Knicks' free-agency update: Bye, Brand
Free-agent forward Elton Brand is unlikely to sign with the New York Knicks, according to a source close to the player.
Last week, sources said the Knicks were preparing to make an offer to Brand. But at this point, the 34-year-old New York native is pursuing offers from several other teams.
With that in mind, the Knicks will likely now turn their attention to re-signing Kenyon Martin, according to a source close to the situation. The Knicks could pay him the $1.7 million remaining of their mini mid-level exception, or they could use a veteran's minimum contract to lock him up. That's all the funds the Knicks have left. According to a source close to the situation, Martin is not close to signing with any team.
The Knicks have also expressed an interest in Brandan Wright, according to a source close to the player. But it's unlikely New York is the front-runner, because of financial reasons. Less expensive alternatives could include Lou Amundson, Earl Barron, Samuel Dalembert and Chris Wilcox.
Beyond a big, the Knicks are in the market for a small forward -- potentially one who could start alongside Carmelo Anthony at the 4 position -- who would be able to defend and stretch the floor with 3-point shooting. The Knicks worked out Raja Bell on Monday, but there have been no negotiations since then, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy. The Knicks have also had "discussions" with Josh Childress, according to a source close to the player. Childress is open to the veteran's minimum.
Other small forwards the Knicks have inquired about, according to sources, include Dahntay Jones, Mickael Pietrus (who will work out for teams in two weeks upon returning from vacation) and Shawne Williams, who worked out for the Knicks last week. Williams' agent, Happy Walters, said the Knicks still have "some interest," but there's "nothing firm" in terms of offers at this point.
Other options include Maurice Evans and Metta World Peace, who reportedly could be amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers as early as Wednesday. After that point, there is a chance he could clear waivers from teams under the salary cap, who get priority signing with an amnestied player.
"I could see Ron falling to the Knicks," a source close to the situation said. "I'm not sure if a young team would bite."
Point guard-wise, a source close to the player said the Knicks and Aaron Brooks still have mutual interest. The Knicks like his ability to defend, shoot the 3 and make plays in transition, and they've expressed a desire to run more next season. They were dead last in fast-break points per game last season (8.8).
Brooks is represented by CAA, the same agency that has Anthony, J.R. Smith and Mike Woodson. Other point guards on the team's radar include Daniel Gibson, Charles Jenkins, John Lucas III, Toure Murry, A.J. Price, Nate Robinson, Nolan Smith and Sebastian Telfair.
A source close to the player said last week that Robinson expressed an interest in returning to New York, but that's when they had their full mini mid-level exception (before Pablo Prigioni re-signed). With his competition on the open market, Will Bynum, re-signing for nearly $3 million per year with the Pistons, Robinson will likely demand that amount or higher.
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