Let’s take a look at the biggest additions to the Knicks roster so far for this off-season. This list excludes Chris Smith and Chris Copeland, because their contracts are non-guaranteed.
MY TOP 5:
Number 5 – Kurt Thomas
This guy is getting a bit long in the tooth and I can’t see Thomas getting massive minutes and may even sit a few games in a row on the pine. What Thomas does bring to the Knicks, apart from age and experience? He has played in NY before, so he will know the expectations of the public. I’m not expecting much from Thomas, but if he does bring anything it will be a bonus.
Number 4 – Ronnie Brewer
Brewer fills a gaping hole at the Shooting/Small Forward while Shumpert is out, but will he continue to get regular minutes once Shumpert returns? Brewer is a tremendous perimeter defender and works tirelessly off the ball on offense to create opportunities for others. I think he was picked up because of the injury to Shumpert, but his defensive prowess will be well received.
Number 3 – Jason Kidd
I still think Kidd has a lot he can offer the Knicks for this season; the biggest thing I see is how respected he is around the league. When he speaks to the players about his thoughts, they will listen, which is needed with some of our players. He worked extremely hard for his ring at Dallas and I think the Knicks players will hear his message this coming season. I am expecting Kidd and Felton to finish games together; having such a great passer who can hit open 3′s, gives the Knicks clutch player and I think they know it.
Number 2 – Marcus Camby
Camby is a lot older than the last time the New York public saw him in a Knicks jersey, but I think Camby will have a prominent role in NY. His production has dropped a little with age but not that far off when you look at how many minutes he has been playing. I think he will be significant, because Chandler can be downright nasty, but his aggressiveness will get him into foul trouble. He knows Camby is there to back him up, so he can stay aggressive and not worry about to many early fouls. This combination will be dangerous for all opponents. I love how Camby chose the Knicks over the Heat based on the rivalry these 2 teams had and I expect Camby to be on the front lines and in the foxhole when these two teams meet.
Number 1 – Raymond Felton
Felton was shattered when he was sent packing from the Knicks in the Anthony trade. He let himself and his basketball slip as a result, but you know one thing is for sure – he loved playing for the city of New York and pointing at the name on his jersey during his playing time made MSG go crazy. All I have heard since the acquisition of Ray, he has been working hard on his conditioning and that tells me he is happy to be back in NY. Raymond plays with a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove people wrong. Felton adds stability and consistency at the PG position; something that was lacking last season, but the biggest thing he brings is confidence for Stoudemire. The energy between these 2 guys in early 2010 was straight up insane. Now I know we have a different coach, but I expect Felton will find Stoudemire a lot, in the positions they know work. If the Knicks can get Stoudemire hot, the Knicks will be amazing to watch. Felton will be on a mission to lead this team make this happen.
Hopefully the Knicks haven’t finished with their off-season moves and I would still like to see potentially two more players brought in with a bit more experience than what Copeland and Chris Smith will offer, but so far I think we have brought in players that want to play for the city of New York and the Knicks. Just that message alone should be enough for Knicks fans to get excited about.
Now we just need a time machine to get us all to game 1, because I just can’t wait much longer to see this team play.
Leon Jacobsen @JacobsenLeon - Knickswag Contributor