Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Will Knicks' 7-foot rookie be in training camp?

The Knicks have been in the market for another big to join Ronny Turiaf at the center position, but they have a 7-footer already in the organization: 2010 second round pick Jerome Jordan. So where is he?

Currently, Jordan is in Slovenia, where he is playing for KK Krka Novo Mesto, but he does have an NBA out in his contract and his ambition, after spending last season in Serbia, is to play in the NBA this season. 

Considering travel time, he will probably not be present for the first day of training camp, which opens Friday. There are several hurdles that need to be figured out that involve the collective bargaining agreement, which is just being finalized now and is expected to be ratified by the players on Wednesday and the owners on Thursday. What has to be figured out is what Jordan's rookie scale will be as well as the buyout cost, which is potentially a $500,000 investment on top of his first year salary. Jordan could wind up costing the Knicks as much as $1.2 million in the first season and there's no guarantee that he'll even be a rotation player.

The Knicks advised Jordan to play in Europe last season after they signed Timofey Mozgov. The team didn't want to waive Jordan and lose his rights and the move allowed him to remain Knicks property.

Jordan gained needed experience playing in Europe, but he is still raw. Still, his size is extremely valuable to the Knicks, especially for a team that lacks assets to include in a trade for Chris Paul. But is he ready to be a part of the rotation and provide a defensive presence the team sorely needs? His numbers in Slovenia -- 11 points, 5 rebounds per game -- are not impressive, but even if the numbers were huge, it still could not be used as indication of his progress as an NBA prospect.

Jordan's agent, Todd Ramasar, recently told the New York Post if the Knicks didn't invite Jordan to camp this year, the team should trade his rights to another NBA team.

Tags: NBA , Knicks , Jerome Jordan

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