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European strategy?

Are the Knicks on the verge of a mid-season move that could shake up the roster or are they anticipating a spot opening once the NBA finalizes Cuttino Mobley's retirement?

In his blog for hoopshype.com, forward Pete Mickeal said the Knicks have inquired about his availability, which is curious because the Knicks are currently maxed out at 15 players. However, Mobley, who announced his retirement on Dec. 11, 2008 because of a heart condition, is still technically on the roster because the NBA has not yet officially granted him a medical retirement. The Knicks have been awaiting the NBA to complete this process since the first anniversary of the retirement announcement.

When Mobley is finally removed from the roster by the league, it could open a spot for the Knicks to bring in Mickeal, who is currently playing for FC Barcelona. And according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com, Mickeal is having a heck of a season.

Givony recently ranked Mickeal 11th among the top American players in Europe and said Mickeal "seems to have peaked a bit later in his career than most" and added that he "could draw interest . . . from a playoff team looking to add a tough, experienced veteran to bolster their rotation."

Mickeal, a former Cinncinatti standout, was actually a Knick once before. He was selected by the Mavericks in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft. The Knicks then acquired his draft rights from Dallas along with Erick Strickland for John Wallace and the draft rights to Donnell Harvey on June. 28, 2000. He signed with the Knicks after training camp and was waived on Jan. 5, 2001 without ever appearing in a game.

The Knicks have until 6 p.m. today to decide whether they plan to keep Jonathan Bender and rookie Marcus Landry, which would mean their contracts would be guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

Judging by things Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni have said, both players -- of good character and work ethic -- are likely to stay around because they are the type of players the team wants in its locker room. Mickeal may fit this mold as well and perhaps offer more frontcourt depth if the Knicks believe they may have an opportunity to move one of their forwards before the Feb. 18 deadline.

 

New York Sports