Well, this move was unexpected. It was reported on Sunday that the New York Knicks are close to a deal with the Toronto Raptors that will send Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and a few draft picks, including New York’s 2016 first round draft pick, to the Raptors for former top overall pick Andrew Bargnani.
Camby was M.I.A for most of the Knicks’ 2012-13 season, and three-point ace Steve Novak was on and off throughout the season, disappearing towards the end of it, averaging five minutes per game in the playoffs. Novak led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage in the 2011-12 season when he shot 47.2 percent, and 42.5 percent last season, but was pushed out of the rotation and became a non-factor.
This move works for the Knicks, who need all the help they can get in the front court, because they don’t have much of a choice through free agency, and they get the player they tried getting last offseason without giving up a major rotation player.
So what can the underachieving Bargnani provide?
Bargnani is a 7-foot, 255-pound center who came into the league with a lot of potential but never delivered. He averaged 15.2 points, and 4.8 rebounds in seven seasons with Toronto, but his defensive play was poor. Bargnani is a capable scorer that gives the Knicks’ depleted frontcourt some much needed depth.
The center can be a backup to Carmelo Anthony or Tyson Chandler, and can be insurance just in case something happens to Amar’e Stoudemire. The big man can help stretch defenses and with his shooting ability, he can keep the driving lanes open for Melo.
Because the Knicks are over the cap, they can’t be major players in free agency, and with the recent moves the Brooklyn Nets have made, they have to find ways to improve their roster if they want to compete and stay close to the top in the Eastern conference.