ORLANDO -- More roster tinkering, but still no 7-footers. The Knicks claimed 6-8 forward Derrick Brown off waivers from the Bobcats today after officially waiving Corey Brewer.
Brown is another versatile forward who can provide some energy. The second-year player was averaging 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game this season with Charlotte. He's not much of a scorer, but he is a hustle/energy type which fits the mold of a Mike D'Antoni role player. It is a bit redundant, however, with Renaldo Balkman already on the team, plus Shelden Williams.
Brown had 12 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes against the Knicks at the Garden on Nov. 23 and had four points and six boards in 21 minutes in the second game of that home-and-home at Charlotte. D'Antoni said Raymond Felton, who played with Brown in Charlotte last season, said the Knicks should grab him if he was ever available.
Neither Brown, nor Jared Jeffries, who is expected to sign once he clears waivers this evening, will be available to play tonight against the Magic.
Some fans are curious as to why Brewer was let go. D'Antoni said that Brewer wanted to play and he couldn't guarantee him he would, so the mutual decision was made to have a parting of ways. Brewer is expected to get interest from around the league.
The Knicks lost out on Troy Murphy, who signed with the Celtics -- fitting to have a guy named "Murph" in Boston, now all they need is a "Sully" -- and have not inquired about Mike Bibby. Are they done? Leon Powe is still out there and word was he was hoping to go back to Boston but may not with Murphy signing there. But with Brown, it is hard to believe the Knicks would look to add another tweener at forward.
But there aren't any servicable bigs left so the Knicks may go into the playoffs with a roster that lacks one seven-footer. Jeffries is 6-11, but not really a center. Ronny Turiaf, at 6-10, is the only true center on the roster.
The Knicks could also use more perimeter shooters, more three-point threats. The losses of Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler took away two guys who could shoot the three-ball. Chauncey Billups obviously adds one at the PG spot, where Felton wasn't very effective and now it'll be up to Shawne Williams (25.9 percent from three in February) and Bill Walker (42.1 percent in Feb.) to step up as the long-range shooters.
People were also asking about Roger Mason Jr., who rarely plays, and why he remained on the roster throughout this ordeal. The fact that he's a veteran makes him a valuable asset on the bench. The depth chart at guard seems set, but what if there is an injury? Mason has the background where he can fill in at both guard positions and he does have range from downtown. He didn't play well early in the season and is frustrated by his lack of opportunity, but to his credit, Mason has kept himself ready and puts in a heavy workload each day, including his pregame preparation.
In other words, he's not tossing up shots aimlessly while chewing a straw, like Larry Hughes did last year.
Mason is also yet another veteran voice in a room that now has several veterans.