5 Value Signings the New York Knicks Should Target in Free Agency

Jordan WhiteFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2014

5 Value Signings the New York Knicks Should Target in Free Agency

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    Rick Bowmer

    The New York Knicks aren't exactly replete with cap space this summer.

    According to Storytellers Contracts, assuming everyone currently on the roster stays, the team will have a total cap hit of $89.8 million. That is well above the cap threshold.

    As a result, the Knicks will only have the use of the veteran's minimum and mini Mid-level contracts to add much-needed help (for a much more in-depth explanation of these numbers, check out Larry Coon's CBA FAQ).

    That's not to say there won't be any useful players available for that money. It just means the Knicks have to choose their targets wisely.

    Here are some of the players the Knicks should target this summer through the use of those two contracts. 

Richard Jefferson

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    Gene Sweeney Jr.

    As Richard Jefferson enters the twilight of his career, he'll likely want the opportunity to win one championship ring before he hangs up his jersey for the last time.

    The opportunity to do so certainly doesn't lie with Utah, who almost just as certainly won't attempt to re-sign Jefferson this summer. 

    The Knicks, on the other hand, should present an intriguing case to the 33-year-old Jefferson. He can provide them with valuable veteran experience, having been to the finals and played in multiple playoff series, while the team can provide him with an opportunity to win the ring he so desires. 

    In addition to his veteran savvy, Jefferson would also provide perimeter shooting. He's knocking down three-pointers at a 42 percent clip, per Basketball Reference.

    He's a natural small forward, but can slide down or up a position in a pinch, depending on matchups and what the coach needs. 

    Given his current situation, Jefferson should be available for the veteran's minimum. 

Brandon Rush

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    Darren Abate

    Before tearing his ACL last season with the Golden State Warriors, Brandon Rush was enjoying a career season.

    Rush was a key cog on a playoff team, shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc and providing good perimeter defense. This season, as he rehabs from the injury, Rush has yet to rediscover his form. He's been out of Utah's rotation for the most part, unable to find his shot or the floor. 

    However, it often takes more than a year to fully heal from an ACL injury, so this season shouldn't be a moratorium on Rush's future.

    At 28 years old, Rush still has plenty left in the tank, and he should be available for the veteran's minimum.

    He'd bring much-needed perimeter defense to the Knicks, and—assuming his shot returns to him—perimeter shooting as well.

Metta World Peace

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    Ned Dishman/Getty Images

    Yes, the Knicks released the artist formerly known as Ron Artest this year, but that doesn't mean he can't re-sign with them this summer.

    In fact, with Phil Jackson now at the helm of all basketball decisions, it wouldn't be surprising to see the "Zen Master" pitch Metta World Peace on a return to Madison Square Garden. As it turns out, reports are already swirling of World Peace's desire to return to Jackson's tutelage.   

    Though he's lost some of his quickness, World Peace still possesses terrific strength and defensive intelligence, which makes him a pest on the defensive side of the ball.

    He won't contribute much on offense, but that's never been his calling card anyway.

    At this stage in his career, World Peace will mainly bring the aforementioned toughness and veteran leadership that coaches crave on championship-contending teams. 

Kris Humphries

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Kris Humphries brings a little bit of everything to the table.

    He's a mobile big man who can run the floor while also banging down low. Should a team need him to, he can step out and hit the mid-range jump shot, too.

    According to Basketball Reference, Humphries shoots 42 percent on shots from 10-16 feet, and 50 percent on two-pointers overall.

    The 29-year-old veteran is also a very good rebounder, snagging 10 rebounds per 36 minutes with a total rebound percentage of 16.8, per Basketball Reference.

    This would go a long way in helping New York's efforts on the boards, which range anywhere from middling to horrible—ranking 15th in the league in defensive rebounding percentage and 21st in offensive rebounding percentage. 

    Humphries is currently making $12 million in the last year of his deal. The most the Knicks would be able to offer him is the mini Mid-level exception, which would amount to about a 75% pay cut. Granted, no NBA player wants to take that much less money, but it's still worth a shot for the Knicks. 

Toney Douglas

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    Wilfredo Lee

    Toney Douglas admittedly wasn't the most popular player during his last stint with the Knicks. 

    Toney Douglas plays extremely hard & not particularly smart.

    — netw3rk (@netw3rk) December 11, 2011

    Toney Douglas just tried to run pick and roll w/ Chandler; threw it 2 feet behind him. My eyes burst into flame.

    — netw3rk (@netw3rk) January 13, 2012

    His time away from New York hasn't done much to improve his offensive deficiencies, either.

    In any case, the fact remains that Douglas is a very good defender at the point guard position, which is something the Knicks desperately need.

    Neither Pablo Prigioni nor Raymond Felton are even average defenders. Iman Shumpert could defend point guards, but he's either inexplicably on the bench or defending the opposing team's wings. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Toure Murry can be counted on as a defender.

    Douglas, if he weren't asked to do anything on offense, would make a great defensive addition to a team in dire need of it.