Ike Diogu Makes for Quality Addition for New York Knicks' Frontcourt
According to a press release via the organization, the New York Knicks have signed forward Ike Diogu. This continues what has been an active week in New York, as the Knicks have now made two changes to the organization in as many days.
It may not be a high-profile acquisition, but Diogu makes for a quality addition to the Knicks' frontcourt.
The Knicks made quite the stunning decision on Thursday, Sept. 26, naming Steve Mills as the team's new general manager, per KnicksNow.com. This comes after Glen Grunwald was responsible for every single free-agent acquisition and NBA draft decision of the 2013 offseason.
Signing Diogu is the first move of the Mills era.
The Knicks have made a series of moves to help improve their frontcourt in 2013, and signing Diogu is the latest development in that strategy. Not only will Diogu add additional size, but he's a quality two-way player with a history of success in system-based offenses.
It's far from groundbreaking, but the move was a quality decision.
Diogu was the No. 9 overall draft choice during the 2005 NBA draft after starring as a member of the Arizona State Sun Devils. He won both the Pac-10 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards during his time at Arizona State and was a second-team All-American in 2005.
What is the New York Knicks' ceiling in 2013-14?
In 225 games of NBA experience, Diogu has averaged 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.4 minutes of action.
Diogu hasn't played in the NBA since seeing the floor in just two games during the 2011-12 regular season with the San Antonio Spurs. During the span of his career, Diogu has shot 50.9 percent from the field and has prowess both down low and along the perimeter.
At 6'10" and 255 pounds, Diogu certainly has the body to bang down low for a defensive-minded Knicks team.
Diogu has spent the past two seasons splitting time between China and Puerto Rico, dominating play in both countries. Diogu has also been one of the better international players in the world as a member of the Nigerian national team.
After averaging 21.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game at the FIBA Africa tournament, the Knicks appeared to be sold on his readiness to return to the NBA.
Depth is Critical
The Knicks are prepared to move forward with a frontcourt led by Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Amar'e Stoudemire. Carmelo Anthony has also played power forward with consistency, and Metta World Peace can do the same.
In the end, a team can never have enough depth.
The Knicks had mountains of depth in the frontcourt in 2012-13, yet still managed to be short-handed during the playoffs. Chandler, Stoudemire and Marcus Camby all battled injuries, and Martin was forced to play both big man positions.
Considering Bargnani, Chandler, Martin and Stoudemire all have a history of injuries, adding Diogu to the mix helps to create an insurance policy.
Diogu crashes the boards well and plays a respectable brand of defense, making him an ideal fit in Mike Woodson's defense. Should one of the players above him suffer an injury, Diogu is capable of filling that void.
It's not a spectacular signing, but it's one that is extremely valuable.
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