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NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks are counting on Michael Sweetney to replace the departed Kurt Thomas at power forward.

On Thursday, the Knicks picked up the $2.15 million option on Sweetney's contract for the 2006-07 season.

As the ninth overall pick in the 2003 draft, Sweetney signed a three-year deal worth at least $4.92 million with a fourth-year option under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.

The Knicks had until October 31 to exercise that fourth-year option. Sweetney will become a restricted free agent following the 2006-07 season with the Knicks holding right of first refusal.

The 6-8 Sweetney started 28 of 77 games last season and averaged 8.4 points on 53 percent shooting and 5.4 rebounds in 19.6 minutes.