run for their money and playing time. He's a masterful defender who comes up with steals like it's nobody's business. He's also an excellent ball handler who passes well and sees the court with outstanding vision.
The question is, how much does the 35 year old have left in the tank?
Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof
The Knicks have taken a lot of flack for those who they've employed to run the point guard position next season, but Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd aren't the only new PG's on the roster.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks have signed Pablo Prigioni.
His U.S. agent George Bass confirms Pablo Prigioni is a Knick.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 11, 2012
Prigioni has spent time in the Spanish League previously and is expected to serve as the third-string point guard for the Knicks next season.
Photo Courtesy of TheKnicksWall.com
BREAKING NEWS: Wednesday, July 18, 12:00 a.m. -- Maxwell Ogden
-Content provided by Bleacher Report's Jeremy Lin Offseason Tracker.
BREAKING NEWS: Tuesday, July 17, 10:41 p.m. -- Maxwell Ogden
The moment of confirmation will come in approximately one hour, but Ian Begley of ESPN New York has news right now.
According to Begley, the New York Knicks have confirmed that they will not match the Houston Rockets' offer to Jeremy Lin. This would have Lin Houston bound and set to become a member of the Rockets.
#Knicks confirm they are not matching Houston's offer to Jeremy Lin. Lin will be a Rocket.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 18, 2012
While we won't have true confirmation for another hour or so, Begley is a reliable source. The end of Linsanity in New York could be upon us.
-- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker
BREAKING NEWS: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes
It comes as only a slight surprise, after plenty of reports claiming that this would happen, but it appears as if the New York Knicks really are walking away from Jeremy Lin.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Rockets are being allowed to heist Lin away:
Posting momentarily to nytimes.com: Lin will be a Rocket. Knicks deliberations over.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) July 17, 2012
Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will now be the point guards for the Knicks, while Lin becomes the first major free agent the Rockets have landed all offseason.
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Free Agent tracker.
- End of Update -
Jeremy Lin's brief, but amazing New York Knicks career could come to a surprising end soon. Here's the latest from the New York Post:
Another source insists #Knicks won't match Lin's offer sheet.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 15, 2012
At the beginning of the summer, Lin re-signing with New York seemed like one of the more likely contracts to happen, but the Knicks decided that keeping him wasn't best for the organization.This is a free agent move that cannot be graded until a few years from now because Lin's NBA career is still very young. He could have success with the Rockets, but he will never be a superstar.
Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof
Blazers beat writer Jason Quick has the full details of the sign-and-trade that will send Felton back to New York.
Blazers-Knicks trade will go through tomorrow. Blazers get Jared Jeffries, Dan Gadzuric, Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Prentezis and $$— Jason Quick (@jwquick) July 16, 2012
Knicks get Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas. No other Blazers players will be included. Knicks will pay Jeffries' $1.35M salary— Jason Quick (@jwquick) July 16, 2012
Update on Saturday, July 14 by Maxwell Ogden--
According to Al Iannazonne of New York Newsday, the New York Knicks have successfully constructed a sign-and-trade deal to land Raymond Felton from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Confirmed that Ray Felton is heading to the Knicks with Kurt Thomas in a sign and trade.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 15, 2012
All that's left at this point is one question: what will come of Jeremy Lin?
--End of Update--
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the New York Knicks are prepared for the worst. While Jeremy Lin remains a top priority, the Knicks appear keen on seeing if Raymond Felton can re-discover the form he had with the franchise in 2011.
Felton deal with Knicks "not done," source said. Everyone confident it will be. There will be a meeting late tonight after last game.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 15, 2012
Should the Knicks land Felton, it's unlikely that they will retain Jeremy Lin. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports confirms the speculation.
Jeremy Lin appears close to being a Houston Rocket with Raymond Felton to NY deal close to being done, sources tell Y!— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 15, 2012
The next 24 hours could be the biggest to date for the New York Knicks.
Update: Sunday, July 15 — Ethan Norof
The Raptors now have Landry Fields officially under contract after the Knicks decided not to match Toronto's offer sheet.
Meanwhile, the Knicks have confirmed they did not match the Toronto Raptors offer sheet to Landry Fields.— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) July 15, 2012
-End of update-
The New York Knicks have had their hands full attempting to keep Jeremy Lin in the fold, but they may now need to turn their attention to another one of their restricted free agents.
ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Toronto Raptors have inked Landry Fields to an offer sheet:
Just going up online and via SportsCenter: Raptors and Knicks' RFA Landry Fields have agreed to three-year offer sheet— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2012
Fields is close friends with Jeremy Lin, so one would suspect the organization would prefer to keep the two together. The Knicks are entitled to match Toronto's offer and retain Fields, even though they're well above the salary cap.
However, New York also has to remain cognizant of how far Lin's costs could spiral out of control.
The club's budget was pretty strapped even before embarking upon this summer's to-do list, and long-term luxury taxes have to be part of the equation as well.
Fields is a solid rebounder for his position and an all-around hustle guys willing to make the right pass. Unfortunately, he may not be worth whatever Toronto is offering.
-Content provided by B/R's Offseason Free Agent Tracker.
Update: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes
Details of Marcus Camby's new contract have been detailed by Mark Deeks:
Marcus Camby's three year deal pays him $13,151,319, and descends in value. But only $1,025,890 of $4,177,208 is guaranteed in year three.— Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) July 16, 2012
UPDATE (7/10/12 at 8:44 p.m.) by Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have agreed to a trade:
Houston and New York agreed on a sign-and-trade deal sending Douglas, Harrelson, Jordan to Rockets for picks, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012
This deal appears to be in response to the Rockets' inability to sign a point guard this season and will also allow the Knicks to acquire Marcus Camby via a sign-and-trade:
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Marcus Camby has agreed to sign with the New York Knicks.
Marcus Camby has reached agreement on a deal with the Knicks, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012
The deal is a reported $13.2 million over the next three years. Camby will add great depth behind Tyson Chandler at the 5. He's an intelligent player who stays out of foul rouble and rebounds better than anyone currently on the Knicks roster.
UPDATE (7/8/12 at 11:15 a.m) by Maxwell Ogden
The word "shocking" is beginning to lose it's value.
Just when we thought things couldn't get any stranger, Marcus Camby threw the latest curveball as he Miami Heat" target="_self">cancelled his visit with the Miami Heat. This comes on the heels of Marc J. Spears' report that the Heat and New York Knicks were the top contenders for Camby's services.
NYK and MIA leaders in comp to land HOU C Marcus Camby with either $3m mini mid or Sign-N-Trade, source tells Y! SA,DAL, HOU also interested— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012
With the cancelled visit, one would be safe to assume the New York Knicks have the advantage. An advantage, of course, that one could refer to as a potential signing.
--End of Update--
The New York Knicks are a team with immense talent and the upside to win an NBA championship. Unfortunately, they're far too immature as a unit and lack the necessary chemistry to put it all together. To cure those woes, the Knicks have begun targeting veteran players.
The latest you'll name is one that die-hards are very well acquainted with.
Rockets center Marcus Camby to meet with Heat on Saturday, source said. Knicks next. Rockets unlikely, and not until after Asik decision.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 6, 2012
With a front court that lacks any type of depth beyond All-Stars Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the acquisition of Camby could be key to the Knicks' postseason production. It could also be the veteran acquisition that pushes the Knicks into place.
Veteran forward Grant Hill is on the Knicks' free agent radar. He would give the Knicks even more depth at the small forward position, and also some scoring off the bench.
Here's the latest from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
The Knicks recently met with free agent Grant Hill in Las Vegas, sources tell the Daily News.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 15, 2012
Hill is 39 years old and has played with the Phoenix Suns for the past five seasons. He wouldn't be a dominating player at either end of the floor, but would work hard and bring some leadership to the Knicks.
Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Joel C. Cordes
Though he struggled with consistency once returning from China to the NBA last season, J.R. Smith is still one of the best spark-plug bench scorers in the league.
The New York Knicks just retained him on a very reasonable contract:
J.R. Smith done seeking offers and has accepted #Knicks 20-percent bump to $2.8M. Second year is player option.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 10, 2012
While New York is being maligned for their free-wheeling offseason—$40 million in contracts to Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak and Smith, despite already being over the luxury tax—their money has largely been spent retaining their own.
While the Knicks have yet to officially match Jeremy Lin's $31 million offer from the Houston Rockets, doing so also appears to be a foregone conclusion.
Keeping J.R. Smith is not only savvy because he'll likely replace a departing Landry Fields (to the Toronto Raptors) as the starting shooting guard, but also because New York could not have found a better replacement at the league minimum salary: they only thing they'd have left to offer.
Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Joel C. Cordes
As expected (and detailed in earlier updates), the New York Knicks have retained Steve Novak as a shooting specialist. The former Marquette forward led the league by canning 47.2 percent of his downtown shots last season.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the details of the contract:
Novak's deal with New York is for $15 million over four years.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012
The Knicks have had a busy offseason, landing Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby, while also retaining Novak, J.R. Smith and (likely) Jeremy Lin. They are way over the luxury tax threshold already, but keeping Steve Novak provides yet another available shooter on a potential offensive juggernaut.
Knicks officially announce the signings of Jason Kidd and Steve Novak.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 12, 2012
Kidd is going to turn 40 next season, but he still has a knack for being a great leader and making three-pointers and pretty passes. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the future Hall-of-Famer is considering one of two teams: the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks.
In the same report, Kidd states that he is fine being a backup player and were he in New York, he would "enjoy helping groom Jeremy Lin." Bringing those two together is definitely possible, especially since the Knicks can now go over the salary cap to re-sign Lin.
More importantly, having a seasoned veteran like Kidd would do wonders for keeping harmony in the locker room, particularly with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony sharing the ball. Throw in his championship experience, and the idea of bringing Kidd in on a one-year deal looks even better.
Whether it's from a financial or Linsanity nostalgia standpoint, the New York Knicks did the right thing by extending a qualifying offer to Jeremy Lin.
HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy tweets that the Knicks have taken the first official steps towards keeping their surprising star.
The Knicks officially extended a qualifying offer to Jeremy Lin, making him a restricted free agent. They can match any offer Lin receives.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2012
While New York fans would have been sad to see Lin walk, the Knicks are so locked into their cap situation, that re-signing the point guard was a no-brainer either way. Lin is a high-upside prospect right now, and the Knicks will not have enough money to sign someone of his equivalent caliber.
An outside team could lob a huge offer at Jeremy Lin, but it appears the Knicks are ready to match and retain him.
UPDATE (7/8/12 at 3:51 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the New York Knicks have successfully re-signed Steve Novak. The deal will lock up the NBA's best three-point shooter for four years and qualify under Early Bird Rights.
Novak's deal with the Knicks is for $15 million over four years with no options.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 9, 2012
This is a big deal for a player with big value. Expect Novak to live up to the hype as the best three-man in the business continues to bring Madison Square Garden to life.
--End of Update--
Knicks management breathed a sigh of relief last week as arbitrator Kenneth Dam ruled in favor of the NBAPA regarding Bird rights and players who were claimed off waivers.
Newsday's Al Iannazzone corroborates the idea that both Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will be granted these rights, thus making their re-signings more possible for the New York Knicks.
For those unaware, Bird rights (made famous by a Hall-of-Fame player who needs no introduction) allow a team to go over the salary cap to re-sign its own free agents.
This is great news for the Knicks, who have a lot of free agents this year, most notably point guard Jeremy Lin and three-point threat Steve Novak. Thanks to this ruling, the cap-strapped team can offer both players contracts that are up to 175 percent of their salaries last year.
Given how both shined in Woodson's offense, this can only mean good news for the team next season, assuming both stay in New York.
In Game 1 of the Knicks' playoff series against the Miami Heat, rookie guard Iman Shumpert's postseason was cut short as he tore his ACL and needed surgery to repair it. The lack of his intensity on both sides of the court proved to be a great loss as New York ended up losing in five games.
ACL surgery is no joke, and recovery can last anywhere from six to nine months. According to Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has set January 2013 as his return date.
While not exactly ideal in the eyes of fans, it's best that both Shumpert and the Knicks play it safe with this injury. The man is a great shooting guard and defensive pest in the making and rushing him back from a serious injury could prove to be catastrophic.
Given how the Knicks have Landry Fields to plug in at shooting guard, it's best that Shumpert take his time and be back at 110 percent come January when there's plenty of time for the team to catch up should it struggle out of the starting gate.
It's been a while since we've had news about a player potentially joining the Magic who wasn't involved in a potential Dwight Howard trade scenario.
According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Belinelli is drawing interest from a number of teams, including Orlando.
It's going to be tough for the Knicks to add in any more players other than veteran's minimum signings. They don't have many assets left to sign-and-trade, and their cap space is completely gone. Chicago and Orlando seem to be the front runners here unless "Nelly" wants to take a major paycut.
