While many teams in the Association have chosen to add youth to their rosters this summer, the New York Knicks have taken an opposite approach, shedding some younger players while replacing them with more experienced members of the NBA. Tuesday, the “New York Post” reported that the Knicks have signed veteran shooting guard Ronnie Brewer to a one-year contract, most likely giving him the starting slot that belonged to Landry Fields this past season. Fields signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors earlier this month, which New York declined to match.
Adding the veteran who played this past campaign with the Chicago Bulls, will allow Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith to enter the game from the bench, adding fire-power to the team’s second unit. Brewer has played six years in the Association, the last two for Chicago and he played in all 66 of the club’s regular season games in the past campaign, starting 43 of them while averaging 6.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest.
The signing is the latest move that General Manager Glen Grunwald and head coach Mike Woodson strategy to surround the club’s talented starting front-court of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, power forward Amar’e Stoudemire and center Tyson Chandler with the wisdom that comes from experience of years playing in the Association. New York’s brain-trust believes that adding veterans to the roster will propel the team deeper into the Post Season, than its younger roster did this past season.
Brewer will most likely join recently signed point guard Raymond Felton in the starting lineup, while Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd will add leadership to the team coming in off of the bench. The makeup of the squad, will most likely lead to more balanced scoring in games, rather than any individual player taking shots outside of the flow of the offense. The club still has a very talented young player in guard Iman Shumpert, who will start the season sidelined recovering from knee surgery.
The moves should help New York compete in what is shaping up to be a very strong Atlantic Division for next season, with only the Toronto Raptors on the outside looking in. The Sixers made the Playoffs this year and the Nets and Celtics have both made major improvements this month. Boston will have a challenge on their hands to keep their Division Crown from this past season.