NBA Rumors: Signing Josh Howard Would Give New York Knicks' Bench a Boost

Steven GerwelFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 1, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 07:  Josh Howard #8 of the Utah Jazz in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 7, 2012 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The New York Knicks have several capable starters at key positions, but they are still in need of some solid depth to come off the bench and perform when it counts. 

One available player who could provide a solid boost to their depth is Josh Howard, who spent last season with the Utah Jazz

According to SI.com, the Knicks are one of several teams pursuing Howard at the moment. 

From 2006 to 2009, Howard was averaging nearly 20.0 points per game and was even selected as an All-Star in 2007 while with the Dallas Mavericks

Howard plays small forward and shooting guard, and both those starting jobs are already occupied by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith.

Anthony is obviously the star of the team, so there's no room for Howard to win a starting job there. J.R. Smith needs to pick up his game, but the team re-singed him this summer, so it surely has faith in him to a degree.

But while Howard is not a threat to start a game, he would provide the Knicks with a competent player off the bench. 

Howard tore his ACL in 2010 and has struggled to return to form, but enough time has passed where he should be feeling somewhat normal again. 

A healthy Howard would allow the Knicks to rest Anthony and Smith without worrying about their backup being a liability on the court. 

The Knicks already acquired Jason Kidd in the offseason as a backup for point guard Raymond Felton. Between Kidd and Howard, New York has a chance to greatly improve its bench. 

However, Howard will not be had without a fight. 

The Charlotte Bobcats are also pursuing Howard, who spent his college years at Wake Forrest in North Carolina. 

The Bobcats would be providing Howard a chance to play for his home team, but surely that doesn't outweigh the opportunity to win games with New York.