2013 NBA Free Agents That Could Replace J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland for NY Knicks
New York will be looking for cheap yet effective short-term solutions using their mid-level exception. Chances are they'll be picking up a journeyman or two, though minutes should be available if J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland find new homes.
Don't expect any major splashes to be made with minimal trade chips and little money to spend.
Aaron Brooks, PG
Aaron Brooks is a very reasonable and plausible option for the Knicks in free agency. With Jason Kidd in Brooklyn and Pablo Prigioni's future uncertain, the Knicks could use a secondary ball-handler as well as any offensive firepower they can find and afford.
Though he's been somewhat off the grid the past few years, Brooks remains quick off the dribble and threatening from the perimeter.
His flaws and true position aren't what's important. Brooks won't have the freedom or minutes in New York to negatively impact the offense. He'll be used as a scoring spark off the bench who can create and knock down shots.
Without floor-general qualities and point-guard instincts, Brooks never lasted as a starter. But his strengths as an offensive playmaker can be exploited in a limited role off the bench.
Will Bynum, PG/SG
Will Bynum is another option the Knicks might look into, assuming they're searching for offensive-minded guards who can make things happen.
Playing most of his career in Detroit, where the backcourt has always been crowded, Bynum never received much credit or attention.
He's an athletic combo guard who's best attacking the rim. With his ability to beat defenders off the dribble, Bynum is a natural playmaker.
The red flag here is his long-range shooting. A career-high 31.6 percent three-point stroke is borderline pathetic for a guard.
But without financial freedom or flexibility, the Knicks aren't in position to get picky. If they're looking to add offense to their second unit, Bynum should at least get consideration.
Carlos Delfino, SF
Carlos Delfino is a tough-minded wing whose shot-making accuracy and range would be welcomed in New York.
A fellow friend and Argentinean national teammate of Pablo Prigioni's, Delfino has shot at least 36 percent from downtown in each of his last five years.
He's a floor-spacer and line-driver who can heat up from deep or finish at the rim.
If the Knicks are looking for cheap offensive production, Delfino should be an option as a shooting specialist and lethal perimeter scoring weapon.
Tony Allen, SG
If J.R. Smith bolts, the Knicks could look to fill the void by going after his polar opposite.
Though not much of an offensive threat, Tony Allen has established himself as one of the premiere perimeter defenders in the league. With Allen and Iman Shumpert, the Knicks could have the option of keeping an elite wing defender on the floor at all times.
Allen's motor, energy and, most importantly, his toughness should be heavily coveted by Knicks management.
He played a big role in Memphis' emergence as a defensive powerhouse, and though he's not much of a scorer, his strengths can certainly be used in New York.
It's probable Allen would also have take a pay cut for the Knicks to have a shot.
Andray Blatche, SF/PF
For all the miscues, bonehead plays and brain farts, Andray Blatche is actually a lot more skilled than his reputation suggests.
At 6'11'', Blatche is a talented scorer with a unique feel for the rim. He averaged 10 points and five boards on 51 percent shooting in only 19 minutes a game last season.
A guy like Blatche needs to stay motivated, and in a place like New York where the microscope stays locked in, he'll have plenty to prove.
Blatche would help replace Chris Copeland as an inside-outside offensive specialist.
Nate Robinson, PG/SG
I hate to say it, but Nate Robinson actually makes some sense for both parties.
Robinson would remain relevant in New York, while the Knicks can grab some instant offense without having to empty their wallet.
We saw during these NBA playoffs what Robinson is capable of. Though his production comes in spurts, that's all New York would need.
As a seventh or eighth man off the bench, Robinson would provide that spark that J.R. Smith has been giving them.
Remember, the last time he was a Knick, Robinson was a top offensive option. Now, he'd be used in a limited role where he can't shoot his team out of a game.
Again, the Knicks don't have much flexibility here. Robinson is a guy they might be able to afford if another team doesn't hand him a long-term deal.
Monta Ellis, SG
CBS Sports' Ken Berger was the first to report that the Knicks will be looking to pursue Monta Ellis, which actually makes some sense for New York.
Maybe not as much for Ellis.
He recently declined his $11 million option for 2013-14, so it's tough to determine whether he expects a fatter salary or he just wanted out of Milwaukee.
Berger claims that Ellis and his agent are "known to be willing to compromise in order to sign with a contending team."
Ellis could essentially provide the Knicks with a legitimate second option and replace J.R. Smith's erratic scoring touch.
With Ellis likely to command a whole lot more than New York can offer, this is obviously a long shot. But given his tiny window, expect Glen Grunwald to explore every possibility.
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