We're very near the end of the NBA offseason. This is one of the last weeks in which there's nothing really going on, which means it's time for the final SB Nation NBA Theme Day. All around the network, team blogs are pondering which player from their team's history they'd most like to add to the current squad. Imagine you could complete the current Knicks roster-- say with C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler on it and only one roster spot remaining-- by giving that final spot to a former Knick of your choosing. Who would you pick?
There are a couple different ways to go about "Bring a Player Back Day"/"Bring 'em Back Day"/"Bribyadyaby". Broadly, Scenario 1 is restricting it to active or at least still plausible-as-active players and bringing them back in present-day form. It's the slightly more realistic scenario-- as if the NBA made some weird new rule where each team gets to claim an old player.
Scenario 2 is bringing back a player from Knicks history, with the limitation being (I think) that you get the version of that player when he played for the Knicks, not necessarily that player in his prime (i.e. you don't want, say, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, or Jason Kidd). Reaching further back in time, the question becomes whether or not certain stars of old could compete as effectively in 2013 as they did during their careers.
In both scenarios, there is the question of fit, which I think demands a stipulation: I say you can't make trades after you make your bring-back signing. The current roster is locked in. So, if you want to add Patrick Ewing via Scenario 2, then you're either sending out a twin towers lineup with Ewing and Tyson Chandler or you're moving Tyson to the bench. Oh, also the player in question has to have actually suited up for the Knicks. No traded draft picks or anything like that. No LaMarcus Aldridge.
So, all that said, I open up the discussion. I'm gonna leave Scenario 2 to y'all, since you guys have a greater grasp of history than I do, although I'm pretty certain which historic Knick I'd pick. For now, I'm going to list a few possibilities for Scenario 1: Active (or plausibly active) former Knicks who I might like to add with that 15th roster spot:
- Zach Randolph: On one hand, this would only further muddy the Knicks' glut of power-forward-types. On the other hand, some more rebounding and post scoring would be lovely and I just love Z-Bo so much.
- David Lee: Same thing, but even worse defense, so if it's gonna be a bigger guy, I'm taking Randolph. Lee, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Andrea Bargnani in the same frontcourt would be a pretty wonderful experiment, though.
- Danilo Gallinari: In my eyes, he'd fit perfectly alongside Carmelo Anthony. Useful as a floor-spreading/foul-drawing "three" and can defend whichever forward position is tougher. A better and hopefully (but not definitely) more durable version of what I expect Metta World Peace to offer.
- Wilson Chandler: Similar, but I'd rather have Gallo.
- Jeremy Lin: Ideally, I'd like a point guard who could both take some pressure off Raymond Felton as the starter and give the Knicks endless point-tandem possibilities. The league isn't exactly flush with great former Knick point guards, so Lin's probably the best option here. Mike Woodson would still probably start Felton, but Lin's presence would make it so Woody could always play two ballhandlers if he so chose.
- Stephon Marbury: GAME-CHANGER. Steph's only 36 and he's still playing. Think about it.
- Channing Frye: A dark horse here if he's fully healthy and ready to contribute. I imagine he'd play back-up center, too, and spread the floor from that position. That'd be neat.
- Jordan Hill: Another interesting dark horse since he could play center, but nah.
- Trevor Ariza: Arguably the best defender of the bunch, but nah.
- Chris Copeland: Unimaginative choice.
Ultimately, my choice would be either Bill Walker or Renaldo Balkman, but I think the above list is more acceptable in the mainstream. I'd probably take Gallo. Am I forgetting anybody? I'm probably forgetting somebody. Which active former Knick would you add to the current roster? What if you could reach back into history? BRING 'EM BACK.