The New York Knicks need all the help they can get in pretty much every aspect of the game, and might bring in Elton Brand (after one season with the Dallas Mavericks) to help them in both defense and on the boards.
Brand, 34, is very keen on a move to New York, thinking that among the options he currently has, they provide the best opportunity to win and go deep in the playoffs, while it’s also quite close to his hometown, Peekskill, N.Y.
Brand averaged 7.2 points and 6 rebounds per game last season for the Mavs, the lowest numbers of his career, playing only 21 minutes a night. The Knicks aren’t too crazy about re-signing Kenyon Martin, and know that while Bargnani is a help on the offensive side, he isn’t going to provide much in terms of rebounding and defense. That’s where Brand comes is, especially now that Marcus Camby is gone.
Brand’s best season was in 2005-2006, leading the Clippers to the playoffs while averaging 24.7 points and 10 rebounds per game. He was an almost automatic double-double during the first half of his NBA career, but injuries and age have slowed him down, and Brand isn’t likely to give the Knicks more than 20-24 minutes of basketball each night.
Brand isn’t the only player the Knicks are looking at, with Nate Robinson, Matt Barnes and Francisco Garcia also on their radar, as they want to add to their frontcourt as well. There isn’t much the Knicks can offer to anyone, but they’re need in the backcourt might get a bit more urgent if they do lose J.R. Smith to one of the teams following him. Garcia will come in at a better rate than Barnes, who prefers staying with the Clippers.
Robinson himself might eventually stay with the Bulls next season after a surprising season in which he got a lot more playing time than anyone intended to give him, but it’ll probably come down to money and not anything else.