After reports that said the New York Knicks had emerged as the favorites to sign Beno Udrih, news broke that the Knicks will sign Udrih to a one-year deal. The deal is for the veteran’s minimum of about $1.2 million.
As mentioned this morning, Udrih is a very good pickup at the minimum since he made $7 million last season. His one-year deal also makes sense as it’ll give him a shot to make more money next summer. Several reports said Udrih was looking for more money, but took the offer with the Knicks knowing he’ll likely receive playing time and play for a winning team. Teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs were also interested, but they only would have had the same money to offer him.
In the meantime, the Knicks have almost completely solidified their roster, Udrih being the 14th man of a maximum of 15. The Knicks may very well leave the final spot open to a training camp invite, though Jared Zwerling mentioned that they’re still looking for another big body — Ivan Johnson, perhaps.
However, for now, the back-court is essentially solidified unless a training camp invite like Tour’e Murry makes the cut. At point guard, the Knicks will have Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, and Udrih, and at two-guard, they’ll have J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and tim Hardaway Jr.
Udrih’s presence will allow Mike Woodson to go to more two-point guard lineups this season — the kind that were so effective offensively for the Knicks last year. Felton will almost certainly be the starter, but Woodson could start Prigioni or Udrih next to him; or if he goes “big” in the starting lineup, he could play Udrih and Prigioni off the bench together.
Udrih, while not exactly a defensive stalwart, is a very nice addition offensively. For his career, Udrih averages 9.1 points per game on 46% FG and 35% 3FG, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. With the Sacramento Kings a few years ago, Udrih averaged 12.6 points and 4.7 assists per game while receiving major minutes each season. Last year, after being traded to the Orlando Magic at the deadline, he put up numbers of 10 points on 39% 3FG and 6 assists per game.
Welcome to the Knicks, Beno Udrih! We’re glad to have you!