Harris DeckerThere’s been a lot of talk over the last few days about who the Knicks will bring in to fill the roster spots vacated by Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace. We got that answer on Tuesday when it was reported by multiple sources that Earl Clark and Shannon Brown would sign with the Knicks.
Both players are journeyman guys who can play situational roles on a team. Clark is a defensive specialist who could likely spell Carmelo Anthony at times while Brown is a spot up shooter with some ability to get to the basket. While Brown is listed as a point guard, he’s played a minimal amount of minutes there over the past few seasons.
With word that Raymond Felton will travel with the team for the remainder of the season, it seems likely that Brown will get minutes at shooting guard and not see much time at the point. It’s probably for the best.
This season, Brown is scoring just 2.3 points per game and adding less than an assist. That’s a far cry from his 2012-13 numbers which had him in double figures in points and a field goal percentage nearly double what he’s shooting this year (28%).
Similar to Brown, Clark had his best season last year for the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 5.5 rebounds and 7.3 points per game over 59 games. The 23.1 minutes per game that he was playing for the Lakers took a hit this season in Cleveland and will likely take another hit in New York. After all, Anthony is playing 40+ minutes per night.
So the question remains, with these two veteran players coming in, does that close the door on a younger, higher upside signing like Jimmer Fredette?
Fredette has played the last three seasons for the Sacramento Kings where he’s played less and less each season. This year he’s down to 11.3 minutes played per game. While his minutes plummeted, his effectiveness increased. This year he’s shooting a career high 48% from the field and is even better from outside. With just 5.9 points scored per game, he is averaging 18.7 points per 36 minutes played. That’s 7.3 more (per 36 minutes) than Felton.
With Clark and Brown signed, it seems highly unlikely that Fredette would be considered an option despite his relatively high upside and young age (he’s just 25). I’ll be the first to say that I’m disappointed in that decision and mark my words, if Fredette gets things together next year, I’ll be pointing another finger at Steve Mills.