Knicks Trade Rumors: Lou Amundson Would Be a Minor, but Smart Add for New York

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 7, 2013

Nov 4, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Lou Amundson (17) against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Timberwolves 105-86. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough January, the New York Knicks are back to playing solid basketball. With the major pieces in place, all that's left is to solidify the bench with role players.

Which makes Lou Amundson the perfect addition.

When it comes to the basics, New York is dominating. It's second and fourth in the East in points scored and allowed per game, respectively.

In terms of secondary stats the team is struggling. The Knicks rank 23rd in rebounds per game, and 25th in assists.

The assists aren't a major issue. New York is built around the scoring machine that is Carmelo Anthony, so finding ways to create shots isn't an issue.

Rebounds remain a bigger problem. Eastern Conference rivals Chicago, Indiana and Brooklyn all rank significantly better in crashing the boards than New York.

The only team the Knicks are fairing better than is Miami.

The team's been good at preventing second chance points, but it wouldn't hurt to provide some support on its own offensive glass.

If New York wants to really solidify itself as a top NBA team, it needs to finish building its supporting cast of characters.

The Knicks have been fairly quiet on the trade front, but's Darren Wolfson reports that the team is interested in Minnesota's Lou Amundson.

In terms of compensation, Wolfson states:

The best the Wolves can expect in a trade is a heavily protected future second-round pick.

At first glance, Amundson doesn't seem like much. The 30-year-old has averaged just 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in a six-year career.

But he has only averaged 12.9 minutes a game, including a five-year low 8.1 minutes a game this year. When you look at his stats per 36 minutes, he looks much more valuable.

Amundson has averaged a double-double per 36 minutes in his career, with 10.6 points and 10.1 rebounds.

This season, he's averaging 10.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes.

Now Amundson is probably never going to be a starter (he has just seven starts in his career), but there's no doubting his production.

New York has 'Melo in the starting unit and Amar'e Stoudemire off the bench as primary scoring options. What the team needs is some defensive role players with size.

Amundson brings that defensive production and can play either center or power forward off the bench—giving the Knicks plenty of flexibility.

It's not a huge move; it's not an Earth-shattering move. But for just a second-round pick it's the kind of move the Knicks need.