Chandler injury could press Aldrich, Tyler into service

Adam Zagoria

With Tyson Chandler sidelined 4-6 weeks with a fracture in his right leg, Cole Aldrich and/or Jeremy Tyler could be pressed into service in the coming weeks.

USATSI_7465018_110579513_lowresKenyon Martin remains the team’s only other legitimate center and he has said he’s ready to do whatever it takes to help the team, despite the plan to limit his minutes.

The 6-11 Aldrich has yet to play for the Knicks through their first four games, but he could see court time now that Chandler is down.

“Cole’s mainly a 5 that can play the 5 spot,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said last month when explaining why he kept Aldrich on the roster. “That’s why I elected to keep Cole.”

Said Aldrich: “I know what I need to do to help this team win, to come in whenever I get minutes, come in to rebound, run the floor, defend, blocks shots. That’s the type of player that I am.”

As for the 6-10 Tyler, the Knicks obtained his D-League rights on Monday but he is still several weeks away from playing because he’s recovering from a broken foot that kept him in a walking boot for most of training camp. He was ultimately waived in favor of Aldrich, Toure’ Murry and Chris Smith.

Still, even before the Chandler injury, Woodson said Tyler “could be wearing a Knicks uniform” in the not-too-distant future.

“I think we got to keep an eye on him,’’ Woodson said. “He was a good prospect for us in the summer league. That’s why we were high on him getting to vet camp. Then unfortunately he had the foot problem. I think that we rehab him and keep close tabs on him, just to see how he develops. If he comes along nicely, who knows, he could be wearing a Knick uniform. We just got to wait the course.’’

If the Knicks end up signing Tyler from Erie, they would have to waive somebody, presumably Aldrich or Smith. According to reports, Smith has already earned a $491,000 guarantee for making the team’s opening-day roster.


Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.