Both just cut by the Celtics. Both available. If I'm Grunwald, I think long and hard about adding both guys for depth. QUALITY depth...You know the old adage --- one man's trash is another man's treasure...Instant infusion of (1) deluxe shot-blocking and very solid rebounding up front at one spot and (2) very sound, effective wing play at the 2 spot, better than anything Brewer or White are capable of providing. Simple move: buy out/waive Kurt Thomas and James White and swap in these 2. Even if they were to cut Ronnie Brewer at this point in favor of a replacement, it wouldn't bother me at all. Dude's been horrendous.
Said it before and I'll say it again -- Kurt Thomas is donesky -- dude is just taking up a valuable roster spot at this point, biding his time 'til retirement. Can't say Woody hasn't given him a shot recently -- he started this guy multiple times back when Sheed/Camby/STAT were all out and Thomas had virtually no effect on the game. Now with Camby and STAT back, he's glued to the bench once again. Thing is, if called upon, we now know Kurt's not capable of having any real impact, so what's the point in keeping him? Why not cut him and at least go with an alternative that's capable of having an impact on the game and adding 2 elements that are missing -- rim protection and rebounding? Camby's back but he too looks like a shell of what he used to be, maybe a tiny step up from KT production-wise. And we all know STAT, even when firing on all cylinders, isn't a great defender or rebounder. Varnado makes perfect sense to me. I think if used properly, he could be very productive here. I think this kid could come in here and definitely leapfrog Camby, maybe even Sheed eventually for playing time..
Same with Kris Joseph -- we have no real idea about James White -- I don't think he's anything special but Woody's not gonna give this guy a chance so I guess we'll never really know (why on Earth Woody hasn't at least played him a little in place of the struggling Brewer over the last month or so only coach knows). So again, what the hell's the point in keeping a dude like this? And Ronnie Brewer, our starting 2G, is just KILLING us right now. Either something's wrong with this guy physically or he was never as good a player as some of us thought. We all knew he couldn't shoot a lick but he was supposed to be strong and a great athlete that played standout D and finished with authority. Haven't seen none of that...Outside of the occasional corner 3 ball, this guy offers nothing else. Nothing at all...Hasn't been that standout defender, can't generate his own offense at all (this just puts that much more pressure on others like Melo/JR btw, as if they don't have enough reponsibility), hasn't shown any of the athleticism he's shown in the past and wierdest of all for me, he's been a TERRIBLE finisher around the basket. Dude is flat out killing us...I think this kid Joseph can play -- not great at any one thing but decent all-around. Joseph can shoot better than Brewer/White, take it to the hole/create his own offense better (much better than Brewer at least), and play just as good on defense (really ask yourselves when evaluating Brewer -- who's this dude shutting down in a game at this point? Who has he shut down so far this season? If anything, I've seen Brewer get abused on defense most nights).
STAT's back at about 50% or so and Shump's not even playing yet. We could use the help RIGHT NOW! And then GOD FORBID either have a setback or don't regain top form, we'll have 2 capable players to slide in at those positions, BETTER than what Woody has to work with right now. At the very least, if these couple of small moves helped us win a majority of our games over the next 20-game span or so until STAT and Shump regained top form and are eventually ready to step in full-time & became the difference makers we're all hoping for, it would be worth it as far as I'm concerned. Why piss away games in the meantime??
Well, here's another "scrub" for y'all that I feel we should be keeping an eye on: Gary Flowers.
SG/SF out of Southern Miss. a few years back (already 26 yrs. old). Superior height/weight (6'8" 215 lbs.), possesses a 40" vertical, a super-long wingspan (7'4.5") and a whopping 8'11.5" standing reach--wow! Physically speaking, that's one monster combination.
Senior yr stats at So. Miss: 31.1 mins, 18.8 ppg on 47.6% FGs (40.7% on 3s), 7.7 rebs (8.3 his junior yr), 1.4 blks per (1.8 his junior yr), 1.1 steals.
Currently playing in the D-League for the LA D-Fenders where he continues to put up standout stats across the board: 34.5 mins, 15.6 ppg on 50.4% FGs (41% on 3s), 6.9 rebs, 2.4 blks, 1.8 steals.
A slightly checkered past looms although the incidents all look minor -- marijuana poss. and driving w/o a license, dismissed from Oklahoma State (where he would've played with Michael Beasley and gotten much more exposure than he did btw) --- all nonsense, not like he murdered somebody..All kids stuff. Looks like he's matured since then.
