With all this talk about the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, and Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, it has been getting to me. The Knicks were in the running for Howard and Paul but since talks have cooled, the Knicks seem to be out of the running. Here’s one thing the Knicks don’t know: they don’t need either one!
Perhaps the Knicks should consider an alternative plan. Let’s take a look at their roster:
PG: Chauncey Billups – Solid veteran point guard, that can hit big shots and has won a championship with the Detroit Pistons.
SG: Landry Fields – Came out of nowhere last season. Very productive player, good defender.
SF: Carmelo Anthony – The Knicks traded all their assets to acquire Melo. It will be a good move in the long run, but I feel they lost too much.
PF: Amar’e Stoudemire – Big free agent signing in ’10. Showed he was ready for the “big city” lights by having a stellar first season in New York.
C: ? Options: Tyson Chandler, Nene, Samuel Dalembert.
6th: Toney Douglas – Solid backup PG that can score
7th: Bill Walker – Showed some good spurts of potential in the playoffs.
The Knicks’ biggest needs are center that can score a little, play tough defense, and doesn’t need the ball all the time. They also need to shore up their bench. You can’t win a championship with Jared Jefferies, Shawne and Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter. You have two stars (Melo and Amar’e), an experienced PG (Billups), and two serviceable bench players (Douglas and Walker). Signing Chandler or Nene, instantly makes the Knicks a formidable team in the East. Even Dalembert is a better option than playing Stoudemire at the center spot and having a guy like Jefferies playing the power forward position.
Now about their bench.
If he doesn’t re-sign with the Phoenix Suns, Grant Hill would be a nice backup to Melo at the small forward position. Hill played under D’Antoni before he left for New York a few years ago. Hill plays solid defense and can still knock down open shots.
Under-sized power forward Reggie Evans would be a nice back up for Stoudemire. Evans has a reputation of being a great rebounder for his size and plays tough defense.
Small forward Al Thornton is an unrestricted free agent and is coming off a disappointing season with the Washington Wizards/ Golden State Warriors. Thornton has fallen off the map since leaving the Los Angeles Clippers. He has shown the ability to score in his four-year career (17 ppg in ’08-’09). He would be a nice bench player for the Knicks.
Joel Przybilla had been a valuable asset to the teams he has played for in his career. He plays defense and rebounds. What more do you want from a backup center? Oh, he could also be a starting center (377 starts in 553 career games).
It will be interesting to see if the Knicks are, somehow, able to land either Howard or Paul, but they also have viable backup options. They better act fast though.