Free Agent Talk

Knicks Sign Chris Douglas-Roberts

douglas-roberts-bogut

A few hours ago, the Knicks signed journeyman Chris Douglas-Roberts to a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

This is a very interesting move. CDR is one of my personal favorites, especially when he played the role of Derrick Rose’s sidekick at the University of Memphis. He vanished from the NBA after playing with crappy Nets teams for two years and played overseas for Italian powerhouse Virtus Bologna during the locked out season, after playing with the Bucks in 2011. He then made his return to the NBA last season, playing 6 games with the Mavericks and their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. And just last summer, the Lakers signed CDR to play with their summer league squad, and was then cut from the roster shortly after Summer League play ended.

With the signing of CDR, random forward that’s not named John Shurna (remember that imbecile?) Justin Brownlee will we waived in order to free up the 20th and final training camp spot for him.

Something that I’ve always remembered about CDR is that his mid-range game and slashing to the tin were his main sources of scoring, along with (don’t tell Raymond Felton) floaters. He can also generate spacing around the perimeter for the open three, although, he’s a career 27.6% three point shooter. I bet if you look at old shot charts, you’ll see loads of green in the paint and on the elbows of the charity stripe.

Like most small forwards, CDR has a relatively long wingspan. It’s definitely not as long as Paul George’s wingspan, but it’s good enough to pester ball handlers.

In most aspects, Douglas-Roberts is under appreciated defensively. He posted 1.3 defensive win shares in 44 games during his lone year with Milwaukee in the 2010-11 season, and has 2.4 career defensive win shares. That’s not too bad for a player of that caliber.

I really hope CDR makes the roster. Making the roster will be a difficult task for him, though, due to the abundant of depth on this year’s upcoming roster. And to make everyone feel good about him, here’s a picture of CDR and two kittens.

cdr2

Knicks Sign Beno Udrih

Knicks Sign Beno Udrih

Earlier today, the Knicks signed point guard Beno Udrih to a one year deal worth $1.27M, the veteran’s minimum.

There were a few teams that were strongly interested in the 31 year old southpaw point guard, such as the Grizzlies, Spurs and the Sixers, but he ultimately chose New York.

The point guard vacancy left by Jason Kidd is now filled. Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni now have a great third point guard to back them up. Udrih was the ultimate safety net for the Knicks, in case if the Knicks’ other options (ex: Will Bynum) departed for somewhere else (surely enough, they did). Just yesterday, there were reports of franchise-record-22-assists-in-a-game Chris Duhon returning to New York for whatever ghastly reason as a backup quick fix. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. Bobby Brown was also another backup solution, but he decided to stay overseas. More

Knicks Reach Agreement to Sign Metta World Peace

Knicks Reach Agreement to Sign Metta World Peace

It needed to happen. Everyone wanted it to happen. It happened. The man formerly known as Ron Artest, Metta World Peace, is now a New York Knickerbocker. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reported first that the Knicks had reached a 2 year agreement with World Peace, and it has been reported by others that the second year of the deal is a player option. New York used the second half of their mid-level exception (the other half used on Pablo Prigioni) to sign World Peace. Make no mistake, World Peace is not the player he once was, but he’s still an excellent fit for the Knicks.

The best part of this signing is the lineup versatility MWP brings to the table. In addition to playing the 3, he can play the 4 in super small lineups sans Carmelo Anthony. World Peace played some small-ball 4 in Mike D’Antoni’s offense last season, so he has experience playing different positions. He’s also a near-perfect fit next to Anthony – something the Knicks didn’t totally have last season.