I've seen a couple of archived LA D-Fender games so far trying to get a read on him --- he can play. Not a take-over-the-game type of player, but he's got a tremendous combination of physical attributes & skills that allows him to impact virtually every area of the game -- fluid/athletic, long, huge when matched up against 2Gs, shoots a high % from the floor, can hit shots from all over the court, good shot selection from what I've seen, effective from mid-range (lets it come to him), a little post up game, he rebounds the ball and comes up with a good number of blocks & steals. What else could ya possibly want in a player?
When you consider how bad Brewer's been, how Woody won't play James White despite how poor Brewer's been, and Shump coming off severe injury, I think cutting either Kurt Thomas or White (maybe even Brewer---he's been that bad folks) and signing Flowers to a league min. deal makes a lot of sense to me. Nbadraft.net compares him to Sam Young/Stephen Jackson --- I also see a much more well-rounded/more versatile Shawne Williams...Maybe Marqus Blakely with a better offensive game. He's intriguing....If teams like Boston, Miami and Dallas can all trim fat off their rosters and bring in cost-effective upgrades, why the F can't we?!?!?
fine, whats your player projection for Kris Joseph? best and worst case scenarios.
I like Joseph -- I don't think he'll ever be a star but he's got some nice things going for him: young, pretty athletic, good size at 6'7" to swing between the 2 & 3 and adequate skill for those 2 positions as well. Not great at any one thing but solid in all areas.. Shoots it well from deep and can put it on the floor. When I look at how little Ronnie Brewer's giving us this season, esp. the last 20-25 games or so, this guy a clear cut upgrade by comparison. Cut by the Celtics on Jan. 6 -- last I heard was he was eyeing a deal to go play in Europe..I think he could absolutely play in the NBA -- there's a ton of D-League guys that can. More than half the guys down there are better than half the players in the NBA right now as far as I'm concerned. No doubt in my mind on that..
At least White's finally getting a look now in place of Brewer...Don't understand why it took Woody so long to make the move but thank Christ he finally did. It instantly gives us a 2 that can shoot a little and put it on the floor. Brewer's not capable of either (not to mention he's overrated defensively by a huge margin) and he was been putting that much more pressure on Melo to make things happen at the beginning of games...I don't think White's all that great either but he's at least playing like he belongs by doing some of the basic things on offense...White put it on the foor and drove baseline the other day for a layup and a swear I don't think Brewer's done that all season. Forget the suspect outside shooting -- Brewer can't even finish at the rim -- so bad that it's been in his head for weeks now. How many little bunnies has he blown right at the rim, going all the way back to the pre-season?? Dude's not even looking at the rim, even when he's got high % opportunities to take it in strong and convert. Bottom line on Brewer is he's not even a threat out there to do much of anything and it's a concern.
I still think we could use a couple of moves to get younger & a little more athletic, even if just for the interim (until Felton & Sheed return). I know Shump's right on the verge and I just read somewhere that Sheed's back practicing, but I'd look to sure up a couple of positions anyway.. Some backcourt help and 1 more frontline player. Looking over a lot of DL players lately -- Shelvin Mack's back in the DL after another stint with Washington. I like this kid -- 6'3" strong/sturdy PG that can run the show and shoot. I think he could fill in and give us some good minutes at both guard spots...NBA experience as well...As for DL bigs -- I like Luke Harangody and the 6'11" PF/C Chris Johnson (LSU). Johnson's had a productive career in the DL and 2 successful/productive NBA stints with Boston and Portland. The man's 6'11", very athletic, he can score, rebound and he's a very good shot-blocker. Everything we expect/could use outta Camby, we could get outta this kid more or less..Harangody's been a monster this year down in the DL going for almost 15 rebs a game! Slightly undersized and funky, the man's pure hustle and desire out there. He was very good at Notre Dame and good with the Cavs. Also watched a lot of tape of 6'6" SG Chris Johnson (Dayton) recently. This kid's a lefty 3-pt gunner that reminds me of Reggie Williams/Xavier Henry/Kareem Rush (remember him with the Lakers?). No question this guy's an NBA 2G. Better than Kris Joseph..I know this view ain't popular around here but F it -- if I were GM, I'd convince my owner that buying out KT and Brewer (or White---I'd buy out Camby too; it just wouldn't be as economically feasible for the owner as the others -- I still can't believe we gave Camby a multi-yr deal..SMH) was the way to go and then call up any 2 of these 4 young/talented players:
Shelvin Mack/Chris Johnson (6'11")
Chris Johnson (6'6")/Chris Johnson (6'11")
I'd be fine with either frontcourt player...Mack or CJ (6'6"), that would be a harder decision -- they would just need to evaluate how much longer they can milk this Kidd/Prigioni PG tandem waiting on Felton. If they feel they could get through the rest of the month leaning on these 2 and get Felt back 100% sometime early Feb., I'd go with the legit 2G upgrade in CJ. The effect of adding 2 younger/much more capable players over KT/Brewer would be incalculable imho. I see no reason to go over the top with any sense of loyalty to KT or Brewer (or White). Not one of these 3 players is on this team next year, has helped us at all this year really and none of these 3 will have anything at all to do with any success this team has moving forward. We're trying to win games here. Period. Not throw people bones that don't deserve it. We traded Pat Ewing for garbage instead of letting him retire a Knick (the start of all our cap woes going back years btw), you don't think we could cut any of these 3 guys?? Come on now. LOL...1-15, I want capable players that can fill-in at a moment's notice and get the job done, not step on the floor and immediately put us at a disadvantage matchup-wise.
