New York Knicks: Marcus Camby Sign-and-Trade Makes Knicks Instant Contenders

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJuly 9, 2012

15 Nov 2000:  Marcus Camby #23 of the New York Knicks takes a break during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Clippers defeated the Knicks 78-74.  NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge  /Allsport
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The New York Knicks did a solid job defensively last season and were much improved from the basement-dwelling defense they displayed the past decade.

To help build on that, New York has agreed to terms with the Houston Rockets on a sign-and-trade that will bring Marcus Camby back to the Big Apple, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

Y! Sources: Marcus Camby agrees to three year, $13.2M contract with Knicks insign-and-trade deal.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2012

New York will be giving up Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan and second round picks in the 2014 and 2015 NBA drafts. A small price to pay for a deal that will give the Knicks championship-caliber defense for 48 minutes per game.

One of the bigger problems for the Knicks last season was playing consistent defense throughout the course of an entire game.

The Knicks' most vital component to great defense was none other than Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. However, New York's center had to battle injuries during the season and it was impossible to get him necessary rest to heal those wounds.

Without him on the floor, the Knicks looked like a totally different team defensively and couldn't get it done. Jared Jeffries did the best he could to back Chandler up, but he succumbed to injuries as well.

Camby gives the Knicks the reinforcement they need. With experience as a power forward and center, the former Knick returned can give head coach Mike Woodson more options in regard to his rotation.

But, most importantly, this team can afford to give Chandler a break and still be consistent. Camby can still rebound, block and roam the interior with the best of them at age 38, even comparable to his teammate, the DPOY himself.

Coach Woodson has got to be the most excited at the prospect of Camby returning to New York. The Knicks head coach is already considered a defensive guru and will have plenty of plans for his two big men.

Who wouldn't love to see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the NBA Champions Miami Heat try to penetrate on a combination of Camby and Chandler defending down low for the Knicks?

This move doesn't mean the Knicks will easily unseat the King and his championship squad, but it does make them a more realistic contender to do so than they were last year.