July 21, 2003 -- The Knicks will take a look at a 7-foot free-agent center when the Utah portion of their summer-league begins today vs. Denver.
Mamadou N'diaye, a 2000 first-round pick, joined the Knicks in Salt Lake City yesterday. N'diaye spent three seasons with the Raptors, playing 22 games - eight of them starts- last year.
Knicks assistant GM Jeff Nix said N'diaye could be invited to veteran's training camp in October.
"He's a center, so we have to take a look at him," Nix said.
Slavko Vranes, their 7-5 second-round pick, has shown some potential in Boston but clearly is not ready for minutes next season. However, the Knicks envision Vranes on the 15-man roster so he can practice and work with assistant Herb Williams. Agent Marc Cornstein has almost finalized his Serbian buyout.
"The key is for him to be over here and be on the team," Don Chaney said. "I'd hate for him to be in Europe. He should be here and be coached every day. That's the only way he'll improve the way we want him to improve and the speed we want him to improve."
Meanwhile, the Knicks have used this summer league to see if 18-year-old Maciej Lampe can play center. Though he's 6-111/2, he was strictly perimeter-oriented in Spain. In the six Boston summer league games, the Knicks had Lampe post up an inordinate amount of times and he was productive inside than outside.
His agent Keith Kreiter said Lampe needed two games to adjust to the amount of low-post responsibility. Lampe shot just 34.4 percent - 3 of 11 from 3-point range - but showed agility in the post and got off a jump hook with ease.
First-round pick Mike Sweetney was a disappointment defensively but showed he can get to the foul line - 36 times in six games - with his bullish moves inside. He shot 50 percent from the field.
* GM Scott Layden continues to contact Elden Campbell's reps but have made no concrete offer . . . Lawrence Frank-coached Nets finished Boston summer league with 5-1 record after yesterday's 82-67 win over Celtics. First-rounder Zoran Planicic, a clear favorite to supplant Anthony Johnson as Jason Kidd's backup, finished with a bang: 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
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