The NBA’s leader in three-point percentage, Steve Novak, will re-sign with the Knicks, according to sources. According to David Aldridge, it will
be a four-year/$15 million deal.
The Knicks claimed Novak off of waivers last season when the San Antonio Spurs cut him from their roster. Prior to his stop with the Knicks, Novak had spent time with four different teams over the course of five years. However, he seems to have found a home in New York.
Novak’s prowess from beyond the arc (he made 133 three-pointers this past season) was well-known to the Knicks’ staff when he joined the team, and he was though to be a perfect floor-spacer for then-coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. However, Novak’s limited skill in other areas sometimes made him a liability on the floor. Right around the time Jeremy Lin broke out, Novak got his shot (pun intended) at some real minutes, coinciding with Carmelo Anthony’s groin injury that kept him off the floor for a large chunk of “Linsanity”. From then on, it was a match made in heaven.
Jeremy Lin’s first start with the Knicks came on February 6 in a home game against the Jazz. Early on, Anthony went out with a groin injury, and Novak logged 17 minutes (two off from his then-season high), and hit 5-8 from three-point range. Including the game against Utah, Novak would can 121 more three-pointers for the rest of the season.
Novak’s deal is a fair one for what he brings to the table: incredible marksmanship from deep. When left open, he’s nearly automatic, and that’s the price a team must pay for such a threat. However, Novak is only particularly effective in that one area. In the playoffs, the Miami Heat smothered him and only allowed him to get off seven attempts (of which he made four). Likewise, despite his long 6’10″ frame, Novak struggles to rebound and is often mismatched defensively against small and power forwards. To be more effective on the offensive end, he must get better at shooting off the dribble; Novak did not attempt a single shot in the paint this past season.
Still, the Knicks’ front office handled Novak’s free agency splendidly. They fought for his Bird Rights in court – and won them – and now have him for the next four years, at a reasonable price, and have helped bolster the bench. Yay, Steve!