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Knicks do sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby; Steve Novak, J.R. Smith will be back

Portland Trail Blazers forward Marcus Camby looks to

Portland Trail Blazers forward Marcus Camby looks to pass the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets. (March 27, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

LAS VEGAS -- The Knicks have brought back a player who helped them to playoff success more than a decade ago and two others who helped them reach the playoffs this past season.

Veteran center Marcus Camby is returning to the Knicks. So are Steve Novak and J.R. Smith.

The Knicks and Rockets reached agreement Monday on a sign-and-trade for the 38-year-old Camby, a league source said. The Knicks will send Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, second-round picks in 2014 and 2015 and cash to the Rockets for Camby. He will sign a three-year, $13.2-million deal, a second league source said. Camby will get $10 million the first two years and the third year is partially guaranteed.

Earlier in the day, Novak cashed in after his breakout season with the Knicks, agreeing to a four-year, $15-million deal to return, said his agent, Mark Bartelstein. Novak will sign the biggest contract of his life Wednesday.

Smith -- whose brother Chris is playing for the Knicks' summer league team -- will sign a two-year deal starting at $2.8 million for next season. The second year is a player option.

Wednesday is the first day teams can sign free agents or announce trades. The Knicks also will sign Jason Kidd Wednesday, and they hope to have more deals done as they work to fill out their roster.

With these moves, the Knicks will have nine players with guaranteed contracts: Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, Kidd, Camby, Novak, Smith and James White.

The Knicks also are expected to match Houston's four-year, $28.8-million offer sheet to Jeremy Lin.

Unless the Knicks can use Dan Gadzuric's non-guaranteed contract in a sign-and-trade, they'll have only minimum contracts to fill out their roster.

They have expressed interest in Randy Foye and Raymond Felton, but the Knicks won't be able to get either without a sign-and-trade. They're still in play for veteran forward Rashard Lewis, with the Heat and Hawks among the Knicks' competitors.

Camby was on the 1999 Knicks team that lost to the Spurs in the NBA Finals. He was a member of the last Knicks team to win a playoff series, in 2000. He's back after spending the past 10 years with the Nuggets, Clippers, Trail Blazers and Rockets.

He's still an effective defensive rebounder and shot-blocker. Camby averaged 4.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.9 minutes in 59 games with Portland and Houston in 2011-12.

The Nets, Heat, Mavericks, Spurs and Clippers also showed interest in Camby. He tweeted Monday afternoon, "Decisions. Decisions. Decisions." Monday night, he tweeted, "NY."

The Knicks gave up a lot for Camby and are paying a 38-year-old center a lot to be a backup. But they're trying to win now, and in Camby and Kidd, they have two strong defensive players with experience who can help them go deeper in the playoffs than the first round, where the Knicks' season ended the last two years.

Novak, who has played for five teams in six years, averaged 8.8 points off the bench and led the NBA by hitting 47.2 percent of his three-point attempts last season.

The Knicks feared they were going to lose Novak because he didn't have "Bird" rights, but the NBA players' union won an appeal and Novak and Lin were granted "early Bird" rights. That gave the Knicks the ability to re-sign both and still have free-agent exceptions at their disposal.

"Without us winning the arbitration case, this would not have been possible," Bartelstein said. "We're excited we were able to get this deal done. He had a love affair with the Knicks and their fans last year. This is where he wanted to be."

Summer League roster. Douglas, Harrellson and Jordan were on the roster of the Knicks team that will play in the Las Vegas Summer League starting Saturday. The remaining players on the roster are Jeff Brooks, Chris Copeland, Mustapha Farrakhan, Kyle Goldcamp, Ahmad Nivins, Artsiom Parakhouski, Jeremiah Rivers, Walker Russell Jr., Chris Smith, Mychel Thompson, Terrance Withers and Wesley Witherspoon.

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