NBA Free Agency 2012: Signings New York Knicks Should Make to Improve Defense
The New York Knicks are in hot pursuit of Steve Nash. The most recent news mentions a potential sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns that would bring the Canadian to the Big Apple. Iman Shumpert's name is being thrown in as a possible trade chip, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.
If Shumpert were to be traded, it would take a huge piece out of the Knicks' defensive puzzle from last season. Shumpert proved to be one of the more talented perimeter defenders in the entire NBA in his rookie year.
That being said, even if the Knicks end up keeping Shump, they will still need more help on the defensive end of the court considering the fact that the 22-year-old might be sidelined for a good portion of the season.
Let's take a look at how New York can upgrade their defense for the 2012-13 season through the free-agent market.
Williams played all of 17 games (six starts) for the Knicks during the 2010-11 campaign, so he didn't have much of a chance to display what he can do defensively.
However, the Duke product is a tenacious defender in the paint who has the ability to play strong and block shots that come his way. He won't do much offensively, but that's not what the Knicks need him for.
The best way to describe him is scrappy.
At 6'9", 250 pounds, Williams is mostly a power forward for his size. In an emergency, however, the 28-year-old can line up in the middle and hang with the bigger boys.
Having played in New Jersey with the Nets last season, Williams might be looking to stay local, and what's more local than a move to Manhattan?
Camby, a former Knick, is still one of the premier interior defenders in the NBA, despite being the opposite of a spring chicken at age 38.
Just shy of seven feet tall, Camby would be the most ideal backup on the market for the Knicks' center, Tyson Chandler. Camby has the experience and necessary size at both power forward and center, so he isn't beholden to just one position.
His ability to change, block shots and rebound would give New York the ability to rest their starting center on a more consistent basis without losing a step defensively. Chandler battled injuries all year long, and without a truly viable and consistent option to back him up, the Knicks weren't able to rest their big man enough.
Camby should be looking to win a championship now that he is in the closing stages of his career, and his former squad could be the ticket to his possible championship hopes.
Not only would Allen add to the Knicks' outside game, he could boost their perimeter defense as well.
If Shumpert does get dealt in order to bring Nash to New York, that will immediately open up the starting shooting guard position that would have been vacant until Shumpert returned from injury anyway.
That being said, with nobody to threaten his potential starting job anymore, Allen might feel comfortable signing with the Knicks with the certainty that he'll be playing at shooting guard full-time.
Say what you want about his age, Allen was still a major cog in the Boston Celtics' elite defense during the 2011-12 season, and he could help the Knicks take another step in that direction.
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