With the season over, the GM in me looks ahead at July 1st and the beginning of the free agency period. I am early I realize that, but the Knicks have some glaring needs and it is never too early to do some scouting for your franchise.
The Knicks most glaring needs for the 13/14 season are two specific positions. Back up power forward and combo guard. Today I will discuss the power forward position. I have selected one player after months of research and analysis.
Power Forward: Elton Brand
Elton Brand, born in Cortland, New York is 6’9” 250 pounds and is turning 34 on March 11th. Elton has had a wonderful career and is now in the twilight of his NBA tenure. Currently Elton is a rotation player for the Dallas Mavericks averaging 7.8 points 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 22 minutes of play. Elton was amnestied by the 76ers, which is on the hook for his 18 million dollar salary. Elton signed with the Mavs for a 1 year- 2.1 million dollar deal, making him a free agent this summer.
How does Elton Brand fit on the NY Knicks next season? New York will be shopping for a frontcourt player to back up the PF spot since the injury to Amar’e has put into doubt his long term durability. Marcus Camby will most likely be back (unless traded) as the back up center for Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak will be back as well (unless traded) as the back up for Carmelo Anthony.
Kenyon Martin could also be back as a frontcourt player, although I like him and would definitely bring him back; he is a one-dimensional defensive player with no real outside jumper.
The Knicks should be in the market for a two way player. Elton fits that profile perfectly. He built his career with the mid range jumper, he can rebound and play some solid defense. His back up roll is already defined and the money he will be requesting most likely will be in the “mini mid level” range. The Knicks do not have much cap room, so a bargain player who gives you exactly what you desire would be a steal for a team trying to contend for a championship.
From Elton’s point of view, the Knicks are a perfect fit. He is a New York State native, would be on a team trying to contend and would be heavily relied upon in a reserve roll. This reserve roll would help Elton extend his career another couple years, while competing for a championship in NYC. Perfect fit for both sides.