Marcus Camby is reportedly (according to Jared Zwerling and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com), deciding between signing with the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. While both teams would benefit from adding him, Camby would have a better opportunity if he signed with the Heat rather than the Knicks.
In signing with the Heat, Camby would likely become the starting center, playing alongside Chris Bosh. If he went to the Knicks, Camby would play back-up to Tyson Chandler.
The Heat are very thin when it comes to big men, and relied on a lineup featuring Chris Bosh as the only big with LeBron James, playing an adapted power forward position. This lineup actually worked very well against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Signing Camby would allow the Heat to use a bigger lineup with Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, James, Bosh and Camby. The Heat could play even bigger with newly-signed Ray Allen inserted into the lineup instead of Chalmers, with Wade or LeBron handling the point guard duties.
The Knicks are deeper inside the paint with Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup. Beyond those two players, the Knicks don't have much in terms of production, offensively or defensively. Camby would likely get his minutes only when Tyson Chandler goes to the bench.
If both teams put their best five players on the court at the same time, Camby is likely on the bench on either team. The difference is, Camby provides a differently look to the Heat when he's on the court. In New York, Camby doesn't offer much a different look than when Chandler is in the game.
If Camby is unwilling to sign for the veteran's minimum, both teams would likely need to complete a sign-and-trade to get a hold of Camby.
According to Jared Zwerling and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, "The Knicks are hoping to make a sign-and-trade deal for one of [Camby or Jason Kidd] and use their $3.09 million mid-level exception to sign the other."
The ESPN.com report also mentions that the Houston Rockets aren't willing to negotiate with the Heat on a sign-and-trade. If that's the case, the Heat will have to rely on their chance at another NBA title next season as their main selling point.
In addition to likely more money in New York, less playing time coming off the bench could benefit Camby long term. At age 38, Camby has struggled to stay on the court throughout the length of the long NBA season. Since the 2007-2008 season in which Camby played 79 games for the Denver Nuggets, the most games he's played in a season is 62 games and only over 50 games three times in those six seasons.
Although the money situation would favor the Knicks, a chance at a ring and the role that Camby would have in Miami would seem to tip the scale towards the Heat in terms of Camby's decision.
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