Update: Friday, July 13 -- Maxwell Ogden
The day the New York Knicks have long feared has finally come. Once viewed as a sure thing to return to the Big Apple, Jeremy Lin has put his future with the Knicks in doubt.
Jeremy Lin has officially signed his offer sheet with the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to match it.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 13, 2012
Before Knicks fans begin to panic, the team does have the right to match the Houston Rockets' offer. With that being said, the Knickerbockers have proven to be the most unpredictable franchise in all of professional sports. To say that Lin will certainly remain with the Knicks would be like predicting the outcome of the lottery.
Who knows what's going to happen?
Update: Thursday, July 12 -- Joel C. Cordes
The New York Knicks have made it clear for awhile now that they plan on matching Jeremy Lin's offer from the Houston Rockets. While they have yet to officially do so, here's further proof of their intentions via head coach Mike Woodson:
Woodson said Lin would be the Knicks starting point guard next season.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 11, 2012
- You can follow the rest of Jeremy Lin's offseason news via Bleacher Report's Jeremy Lin offseason tracker.
- End of Update -
Restricted free agent Jeremy Lin has agreed to sign a four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Although Lin's agreed to sign the offer sheet with the Rockets, did anyone really think that the Knicks were going to let "Linsanity" walk out of the door?
A marketing dream, especially in New York, the Knicks are expected to match Lin's offer sheet once the free agency period officially begins, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Frankly, nobody should be surprised by the Knicks' willingness to bring Lin back. It's a no-brainer move.
Before being shipped to the Denver Nuggets in the infamous Carmelo Anthony trade, Felton was an electrifying point guard for the Knicks in the fast-paced offense of coach Mike D'Antoni. In half a season with the team, the former Tar Heel averaged 17.1 points, nine assists and even 1.8 steals as he became one of the surprises of the season.
Felton spent last season with the Portland Trail Blazers and didn't really live up to expectations, averaging just 11.4 points and 6.5 assists. In a report by Conan Gasque of SCNow.com, the free agent to be has listed the Knicks as one of his target teams.
Bringing Felton back could be a good idea for New York, particularly if Jeremy Lin chooses to sign elsewhere. More importantly, Felton's value is down after his poor season, and the Knicks should be able to get him fairly cheap.
Whether or not he puts up the same electrifying numbers as he did in D'Antoni's system is unlikely, but the fact remains that he has talent and the fans would welcome him back with open arms.
Even with Iman Shumpert's January return, the Knicks need some depth at shooting guard. According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, GM Glen Grunwald has three targets on his wish list: Ray Allen, Jason Terry (pictured) and O.J. Mayo.
Each one of these men is talented in his own right, and when it comes to shooting, all are beyond reliable. However, regarding the Knicks, signing any one of the three is easier said than done.
In terms of Allen, his status as one of the most clutch shooters in NBA history will demand a multiyear contract despite his advancing age. The same can be said about Terry, whose championship experience ups his value.
In reality, the only one the Knicks seem to have a shot at landing is Mayo, who averaged 12.6 points on 36 percent three-point shooting coming off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies last year. Yet, his being a restricted free agent could make him tough to sign.
Either way, no matter how you look at it, the Knicks need help at the two-spot, and with Shumpert out until January, don't be surprised if Grunwald pulls out all the stops to bring in one of these guys.
On July 1, one of the greatest players to never win a title will hit free agency. I'm talking about 38-year-old Steve Nash, who continues to put up great scoring and passing numbers despite his age.
According to Jared Zwerling of ESPN, Nash said he would "definitely" consider an offer from the Knicks and would like to play for three more years. Considering the on-court chemistry he had with Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire when the two played together in Phoenix, this could be a reunion made in basketball heaven, with Carmelo Anthony serving as best man.
Throw in the fact that Nash lives in New York City during the summer, and the Knicks have a great advantage in that Nash already loves the location. Should they convince him to accept a mid-level exception deal, the prospects for next season are going to look quite bright in the eyes of fans.
Nash is my favorite player, and though I'd love to see him in a Knicks uniform, it's just not going to happen. The fact is that he's still an A-list player and will command a multiyear contract worth much more than the midlevel offer the Knicks can afford.
Rather, according to sportsnet.ca, Nash is more likely to consider offers from three teams: the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers or Toronto Raptors. He would be a great fit on any of the three, and each squad has more money than the Knicks would be able to offer the future Hall-of-Famer.
Thus, as sad as I am to say it, Nash won't be bringing his swagger to the Big Apple any time soon.