Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Looking for a mercenary? Here's one
With at least one roster spot still open, the Knicks have spent the past month going through the one-year wonders. They had a week of exclusivity with Jason Williams and passed. Williams eventually signed with the Orlando Magic. They had Allen Iverson desperately trying to include them in his very short list of potential destinations until it was made Cristal clear the Knicks weren't interested. AI is reportedly on the verge of taking a one-year, $3.5M deal to help the Memphis Grizzlies sell tickets this year (quick, someone shrink-wrap OJ Mayo).
Jamaal Tinsley appeared to be on the Miami Heat radar, but it sounds as if Pat Riley would prefer to find backcourt support in a trade. Tinsley talked to the Knicks, but there doesn't appear to be a great deal of interest at the moment. Jerry Stackhouse had a well-publicized workout in August, but little came from that, as well.
If there's an unsigned veteran free agent that may fit exactly what the Knicks could use -- a pro's pro, a terrific shooter and a competitor -- it's Wally Szczerbiak. A few weeks ago he seemed on the verge of being locked up by the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are still interested, but Szczerbiak is still available.
No doubt Wally World isn't the same player he was in his prime. But at the bi-annual ($1.99M), he's still a bargain for someone you can bring in off the bench as a shooter and a cerebral player who would fit well in Mike D'Antoni's spread offense. The greatest knock is defense and we don't deny the fact that one-on-one he just doesn't have the foot-speed. But in a team concept, he is actually an excellent positional and help defender.
He can play some at the 2 (sitting in the corner waiting on those kick-out threes) and also obviously can handle the 3-spot. His game would fit well with Danilo Gallinari and his no-nonsense, competitive approach to the game is the right kind of influence in a room of young players. And he doesn't have to be a high-rotation player, especially not at that price.
Szczerbiak would likely prefer to go to a contender such as the Western Conference Finalists (George Karl may see him as a possible replacement for the departed Linas Kleiza), but the Long Island kid would have to think highly of playing for his hometown team just once before he eventually calls it a career.
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A huge upset happened today in the European Championships, when Serbia knocked off Spain, 66-57, behind Nenad Krstic's 17 points. Spain had Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro and even Ricky Rubio, who had an underwhelming six points, three assists and two rebounds in 27 minutes.
The young Serbians had Krstic, but they didn't have Darko Milicic. Why? Well, there were some issues with Milicic on the international circuit in recent years. We can't post it here, but if you do a search on YouTube, you may discover why.
Tags: Knicks , NBA , Wally Szczerbiak , Jamaal Tinsley , Allen Iverson , Jason Williams , Denver Nuggets , Memphis Grizzlies , OJ Mayo , Danilo Gallinari , Darko Milicic , Serbia , Spain , Ricky Rubio