The New York Knicks no longer have to worry about finding a backup center.
With Jeremy Tyler out for an extended time due to a stress fracture, New York was holding steady with only one true 5 on the roster: Tyson Chandler. And given his aging body and injury-riddled history, it was a risky proposition.
According to KnicksNow.com, NBA.com's official Knicks affiliate, Cole Aldrich will now be calling Madison Square Garden home. While the terms of the deal have yet to be made public, the news does come directly from Executive Vice President and general manager Glen Grunwald, so it's pretty darn official.
#Knicks announce signing of Cole Aldrich. Was working out for the team last week and Monday. Question is knees; always has been since draft.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) September 24, 2013
Cole Aldrich is interesting name as former lottery pick but it's non-guaranteed deal. Just like Ike and Powell.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) September 24, 2013
Aldrich, while still a big body, hasn't experienced the same type of success in the NBA that he had while suiting up for Kansas.
He currently sits on career averages of 2.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.
Those numbers definitely won't blow anyone away, but Aldrich fills the exact need that New York possessed.
How would you grade this signing?
He can capably play limited minutes without getting in the way offensively, and he's a solid enough post defender that Mike Woodson won't hesitate to use him sparingly when Chandler needs a quick breather.
The Knicks need to keep their starting big man healthy and having a big body to use off the bench—not a makeshift center who should actually be playing power forward—is quite beneficial.
NBC Sports' Kurt Helin had Aldrich ranked as the 10th-best remaining free agent in early September:
He could barely get off the bench with the Thunder, then last season bounced between the Rockets and Kings without making many waves. Still, he has legit center size and is just 25, so he could get an end of the bench deal.
This won't become anything more than a move that shores up one of the last few roster spots in New York, but at least the Knicks have found a capable stopgap until Tyler's right metatarsal is fully healed.