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NBA Free Agency Rumors: Knicks worked out Bell, badgering Billups (Updated 11:24 AM)


Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Good morning! I have here a couple mini reports from overnight (thanks to bluecheese999 and Ozraider pointing them out) to share. One comes from Shams Charania of RealGM and regards a man rumored to be a Knick target for like eight years now, Raja Bell:

The Knicks have been intrigued by the outside shooting and defensive versatility that Bell is known for, and they invited him into their facility on Monday. In the workouts, Bell shot well and outplayed New York’s incoming rookies in one on one drills, a source said, leaving the Knicks surprised given Bell sat out the entire 2012-13 season.

(Of possible interest: A previous iteration of this post appears to have specifically named Tim Hardaway Jr., but this one just says "incoming rookies".)

It's really hard to gauge what Raja Bell can offer in 2013. He's played just over 100 NBA games combined over the last four years, first because of injury, later because he and Utah coach Tyrone Corbin had quite a beefy relationship. The Jazz finally waived Bell in March, and now I guess he's on his "still got it at 36!" tour. And if Raja Bell does still got it, his shooting and perimeter defense would serve the Knicks well (albeit at an increasingly crowded part of the rotation). It's just that we have no recent evidence that he does still got it, and the sources in the report above suggesting Bell still got it may be invested in his still gotting it. I'm sure this workout was a real thing, but word of his standing out "to the point where he could receive consideration for a roster spot" could be a guess, an embellishment, or merely stating the obvious (why would the Knicks work someone out if they weren't considering signing them?). But yeah, Raja Bell. If he's any good at this point, then sure, maybe.

And then there's this:

In a vacuum, a big, savvy, threes-only old point guard would make sense as a replacement for Jason Kidd, but: 1. Ya know, the Kidd thing didn't end so hot. 2. Billups left the Knicks on famously bad terms, getting abruptly amnestied just months after having his option picked up. He was deeply displeased. 3. Billups has been pretty consistently injured since leaving the Knicks 4. What Isola said. And on top of all that, I just really didn't like watching Chauncey Billups in New York and would rather not do it again.

While we're at it, Metta World Peace's name has come up since he's apparently going to be amnestied. And hey, if the Lakers actually amnesty him, then he clears waivers, then he proves willing to accept a salary of under $2 million a year...sure! I don't think that sequence of events is likely, but I guess we'll see.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting to hear if Elton Brand is willing to take the rest of New York's mini MLE or if he's gonna go elsewhere.

This is where Knicks free agency stands on the morning of July 9, 2013. I'm looking forward to Summer League!

Update: In more exotic rumors, bluecheese directs us to this report that the Knicks are one of several teams interested in 25 year-old Brazilian big man Vitor Faverani...

Update (11:24 AM):