This got left hanging before the game Saturday night, so just to make it clear: The Knicks are going to buy out Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih. It is definitely going to happen. It's just not official yet because, as Spero Dedes explained during the game, the lawyers necessary to finalize the agreement don't lawy on the weekend. But it'll get done.
With a full view of recent history, this is one of many things that sucks about the 2013-2014 Knicks. Beno and Metta were the Knicks' two small, savvy (minimum and MLE) signings this summer, and I thought they'd both fit really well. Beno seemed like a great candidate to inherit some of Jason Kidd's minutes in two-point guard lineups. I hoped Metta would offer defense and outside shooting when called upon. None of that came to pass for any extended period. Mike Woodson's inscrutable disfavor intervened, injuries intervened, politics intervened, and some wild minutes from both guys didn't help.
So yeah, on the long scale, the Knicks cutting two halfway decent players they signed months ago is frustrating and emblematic of chronic disorganization. Daniel Artest agrees (via his Twitter). In the short-term, with several other layers of stupidity given, it's the right move. The season is teetering on the edge of the abyss and Woodson is still bafflingly employed, so there's no need to keep roster spots committed to veterans on small contracts who Woodson won't play. The Knicks tried to grab some value out of the situation by trading Udrih before the deadline (and perhaps World Peace, too, but we didn't hear any of that), but they failed. Possible trade partners settled on alternatives and, in general, teams might have known better than to relinquish anything for Udrih or World Peace because they knew buyouts were the next step. Marc Cornstein represents both players, and it was in their best interest to facilitate buyouts so they could pick their next teams (and not in his best interest to help the Knicks, because why would a guy help an organization that's benched half his clients?).
So buyouts are coming, which makes immediate sense for all parties. The only question left is how the Knicks will use those two fresh openings. I hope they bring in some youngsters, perhaps from the BayHawks. Chris Smith is already RTing stuff like this, but I hope the Knicks have outrun that affair. Whatever. It would be funny. Those are two free, running chances to give unproven kids a chance to stretch their legs in what should be a low-pressure environment. Maybe the Knicks think they ought to add different veterans for a playoff push, but, well, if they do, I think that logic could expire quickly. Whenever that time comes, I hope spots 14 and 15 become a proving ground, even if it takes a revolving door of 10-day contracts to find someone worthwhile.
Until then, farewell Beno and Metta (not officially yet, but you know). Sorry it didn't work out. Y'all didn't do the Knicks much good, but neither did most of your teammates, and they all got more chances. Good luck somewhere else.