Saturday the New York Knicks assembled what is arguably the best starting front-court in the entire Association as they added former Dallas Mavericks starting center Tyson Chandler to their two All-Stars small forward Carmelo Anthony and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Although the three players will generate excitement; as well as put more people in the seats at Madison Square Garden, the most pertinent question is how much better, if at all the team from New York is after making the deal?
The Knicks have currently very little depth on their roster and a starting back-court that is suspect at best. If the campaign opened today New York would have a starting guard tandem of third-year player Toney Douglas as the starting point guard slot and second year player Landry Fields as their starter at shooting guard. Both players have shown potential but at this point they are unproven commodities. It is quite a step down from veteran Chauncey Billups who the club released via the “NBA Amnesty Clause” on Saturday, or Raymond Felton whom the club started the season with last year. Felton was traded to Denver for Anthony and Billups last February and now plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.
The “New York Post” reported that the Knicks have signed Free Agent point guard Mike Bibby to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum. He is expected to become the back-up to Douglas; Bibby was the starter for the Miami Heat down the stretch of last season, however the Heat chose not to retain him.
The paper is also reporting that the Knicks are trying to work out a sign and trade deal with the Atlanta Hawks to bring back former New York guard Jamal Crawford back to the team. The Hawks reportedly want New York to give up Douglas in the deal to which the Knicks have refused to do. The Indiana Pacers also have an interest in signing the NBA Sixth Man Of The Year for the 2009-2010 campaign.
Although the talent that New York will have on the court with their starting front-court playing together is undeniable; it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to make them serious contenders this year in the NBA Eastern Conference.