Well, Knicks kinda has a situation where the guys on their roster are basically locked due to skill or talent level, contract situation or the roles they play.
Those guys include
11. Prigioni(only 1 year)
14. Copeland (how much better is he than the guys you listed?)
15. White (how much better is he than the guys you listed?)
Just my 2 cents but Brewer and Thomas are both not contributing much at all and both are on low cost 1-yr contracts. Easily expendable if you ask me...I don't see any reason why we're bound to either of these guys...I'd either attempt to buy out one or both and if they weren't open to a buyout, then outright waive one/both. Moves like this happen all the time in the NBA..Easier said than done, i know it's not my money but for the good of the team, we could use the open roster spot(s) to import some solid young help from the DL. To me, w/o the pieces to make a deal and the cap space to add salary, this is the way to go for an over-the-cap team in the NBA. Excellent way to add young, hungry talent at a good cost.
With Shump back now, we may finally have enough depth at the 2 (dying to see him play tomorrow) --- a frontline player is more vital. Amar'e's not Amar'e yet; hearing Sheed may be done for the year now; Camby's out indefinitely and KT just ain't all that effective anymore...Chandler needs legit help up front. Not sure who exactly but there are quite a few guys down in the DL that fit the bill. If we were a younger team that wasn't going anywhere I'd say bring up a JaJuan Johnson or Hassan Whiteside immediately just on potential alone...but as some have pointed out, we're an older team that's on the cusp so maybe a more seasoned big like Chris Johnson (6'11" from LSU), Luke Harangody or DaJuan Summers would be better choices...All 3 of these guys have prior NBA experience where they've played well btw when they were given an opportunity ---> CJ with Boston & Portland; Harangody with the Cavs; Summers with Detroit. Anyone of these guys, even JJ and Whiteside, would be upgrades over KT/Camby. JaJuan Johnson actually looked good with the Celtics..
As for Copeland and White (esp. Copeland), I see where you're coming from...We're OK with these two for now (I just wish Cope was a little better defensively and on the boards, only thing about him that concerns me, otherwise I like him a lot..Kid can put the ball in the hole..I actually want this kid playing more and getting more touches)...White's even looked decent, better than Brewer anyway. You may be right -- there may not be that much of a difference between White and a guy like Kris Joseph ability-wise...Again though, with Shump back and Felt due back very soon, the whole backcourt should all fall back into place and become a strength again...Up front is a different story. We could use one more decent big that can contribute asap...Think about the athleticism, rebounding and shot-blocking 6'11" Chris Johnson could add up front...I mean we could use that.
Yeah, CJ plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors. His stats are down this yr a little for some reason (prob. tough to get a taste in the NBA, even have some success and then not stick) but nice career numbers in the DL: 47 games, 29.9 mins per, 14.9 ppg, 52% from the floor, 8.3 rpg, 2.6 blks. He's got a thin build but still, 6'11", long arms, good athlete, agile and quick off the floor, good leaper, he's got a J with good touch and he can rebound...He'd be a real nice addition. Cups of coffee with Boston and Portland and he played well and contributed for both teams.
Luke Harangody's a little different..I'm sure you guys remember him -- only goes about 6'7"/6'8" and he's a little unorthodox out there but he gets results...Some motor on this guy -- wow. Relentless style of play, he just keeps coming. GREAT rebounder/nose for the ball and he can score a little too...Averaging 18.8 ppg, 14.7 rpg for Fort Wayne..Just my humble opinion but the Knicks are nuts if they don't consider a DL big as a quick fix solution here. We're a lot better team with Chris Johnson or Luke Harangody over a 40 yr old Kurt Thomas...A lot of bang for the buck with one of these guys on a league minimum deal...Try one of these guys out on a 10-day contract...WTH have we got to lose? Miami's doing it right now with Varnado... Personally, I'd prefer one of these guys over K-Mart myself, although I'd take K-Mart if Sheed's really done...Just do something and do it soon. Don't delay. Be Proactive -- we've got a void up front right now. Fill the void.