ORLANDO -- The Knicks are working on a buyout with forward Corey Brewer, according to a report by ESPN.com and confirmed by Newsday.
A person with knowledge of the situation said Brewer, who was part of the 13-player trade for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups last week, is caught in a numbers game with so many wing players on the roster and not much practice time to claim a rotation spot. There is interest in him around the league, so rather than bury him on the bench, the Knicks are expected to set him free so he can seek an opportunity elsewhere.
The team needs to open a roster spot by tomorrow, when they are expected to sign Jared Jeffries once he officially clears waivers. Once a buyout is reached, Brewer will be placed on waivers. Jeffries, who is expected to join the team here in Orlando tomorrow, could be available for the game against the Magic, depending on when the NBA decides he has officially cleared waivers.
Brewer, who was scheduled to make $3.7M this season, was supposed to be a restricted free agent this summer. The Knicks insisted on getting him from Minnesota in the three-team deal with the Nuggets.They wanted him in the trade with the idea that they might be able to package him before the trade deadline to fill another need (backup PG or C) but nothing materialized.
It was still believed that his length and quickness could help the team on the defensive end, especially in guarding perimeter players. But Brewer was inactive for all three games since the trade, as others who came in the deal, such as Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter, saw time instead.
The former lottery pick from Florida hasn't shown much ability on offense at the NBA level and especially struggles with shooting. For his career, he is barely over 40 percent (40.6) in field goal shooting and this season he was shooting 38.4 percent from the field in 56 games for the Timberwolves.
According to ESPN.com, there are teams that have an interest in Brewer, such as the Celtics, Spurs, Thunder and Mavericks.
For those wondering why Balkman wouldn't be a buyout candidate: he has two more years left on his contract at $1.6M each. A buyout would eat up precious cap space. It would be easier to trade Balkman in the offseason for a second round pick and send $3M in cash considerations to pay his salary.
If the Knicks were looking to add more size, they won't be able to go back to Earl Barron for at least 10 days. The veteran center reportedly has signed a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Knicks showed interested, but Barron took the Bucks offer rather than wait.
The Knicks are believed to be interested in power forward Leon Powe, who remains available, and Troy Murphy, though the latter is expected to sign with either Boston or Miami.