The New York Knicks are still in search of the perfect fit to hand out their 15th contract to and most people believe that person will be a big man.
A couple of weeks ago I reported the Knicks interest in unrestricted free agent big man Hamed Haddadi and even though no progress has been made since then, it looks like there is still a good chance that Haddadi could end up in a Knicks uniform.
Haddadi worked out for the Knicks on Aug. 16, and ESPN’s Jared Zwerling reports that he might not be done with the team yet. A source close to the player says it is “still possible” that Haddadi signs with New York.
In addition, Zwerling notes that several sources have told ESPNNewYork.com in the past two weeks that the Knicks are focused on adding a big man before training camp starts in early October.
That makes sense as the Knicks could really use another rebounder and shot-blocker, especially against bigger-sized teams like the Nets and Pacers, who both upgraded their frontcourt this offseason.
There are concerns about Haddadi’s mobility up and down the court, but his size and interior presence is a bit intriguing.
The 7’2″ Iranian has been in the NBA since 2008, playing for the Grizzlies and then the Suns in the second half of last season. In about 14 minutes per game in Phoenix, he averaged 4.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He also just competed in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, where he was named MVP.
He won’t do anything special, but will bring energy and a defensive presence off the bench, which is exactly what the Knicks need behind Tyson Chandler.
The Knicks have only one roster spot left, which means there is still a good chance they can add Haddadi for the veteran’s minimum. However, being the fact that both C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler signed only partially guaranteed contracts, there is some roster flexibility if neither make the team.
It is also worth noting that Zwerling also reports that both Ivan Johnson and Earl Barron are both still on the Knicks radar as well.