The New York Knicks were expected to have a rough time in free agency. With players like Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak and Landry Fields able to sign offer sheets as they are restricted free agents, team management is keeping tabs on everything.
One particular move that seems imminent is the potential sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby. However, this acquisition doesn't make much sense for the team going forward.
Last season, the Knicks lost to the Miami Heat in the opening round of the playoffs. The team was hit with severe injuries to both Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert, in addition to having Lin on the bench recuperating from a knee injury. It can be argued that one of the main factors in New York's early exit was the lack of solid guard play.
Obviously, facing off against the Miami Heat is the primary reason. Yet having little help from the backcourt to score or facilitate, the offense is certainly another. With J.R Smith, Mike Bibby and Fields as the only guys around after the unfortunate injury woes, it became their downfall.
In addition, the Knicks did not have a solid wing player to defend either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. Shumpert was assigned to guard Wade, and Carmelo Anthony to James, with Fields and Smith to assist in this department in spurts. Nonetheless, once either took their leave, no players were available to step up and contribute effectively.
Considering Fields recently verbally agreed with the Toronto Raptors and Shumpert is out for six to eight months after tearing his ACL, the Knicks currently have no players on the roster to fill out the wing. Re-signing Lin and acquiring Jason Kidd are moves to bolster the point guard position, and improve their guard play.
Should the Knicks chase Camby?
Yet this potential deal for Marcus Camby does not fix any problems of New York. Their frontcourt is already solid, with Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and Anthony who can play power forward in spurts.
While this section of the roster could certainly use an improvement, it should not be the Knicks' primary concern. Their current salary cap comes in at approximately $59 million. This is before the expected signings of Lin, Novak and possibly J.R Smith.
Organizing a sign-and-trade agreement for Camby will undoubtedly put the team further over the cap, regardless of who is being shipped out. This player could potentially be Toney Douglas, whose salary equates to $2 million for next season, as Camby has refused to sign for the veteran minimum.
By doing so, the Knicks further damage their ability to improve the team. The roster does not need a significant back-up at center, and the focus should remain on acquiring wing players. The team already overpaid for Chandler last offseason, there is no reason to make the same mistake for Camby.