Report: Knicks to Sign Earl Clark, Shannon Brown, Work out Dahntay Jones

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks dribbles against Earl Clark #6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 30, 2014.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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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:

The 28-year-old NBA journeyman played 10 games for the San Antonio Spurs in February.

Broussard adds that the Knicks will finalize each signing on Thursday, so as to maximize the amount of games each player can compete in:

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. 

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Knicks are finalizing a deal with Earl Clark, who recently became a free agent after he was released by the Philadelphia 76ers

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: 

But that's not it: 

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. 

Basketball-Reference.com shows that New York has a defensive rating of 109, which places the team above only the New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz

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. 


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