So far the New York Knicks have had a good offseason by drafting Tim Hardaway Jr., picking up Andrea Bargnani for Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, and some worthless draft picks, and re-signing Pablo Prigioni and JR Smith.
But if the Knicks want to be in the mix again next season they still need to get some more backcourt depth, a player to backup Carmelo Anthony at the three, and develop some front court depth to help out Tyson Chandler.
To add some depth to the Knicks backcourt they should look to offer veteran minimum contracts to both Dahntay Jones and Aaron Brooks.
Jones is a decent shooter from behind the arc and is an above average defender at the two. Partner him with Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr., and shooting guards on opposing teams will have no wiggle rooms and will have to take the small looks that they get.
Raymond Felton and Prigioni can’t do it themselves so it is vital that the Knicks bring in another point guard and the perfect player to fill that role is Brooks.
Brooks would likely be the third string behind Felton and Prigioni but he would be playing essential minutes and would help the ball movement and be able to control the flow of the game when he’s on the court. Brooks will be a solid shooter off the bench too. He has a good three point shot and is lights out even with the smallest look so it would be a great pickup for the Knicks if they were to get him.
Now to address the Knicks’ need for a backup three.
The Knicks should turn the clock back and bring Shawne Williams back.
Williams can be signed to a veteran’s minimum deal and when he last played for the Knicks, he was a hit man from behind the arc. One worrying sign is that Williams lost focus on and off the court once leaving the Knicks and he ended up arrested. If Williams sits down and gets his act together, he could prove to be a very valuable player for the Knicks not only for his offensive contribution but for his defensive contribution.
Williams is a solid defender and would definitely serve as an upgrade for Chris Copeland (who is leaving the Knicks for a 2 year, $6 million contract with the Pacers) on the defensive side of things, and judging by his last stint with the Knicks, possibly on the offensive side of court too as Williams proved to be a knockdown shooter from behind the arc.
Now onto the Knicks front court issues. Tyson Chandler has been without a solid backup ever since he arrived in New York and has been required to play too many minutes, and has started to take a toll on him physically as he showed in the playoffs.
The Knicks are best off using the $1.75 million left in their mini mid-level exception on the 34 year old veteran, Elton Brand.
With Brand you know you are getting an all work, no nonsense player in practice and in games and not only would he be able to spread the floor with is post game, but he would be putting in work on the boards. Brand averaged 10 rebounds on his Per 36 last season and the Knicks could really benefit from having his low post presence and defensive tenacity on their upcoming roster for the upcoming NBA season.
The final move that the Knicks should make is to give Kenyon Martin a vet min and hope he comes back as he provides solid depth at the four and five for the Knicks. Martin has a developed post game, he’s aggressive on the boards, he’s a defensive anchor, and has range on his offensive game. He fits Woodson’s system perfectly and the Knicks should look no other way than re-signing the big man.
The Knicks are in a position that they are on the fringes of competing for a NBA title and these small moves will be a huge step forward for them.