Chris Wilcox: A David Lee Type of Player for the New York Knicks

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IFebruary 20, 2009

When the New Orleans Hornets C Tyson Chandler failed his physical, it was a blessing in disguise for the New York Knicks.

Chandler was supposed to be traded for Thunder forwards Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox and the rights to DeVon Hardin.

With that deal, rescinded the Knicks acquired the 26-year-old Wilcox for F Malik Rose and cash. 

The former Terp brings immediate depth to a small front line and runs the pick-and-roll well. His $6.75 million contract expires at the end of the year.

Rose was buried on the Knick bench and his contract also exprires at the end of the season.

Wilcox was selected eighth by the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2002 NBA Draft. The Raleigh native came out in his second year and averaged 12 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore.

He was a key player in guiding Maryland to their first NCAA national title that season. Even though his averages were not overwhelming NBA scouts were impressed with his athleticism, toughness, and intelligence for a big man.

During the 2005-06 season he was traded to the  Seattle Supernsonics for F Vladmimir Radmanovic. He started 23 of 29 games for the Sonics  and averaged 14 points, eight rebounds and shot 59 percent from the field. This was the kind of potential NBA scouts were waiting for.

The next season he started 81 games and scored a career-high 32 points and pulled down 18 rebounds against the Lakers. Also that season, he scored 27 points and 22 rebounds against Washington. A change of scenery and additional playing time was instrumental in the young forward's development.

Over the past two seasons, he has battled a knee and finger injury which has caused him to miss 37 games.  He does not block many shots which is a big flaw for the Knicks, but he compliments David Lee well with his post defense and rugged style of play. Adding Wilcox was just another savvy move by team executive Donnie Walsh.