New York Knicks: Power Forwards That Should Be Targeted with Final Roster Spot
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Almost a full month into the offseason, the New York Knicks are almost finished doing business.
With signings headlined by Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby, the Knicks' roster now has 14 players, leaving room for one more before they reach the league maximum.
Considering the injury history of Amar'e Stoudemire—and the deficiencies of Chris Copeland and Kurt Thomas—the Knicks would be wise to fill that last spot with a power forward, which would make their roster one of the deepest in the league.
With only the veteran's minimum to spend, there are still some viable options out there on the free-agent market, and here are five in particular that the Knicks should target.
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Without a shadow of a doubt, Kenyon Martin is the premier power forward still out on the free-agent market who falls around the Knicks' price range.
In fact, Martin is probably a player worth nearer the mini mid-level exception, but there's still a chance that he could be convinced to sign with New York.
Not only are the Knicks looking to be a title contender in 2012-13, but they also have a few of his teammates in Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, James White and Marcus Camby, which may be enough to persuade him that New York is the place to be.
If signed, Martin would fit perfectly into Mike Woodson's defensive scheme, and would bring the toughness and physicality that fans so dearly love in New York.
Martin has declined over the years, but even at the age of 34, he is capable of starting a few games here or there, which is essential considering how likely it is that Amar'e Stoudemire will miss time during the season.
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Shawne Williams played with the Knicks back in the 2010-11 season and really impressed people as he earned the right to stick in the NBA.
The forward has now been waived by the Trail Blazers for his unimpressive display last season, but at 26, Williams could yet be useful in the NBA.
For only the veteran's minimum, Williams would be worth the risk if some of the better free agents are unwilling to sign, and the Knicks could hope that a return to New York will regain form—much like they will with Raymond Felton.
At this point, Williams is at risk of dropping out of the league completely, so he'd definitely be willing to sign for such a low contract, and motivated to prove people wrong once again.
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To this point, Yi Jianlian has really had an up and down NBA career.
At around 25 years of age (his official age isn't known, and he doesn't want to discuss it), Yi is obviously a talented player, evidenced by the Milwaukee Bucks drafting him sixth overall in 2007.
After showing what he could do with the Nets in the 2009-10 season—in which he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds as a starter—Yi has played poorly in consecutive seasons with the Wizards and Mavericks.
Now a free agent, Yi is looking to use the Olympics as a platform to show teams that he's still a useful player with a lot of potential, and if he does so, the Knicks should be one of the first teams to call him.
As a seven-footer, Yi can rebound and block shots, and even has a nice offensive game to go with that.
If he can prove his worth in the present, Yi would also be a nice piece for the future, as the Knicks don't currently have a lot of young talent on this roster.
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A cult hero for the Atlanta Hawks last season, Ivan Johnson has not been given a qualifying offer by the Southeast Division side.
His defense and aggressiveness is now available on the free-agent market, making him an intriguing option for the Knicks.
Johnson certainly comes with his baggage—he has a lifetime ban from the Korean Basketball League, was sent home from the Hawks last season and has been fined plenty of times—but if his attitude can be controlled, he could still be a rotation player in the NBA.
For only the veteran's minimum, signing Johnson would be a low-risk move, as he could easily be cut if he continues in his detrimental ways off the court.