For team with so little money to spend this offseason, the New York Knicks have at least been extremely active when it comes to the rumor mill as they have been linked to more than a handful of players in the first three days of free agency, despite only being able to offer their $3 million mini mid-level exception.
However one rumor seems rather close to becoming a reality, at least as it concerns the Knicks interest in veteran forward Elton Brand.
All signs point to the Knicks being prepared to make an offer to Brand, a league source confirmed to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
The terms of the offer for the veteran power forward are undisclosed at this point.
The Knicks have been very hot after Brand since free agency started as he is one guy who will fill a need for scoring and rebounding in their frontcourt rotation.
The 34-year old would be a solid rotation player who wouldn’t mind coming off the bench for the Knicks, but would also provide quality insurance for the often injured Amar’e Stoudemire.
Brand has averaged 17.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his 14-year career. Last season in Dallas, he averaged 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 21 minutes per game.
However it is not in the bag that Brand will end up with the Knicks as he has received interest from several teams.
As usual though, the Knicks salary cap problems could affect them with Brand.
If the team wanted to use their entire mini MLE, they may have a chance. Brand is coming off a season in which he earned $18 million, so taking a pay cut to have a chance to contend for a championship would be something that likely will interest him.
But the Knicks will need some of that $3 million for Pablo Prigioni and possibly Chris Copeland, although all signs point to Copeland being able to get a much better offer elsewhere.
With that being said, the Knicks will likely have to hope they can land Brand for something close to the veterans minimum, which is something that may be easier said than done.
In addition if they are able to sign Brand it will likely spell the end to Kenyon Martin’s brief Knicks career.
However if they could get Brand to agree it is almost a move that they have to make.
At his age, Brand is still a productive player and adding quality depth and production to the frontcourt was a priority coming into the offseason.
If they fail to land Brand there could be a huge drop off in talent to big men the Knicks could be able to afford.
Adding Brand to the Knicks frontcourt almost is a no-brainer at this point.
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