Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Are The New York Knicks Better By Picking Up Older Aging Players?

Published on July 17, 2012 by David Conde   ·   No Comments

In my previous post, “Is Jason Kidd the Difference Maker to Take the New York Knicks Back to the Finals?” I noted how I felt that the Knicks acquiring Jason Kidd was a good signing because he would help Jeremy Lin to become a better ball player.  This was before Jason Kidd goes out and gets arrested for DWI and slams his SUV into a pole. This was before the Knicks, who may now have doubts about matching the Houston Rockets offer sheet for Jeremy Lin because they feel it is just too much to pay him.  So instead, the Knicks have gone another way and completed a sign and trade with the Portland Trailblazers to bring back Point Guard Raymond Felton, who happened to play with the Knicks in 2010-2011 season.  I can understand going after Felton, who had his best season when he played with the Knicks, but is the pickup of 39 year old Jason Kidd, a good one now?  Was he brought here mainly to help a younger Lin, who may not be in a Knicks uniform again.

When the Knicks signed Kidd, they also brought back an old Knick in Marcus Camby.  At the age of 38, Camby has been brought back probably to help eat up some minutes and rest the starters.  Camby didn’t have a bad season last year, in 53 games between the Portland Trailblazers and the Houston Rockets where he averaged 22.9 minutes per game, 4.9 points, 9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.  Not bad for an aging player, but why sign a Camby for 3 years at the age of 38?  What more can he truly bring to the Knicks?  Were there not any younger players that can bring the same game that Camby can bring?

Now today, the Knicks announced that in the sign and trade that brought back Raymond Felton, they also bring back another Knick, 39 year old Kurt Thomas for Forward Jared Jeffries, Center Dan Gadzuric, draft rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Giorgus Printezis and a protected future second-round pick.  Thomas was probably a throw-in, in this sign and trade, but I still don’t understand why the Knicks have decided to go old, rather than younger.  I really can’t understand these moves and how does it really help the Knicks. Do they feel that they can match up with the Miami Heat by bringing back old Knicks players and hope that they can gel with a younger team?  Maybe Kurt Thomas can revive his career by coming back to New York and playing the type of game he once played.  I am not sure that is possible.  Last season he averaged 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in over 15 minutes a game in 53 games.  What can Thomas truly bring to the Knicks?  Is he also going to eat up some minutes for the starters, or can he truly make an impact.

If the Knicks truly want to compete with the powerhouse teams like the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, signing aging players that are not as quick as the younger teams in the NBA may not help their chances of returning to the playoffs.  Now I can be wrong, but any true fan can see that with age, there is a question of health and how healthy can the Knicks be with three players past their prime years. I can understand Kidd, coming in more as a mentor for Lin and maybe now he can be that for Felton. I can also understand the Knicks not wanting to match the offer for Lin because it is too much money,  but I really can’t see Camby and Thomas being difference makers.  Maybe once upon a time when they owned New York, but that was also when other Knicks like Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell also owned New York, and I really don’t think they are suiting up for the Knicks again. I think the Knicks need to think about making their team younger and faster not older and slower.

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