Knicks Rumors: New York Must Prioritize Defense at Deadline
The New York Knicks need help on defense, but GM Glen Grunwald does not appear to be doing anything to address that area. According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, Grunwald has reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves about point guard Luke Ridnour.
The New York Knicks have expressed interest in Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour, according to source.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 13, 2013
This is a bit of an odd move. The Knicks are the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference and already have three solid point men in Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni, though Kidd has spent most of his time at the 2 this year.
Believe it or not, there is some method to the madness. According to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops, the Knicks do not trust Prigioni to run the point in the event of another Felton injury. Earlier this season, Felton missed 12 games with a broken pinkie.
It's understandable why the Knicks would want to find depth at the point. Kidd is 39 years old and no longer the dynamic floor general he was in his prime, while Prigioni will be 36 in a month and provides little more than defense and occasional three-point shooting in limited minutes.
Just the same, offense is not where New York needs help right now. They need a strong perimeter defender who can man the frontcourt and also be something of a force in the paint. Fortunately, they could land just that in the near future.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Knicks have discussed the possibility of signing forward Louis Amundson. In 20 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, Amundson posted 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds over 8.1 minutes per game before being waived on February 8.
Among teams that have internally discussed Amundson are the Lakers, Knicks and Sixers, source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 12, 2013
On size alone, Amundson is a perfect fit both in New York and head coach Mike Woodson's system. At 6'9", 225 pounds, he has always been a defense-first player with a good low-post game.
He has never averaged more than 15 minutes per game in his career, but his per 36 numbers are proof positive that the Knicks need him on the roster. Amundson has posted 10.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes and seeing as how New York ranks 22nd in rebounding, it's time for Grunwald to shift his attention from Ridnour over to a much cheaper option in Amundson.
Not only is the man a better overall fit for the team, but he won't cost the Knicks anything more than a 10-day contract. To acquire Ridnour, New York would need to break up its roster in an extreme case of trying to fix something that isn't broken.
Who should the Knicks pursue more heavily?
That all being said, while having a viable guard in the event of another Felton injury is important, the New York Knicks need to put defense over a need that can be addressed either this summer or next season. The fact of the matter is that Felton is healthy now, and it doesn't make sense to trade away key players like Steve Novak or Iman Shumpert just to land a player who the team might need at some point.
Instead, it would be wiser to go after a man the team definitely needs, which is why Grunwald needs to break off talks with Minnesota and instead start talking to Amundson's agent.
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