New York Knicks: 6 Moves Knicks Must Make During Free-Agency Period

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIJuly 2, 2012

New York Knicks: 6 Moves Knicks Must Make During Free-Agency Period

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    The New York Knicks were active during the offseason last year. The Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler in a sign-and-trade deal and signed Steve Novak, Baron Davis and Jared Jeffries. When the roster was set, the pieces didn't all fit together. Jeremy Lin's emergence and the team's late-season surge earned the Knicks a playoff spot.

    The Knicks need to be on the prowl again this offseason, but with more purpose than last year. An actual plan needs to guide the pursuit of free agents. Hopefully, that plan aligns with the plan that Mike Woodson has for the team on the court.

    At least one move seems certain. That's the re-signing of Jeremy Lin. With the settlement between the NBA and the players' union, the Knicks will be able to exercise their early Bird rights on Lin.

    The Knicks will have a few other players they'll need to pursue this offseason, as well as one they'll need to dump. Following is a list of moves the Knicks need to make.

Release Dan Gadzuric

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    While the time passed quickly, Dan Gadzuric did indeed occupy space on the New York Knicks' roster during the 2011-12 season. Gadzuric received a 10-day contract from the Knicks in April and played two games at the end of the season.

    The 34-year-old center will receive a veteran's minimum contract of $1.35 million next season, although the contract isn't guaranteed.

    Gadzuric, who hasn't played 45 games in a season since 2008-09, likely won't make any sort of impact on the Knicks if he stays around for next season.

    Thus, it would be reasonable for the Knicks to release Gadzuric. While releasing him would eliminate less than half of the difference between the team's payroll and the salary cap, it would still free up space for the Knicks to sign a cheaper, more effective player.

Jeremy Lin

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    The Knicks appear to be bent on re-signing Jeremy Lin. One example is the Knicks' stake in the early Bird rights settlement.

    Also, Mike Woodson is insistent on the Knicks re-signing Lin. Woodson told the New York Post on Tuesday that he was certain that Lin would be back and added that he would start.

    Woodson seems to have set his sights on Lin quarterbacking the Knicks' starting lineup. Despite Lin's lack of experience and the need for him to improve in as a ball-handler and passer, Woodson is putting his faith in him. Woodson believes highly in Lin's abilities.

    Again, Lin has a great deal of growing to do. That's why the Knicks will need to acquire the next player in this list.

Acquire Steve Nash

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    Steve Nash is very much needed for the Knicks in the development of Jeremy Lin. Lin has a long way to go to becoming a good point guard. He needs to develop his ball-handling and passing skills and become creative in those aspects of his game. Also, Lin needs to learn to be more fluid while moving with the ball.

    Nash may be able to help Lin develop as a point guard. The two-time MVP is extremely creative. He has a wide array of skills and has a deep understanding of the position. Nash's guidance could be just the thing to help Lin take his game to the next level.

    Nash has been connected with the Knicks this offseason. Most recently, the New York Post has reported that the Phoenix Suns could send Nash to New York in a sign-and-trade deal.

    Nash would be a great asset in the development of Lin. This would be a task worth taking on for the 16-year pro.

Sign Boris Diaw

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    Boris Diaw wouldn't be a signing the Knicks would make to fill a gaping hole, but one to add depth. Diaw would be a good addition to help make things click on the floor. He makes sharp passes, which isn't something that can be said of many current Knicks players.

    Diaw is also a good defender. He shows good instincts on that end and effectively keeps his man in front of him.

    The 30-year-old can shoot a little bit, but at this point in his career he makes his presence felt by doing things that don't show up on the stat sheet.

Re-Sign Steve Novak

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    When a team has a player who is on his fifth team in six years and that guy leads the league in three-point shooting, it's hard not to want to re-sign him. Steve Novak did just that, knocking down 47.2 percent from long range.

    Like Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have Novak's early Bird rights. Novak's three-point shooting might attract offers from other teams, but no one will offer him anything close to the $5.3 million early Bird matching limit.

    Thus, the Knicks can easily keep their three-point stud.

    Keeping Novak is essential in offering Lin an option to pass to for a spot-up option and in helping the Knicks become somewhat effective from the outside.

Sign Les Hudson

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    Pairing "Lesanity" with "Linsanity" wouldn't simply be a marriage of 2012 flashes in the pan. Signing Les Hudson would give the Knicks another scoring option off the bench.

    Hudson had his share of moments in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform this spring. He had 20 points in three straight games in early April. That includes a 26-point night against the New Jersey Nets in which he hit a three-pointer that forced overtime.

    Hudson is a small guy at 6'3" and 190 pounds, but is an effective slasher. Hudson made two-thirds of his shots at the rim in 2011-12.

    The Memphis native showed in his fourth year in the league that he could be a relevant scorer if he finds the right opportunities.

    The Knicks would be able to sign Hudson for a minimum salary.