Defensively, he can guard 4s that Anthony doesn’t want to, as well as most 3s. According to Synergy, opposing post up players scored just 0.75 points per possession against MWP. In an era where most traditional 4s are going by the wayside, the 260 lb World Peace will be just fine defending bigger guys. More

Takes From the Last Week in Free Agency

Takes From the Last Week in Free Agency

I haven’t had a chance to get on here and blog about some of the recent happenings in the last few days of free agency. Here are my takes on some of the most interesting developments from around the league:

  • JJ Redick, Jared Dudley to the Clippers, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler to the Suns, picks to Milwaukee. I love this trade for the Clippers and Suns. LA gets back two of the league’s better perimeter shooters, on good contracts, to put around Chris Paul in a new Doc Rivers/Alvin Gentry run offense. Both guys are good team defenders as well, making them both upgrades over the severely one-dimensional Jamal Crawford. Crawford’s ball handling abilities will still have value, but Redick and Dudley are both better fits (and players) next to Chris Paul. From Phoenix’s standpoint, they acquire one of the prized young assets in the league right now. Just about every team with a need at point guard was rumored to be going after Bledsoe at one point or another, but Phoenix is the team that gets him – and they didn’t give up that much. Jared Dudley is a good player, but at age 27 he’s not an ideal player for a rebuilding team. The question now for Phoenix is if they move Goran Dragic or play him and Bledsoe together. In 185 minutes last season, the Clippers were a +11.1 NET-RTG with Bledsoe and Paul on the court together, so it’s clear that Bledsoe can succeed in a 2 point guard alignment. The issue will be with Dragic, who is a much better player with the ball in his hands and who has struggled to play shooting guard in two point guard sets. Milwaukee was the loser of this trade, but not for the trade itself. Losing JJ Redick for second round picks isn’t ideal, but they were going to lose him anyways and did well to at least get minor assets for him. The problem was acquiring Redick in the first place. They parted ways with Tobias Harris, who was impressive late in the season, to get Redick for their meaningless playoff run that ended with a first round shellacking at the hands of the Miami Heat. I hated the trade then, and I don’t like it now. More

Knicks Sign Earl Barron

Earl Barron Jason Kidd orange boarder

EARL BARRON IS BACK. Following Rasheed Wallace’s retirement from earlier today (he’ll find a rec league), Earl Barron is back with the Knicks after a three year period of being in exile from New York. Yes, the same guy that Knick fans thought was going to be the team’s starting center during the 2010-11 season. Barron will be eligible for the upcoming playoffs this Saturday against the Celtics. What a weird turn of events the last couple of days; first, King Solomon Jones was waived a couple of days ago, resulting in the signing Quentin Richardson to fill in that roster spot yesterday, then today with Earl Barron filling in Sheed’s vacant spot. Some things about Earl:

  • No, Ronny Turiaf isn’t replacing him. 
  • Who knows what we’ll get in him? Knick fans said the same with Kenyon Martin, but hopefully Barron can do something like this in limited significant minutes. That was Barron’s breakout game, in which everyone thought he was going to become a superstar, because, you know, he was essentially the only hope.
  • Barron is happy to be back in New York, apparently, and it makes a lot of sense.
  • He also has a championship ring. So, you know what that means…PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE (pfffft)!

Lots of people jokingly said Earl may come back to New York, but those jokes turned into facts. Welcome back, Earl! Two Earls is better than one!

The 411 on James Singleton

Singleton

In an effort to add players who aren’t broken and can actually play, the Knicks will sign forward James Singleton (no, not the guy we passed up for Shumpert in the draft) and release the injured Kurt Thomas. The only thing I knew about Singleton prior to writing this post is that his name was James Singleton. I’d heard of him a few times, but couldn’t recall having seen him play. I read around the inter-webs for information and here’s what I came up with:

Singleton stands 6’8 230 pounds and is a forward. He seems positionally versatile due to his size, so I could see him playing multiple positions with the Knicks. Because the Knicks have zero healthy big men, he’ll play power-forward primarily and probably some center too. Basketball-reference had him listed as a power-forward for the Wizards last year. In 12 games with Washington last season, Singleton played well. His TS% was .60 and he recorded a PER of 19.6. Small sample size definitely applies, but I like this guy. I took to Synergy to watch some film on him and I like what I saw.  More

