After bouncing around the league for a few years, DeMarre Carroll finally found his place with the Atlanta Hawks. After two very good seasons with them, his free agency could land him with the New York Knicks, something both he and the team wants.
The Knicks need someone like Carroll, who is the kind of player that positively helps change a franchise. A glue guy some would call him, but it doesn’t matter. He is great in the locker room and even better on the court. A very good defender at small forward, surprisingly good rebounder and efficient shooter, hitting over 40% of his 3-point shots in the last two years.
He averaged 12.6 points per game in the regular season, rising to 14.6 in the postseason, being the Hawks’ best player in the playoffs until his injury in the conference finals. That injury made him consider sitting out the rest of the series to not risk his chance of getting a big contract, but Carroll, who doesn’t take the place he’s at right now for granted, couldn’t make too much of the injury.
I’ve been getting a million calls and emails about me, why am I there, this might be the biggest contract of my life. But at the end of the day this game isn’t promised to you. So whenever you’ve got an opportunity to play basketball, a lot of people say it’s bigger than money and it feels like that to me.
The Hawks haven’t given up on him, but considering they’re not too keen to load up on big, 8-figure contracts, which is what Carroll will be looking for and getting from the Knicks, they might prefer re-signing Paul Millsap and not him. Carroll being a small forward doesn’t matter to the Knicks. They need quality players, something they are sorely lacking in. Even if there’s the risk that Carroll was having a ‘contract year’ and he’s headed for some decline, they can’t afford to pass up on this opportunity considering how not too many players are climbing other each other to join them.