The Knicks bought out Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace, so they now have two open roster spots. We haven't heard a clear idea of what they'll look for in those two signings, but we know they're looking. We also have a running list of "interest" in fringe free agents. It's a like a mini August in the middle of February!
The first name I saw was that of our old preseason friend Ike Diogu in Marc Berman's New York Post report:
The Knicks are mulling whether to use one of their two roster spots on power forward Ike Diogu, who impressed the team during training camp but was released, according to an NBA source.
Today, we got word that Jimmer Fredette was working on a buyout with the
Knicks Kings, which immediately intrigued me, and apparently the Knicks as well, with a caveat:
Knicks haven't ruled out Jimmer Fredette, league sources tell Yahoo, but organization's focus with two available roster spots: Defense.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 25, 2014
Defense. That's adorable. I don't think you're going to find a minimum player on the midseason free agent market who can affect the league's fifth-least efficient defense any more than, say, Metta World Peace could, but cool focus.
And then I just saw this one:
D-League forward Tiny Gallon receiving hard look from the New York Knicks and could soon work out for team, league sources tell RealGM.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 25, 2014
And now this as I was writing this:
Also hearing Knicks brought Dahntay Jones in for a workout today as they look for a perimeter defender to fill one of their two roster spots— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 25, 2014
The "focus" in Woj's tweet and the workout of Jones do not please me. Those betray a lingering organizational delusion that this season can be saved and the near-sighted signing of a veteran is the right move (something also evident in Chris Broussard's look back at the Iman Shumpert trades that didn't happen).
I'd much rather the Knicks use those two spots and these last 20ish mostly-empty games to audition unproven players. Fredette, though certainly not a defender, stands out to me as a guy worth giving 20 regular minutes and ample touches just to see what happens. I've heard Kings fans say he never got an extended chance in Sacramento, and I think the Knicks have room to offer such an extended chance. He could start at point guard tomorrow and I would not argue. If Fredette flounders, the Knicks can let him go and nothing will have changed. If he plays even remotely well, we'll all freak the fuck out and declare him the second coming and that'll be fun for a little while. No downside. Of course, the Kings have to actually buy him out first, and then he has to clear waivers.
The same, to varying degrees, goes for guys like Hudson (who is 29 and has already had a couple decent cracks at the NBA), Diogu (who is 30, but familiar, talented, and still relatively unproven), and Gallon (who is just 23 and not actually tiny). Not Dahntay Jones. I don't want Dahntay Jones. No known quantities. Take a shot, Knicks. You have nothing to lose. Well, besides games. You have a lot of games to lose, but you know what I mean.
Update (3:20 PM): Woj names Earl Clark, who isn't exactly young (26), but also isn't Dahntay Jones. He's an okay do-a-bit-of-everything-forward type. New thread if that turns into a real thing.
Update (4:43 PM):
Mike Woodson and Steve Mills have both spoken with free agent Earl Clark, according to sources. Strong possibility he signs with Knicks— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 25, 2014