The Knicks Ship Off Ronnie Brewer, Bring in Kenyon Martin

Brewer

Leading up to the 3 pm trade deadline on Thursday, all the Knicks trade deadline talk was about whether or not Iman Shumpert would be sent elsewhere. He wasn’t. The Knicks decided to hold onto Shumpert, but did however make a trade. Forgotten small forward Ronnie Brewer was sent off to Oklahoma City for a 2014 second round draft selection. With Brewer’s sending off vacating a roster spot, the Knicks have signed Kenyon Martin to a 10 day contract according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Let’s start with Brewer. I thought Brewer would be one of the steals of the free agent class, mostly due to his reputation as an elite perimeter defender. I thought he’d be okay offensively, assuming the Knicks would have a slow isolation-heavy offense. More

Ronnie Brewer May be the Steal of New York’s Free Agent Class

All the talk this Knicks off-season has been about the flashy names. The Jeremy Lin debacle. Jason Kidd and his egregious 3 year $9 mil contract. The Camby man! Marcus Camby returning to the squad. The return of Rashweed Rasheed Wallace to the NBA. But for all the glam, a meat and potatoes player may end up the toast of New York’s free agent class. Signed on a veteran minimum contract from the Chicago Bulls, Ronnie Brewer is an exceptional wing defender. Chicago rated out best in the league in defensive rating, allowing just 95.3 points per 100 possessions. Having recording a defensive rating of 95.0 in 24.8 minutes a game last season, Brewer had much to do with Chicago’s defensive prowess.

Thanks to NBA.com Stats cube, we can see how Brewer’s on court presence impacted Philadelphia’s offense in the Bulls-Sixers first round matchup.

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Knicks Sign Ronnie Brewer

Despite their flurry of off-season moves, the Knicks had yet to get their hands on a badly needed perimeter defender. They got one Tuesday, as they have signed ex-Chicago Bull Ronnie Brewer to a one year contract. Brewer will make $1,069,509 this season, the veterans minimum for Brewer who has played six NBA seasons. I like this move. It was imperative, especially with Iman Shumpert injured, that the Knicks go out and get a wing who can defend. Brewer has the versatility and athleticism to guard both 2′s and 3′s out on the wing. I really like some of the lineups you could roll out with Brewer on the floor. With Brewer on the court, the Knicks have the ability to play really big with Brewer at the 2, or they could play small with Brewer at the 3 and presumably Melo at the 4. Once Iman Shumpert returns, I think you could do a lot of interesting things schematically with Brewer. The Knicks could run both Brewer and Shumpert together, which would in theory give them an exceptionally strong perimeter defense.  More

Dolan’s Ego Once Again Proves Detrimental to the Knicks

This latest error in the disgraceful decade long run of Garden chairman James Dolan may have been his worst. From Isiah Thomas to Stephon Marbury to now Jeremy Lin, Dolan has made all the wrong moves en route to transforming the Knicks from contender to preverbal NBA laughing stock. Tuesday night, the Knicks foolishly waved goodbye to 23 year old point guard Jeremy Lin, as they failed to match Houston’s 3 year $25.1 million offer sheet. Previously thought of as a foregone conclusion, up until the news broke on Saturday of the Raymond Felton sign and trade, the Knicks decision to bid adieu to the dynamic point guard is a shocking one. Dolan’s decision is shocking in that there’s no clear logical reasoning behind it. However, Dolan’s mistake is not shocking at all. Why should we have expected the logical, correct decision to be made? These are the James Dolan led Knicks after all.

Headed into this off-season, the Knicks were primed to take the next step forward. They were coming off a disappointing season, but one that ended with reasons for optimism. New York won its first playoff game since the Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803. Carmelo Anthony found a coach, in Mike Woodson, that he would actually play hard for. The Knicks had found a point guard that could lead them, potentially into greatness, for the next decade. Or so we thought. More