SAN FRANCISCO - The Knicks haven't picked up any wins yet on this five-game road trip, but they did leave two cities with interest from potential free-agent targets this summer. In Salt Lake City, a person close to Kyle Korver said the Jazz sniper definitely is interested in the opportunity to play in Mike D'Antoni's system. And Wednesday in Portland, Marcus Camby, a rental for the playoff-bound Trail Blazers, spoke openly about putting on a Knicks uniform again.
In fact, as he left the Rose Garden after Portland's 118-90 win over the Knicks - in which he had nine points and 10 rebounds in 25:41 - Camby walked out with a bag full of Knicks gear.
"It's appealing, going back home and going back to a city where I had a lot of great memories and a lot of great friends," said Camby, a key member of the 1999 NBA Finals team. "Definitely come July, I'll definitely give New York a look if they're interested."
Considering the Knicks' glaring lack of interior defense and length, there will be interest.
Right now, Camby's mind is focused on the Trail Blazers and the postseason. He has fit in extremely well there, but with centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla expected to return from injuries, he realizes his time in Portland may be brief. Despite the Clippers follies, he didn't really want to leave Los Angeles, but it's doubtful he'd want to go back now.
Camby was a little less skeptical about LeBron James coming to New York, but he believes he'll stay where he is. "I've seen the practice site they have out there in Cleveland; they're trying to make everything accommodating for him," Camby said. "It remains to be seen if he even jumps that ship."
With waning belief that James will be lured from Cleveland, there is a greater emphasis for the Knicks to fill in critical areas of need with the remaining salary- cap space while still having enough left to attract a Joe Johnson and possibly a Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire.
Camby, like Korver, would be considered a peripheral cast member to fill in around at least one star player the Knicks will try to attract. Even at 36, Camby believes he has "plenty left in the tank."
And plenty of affection for New York. "I know what it means and what it feels like to play for the Knicks," he said. ". . . Once free agency comes, then I'll take a look at it."
Notes & quotes: Wilson Chandler, who will miss the remainder of the season with a left groin strain, says he was told it will take a six-to-eight-week rehabilitation process before he can get back onto the court. Chandler figures he will be able to begin playing basketball in May . . . Al Harrington (sprained left ankle) is questionable for tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors.
The Dolan family owns a controlling interest in Knicks owner MSG and in
Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.