With no Crawford, Knicks eye Baron Davis
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The long-shot attempt to convince Jamal Crawford to take a hefty pay cut to play in New York ended Wednesday when the former Sixth Man of the Year winner informed the Knicks they were no longer under consideration.
But another option has come to the forefront: Baron Davis.
The former All-Star was placed on waivers via the amnesty provision by the Cavaliers last night. If he clears, multiple sources say there is mutual interest between Davis and the Knicks.
Two questions still need to be answered: First, will the Knicks use the $2.5 million "room exception" to sign the 32-year-old or will he accept a veteran's minimum of $1.4 million? Second, and more importantly, what kind of condition is he in? Reports out of Cleveland said the Cavs discovered Davis had a herniated disc in his back. He has not participated in the Cavs' training camp.
Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, told Yahoo! Sports that the disc injury will cause his client to miss eight to 10 weeks at a minimum.
If Davis clears waivers, the Knicks could wait until Davis is healthy to sign him or sign him and assist in his rehabilitation process. The back injury could deter teams from making a waiver claim on him, which would leave him available to sign with the Knicks.
After learning he was placed on waivers, Davis posted on Twitter: "At this point I am just going to focus on my back! That's my main concern so I can be able to play the game I love.!!"
Free agent Shawne Williams is also a candidate for the "room exception." The 25-year-old former first-round pick revived his career last season with the Knicks and provides a much-needed three-point shooting prowess off the bench and the versatility to defend at either forward position.
"Shawne made incredible strides last season," said Amar'e Stoudemire, whose agent, Happy Walters, represents Williams. "I think being around us and learning how to play the game helped him a lot."
Mike D'Antoni said he touched base with Williams to let him know there was interest, while he also spoke with Crawford in that recruiting process. Crawford would have provided the Knicks with offense off the bench. Instead, he is expected to choose between Portland and Sacramento.
The Knicks' bench will rely on veteran guard Mike Bibby, rookie Iman Shumpert and forward Bill Walker for offense.
Williams, who averaged 7.1 points in 20.7 minutes per game last season, would provide a little more bench scoring. D'Antoni said despite the stacked frontcourt, there definitely are rotation minutes available behind Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. There are times Williams can play in a small lineup at power forward with Stoudemire at center.
But Stoudemire doesn't expect to see many minutes at center with the arrival of Tyson Chandler. In fact, Stoudemire said he has worked a lot on his ever-improving perimeter game and could play the role of the "stretch" forward to leave the pick-and-rolls for Chandler. "I've been working on my three-point shot," Stoudemire said.
Would D'Antoni mind seeing his 6-11 All-Star power forward pulling up for threes?
"As long as he makes 'em," D'Antoni said, "I don't care."
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