UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:55 p.m. ET by Ben Leibowitz
In addition to finalizing a deal with free-agent forward Earl Clark, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Knicks will also sign shooting guard Shannon Brown:
source: Knicks have agreed in principle to contract with Shannon Brown. That's in addition to already agreeing with Earl Clark.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 26, 2014
Broussard adds that the Knicks will finalize each signing on Thursday, so as to maximize the amount of games each player can compete in:
Knicks to sign Shannon Brown and Earl Clark to 10-day contracts on Thursday. That way, they maximize their 10 days and get them for 7 games— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 26, 2014
New York just continues to search for answers during an abysmal season.
--End of update--
UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal
Well that was fast.
So much for just pursuing him.
It remains to be seen whether or not the other spot opened up by the buyouts of Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace will be filled by Dahntay Jones, but except Clark to suit up before too long.
--End of update--
The New York Knicks are desperate.
After Dirk Nowitzki's buzzer-beating attempt somehow found its way through the net and pushed the Madison Square Garden residents to a putrid 21-36 on the season, changes are necessary. Well, they already were, but now they're of even greater importance.
"Defense continues to be the root of most losses," wrote Bleacher Report's Dan Favale while explaining how the Knicks might stand a chance of turning the season around. "Recurrent switches weaken an already broken system that allows opposing point guards to waltz—or tango or Cotton-Eyed Joe or Electric Slide—their way to the rim largely untouched."
Fortunately, the Knicks are aware of this and trying to address it.
"The Knicks are trying to sign two defensive-minded players before meeting the Miami Heat on Thursday in Miami," reports Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who reveals that New York is trying to land Earl Clark.
It appears as though the move is nearly completed, though nothing is official:
Mike Woodson and Steve Mills have both spoken with free agent Earl Clark, according to sources. Strong possibility he signs with Knicks— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 25, 2014
But that's not it:
Also hearing Knicks brought Dahntay Jones in for a workout today as they look for a perimeter defender to fill one of their two roster spots— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2014
It's all about defense.
Clark is a capable wing defender, even if he was released by the Philadelphia 76ers after moving teams in the Spencer Hawes swap. Jones, who hasn't played this season, falls into the same boat.
Both players would be able to make a solid impact for the Knicks, but it's hard to see either of them making a huge difference for this sinking ship. Major changes are needed, not just minor ones that may or may not have the ability to swing multiple games.
Personnel issues have been part of the problem, but so too are the incredible deficiencies when attempting to rotate properly. Mike Woodson is supposed to be a defensive coach, but that hasn't been readily apparent at any point during the 2013-14 campaign.
Scheme and execution are at the root of the problem.
Would Clark and Jones be enough to turn the Knicks' season around?
Not exactly stellar company, huh?
Clark, who, mind you, was traded to and released by one of the worst teams in the league, and Jones might be able to make a small difference, but these can't be the only changes the Knicks are thinking about making.