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Knicks have eyes for free agent Samuel Dalembert

May 4, 2011, 9:55 AM EDT

Samuel Dalembert

The Knicks are talking defense this summer.

Which is a change of pace since they didn’t play any last season.

But while the talk of defense has in part focused on Mike D’Antoni and his coaching style (reports are he’s being pushed to hire an assistant as a defensive coordinator) that ignores the real problem — you have to have good defensive players. The Knicks don’t.

So team president Donnie Walsh wants to go out and get one, reports the New York Post.

With the chances slim of adding a quality center with the 17th pick in the draft and with an unkind salary cap situation in 2011, sources close to Knicks president Donnie Walsh say he has targeted Kings 6-foot-11 shotblocker Samuel Dalembert as the likeliest free-agent catch this summer.

There are bigger names but right now you know Memphis is going to match any offer for Marc Gasol, while Tyson Chandler can expect a healthy offer from Dallas. Dalembert is someone you can get.

All of this is dependent on what the new collective bargaining agreement allows the Knicks to do. With Chauncey Billups returning, the Knicks are already over the current salary cap for next season. They would need something like the mid-level exception to go get Dalembert (or just about anyone else) but there are rumors that the mid-level could be wiped out in the new CBA (a lot of owners don’t like it because they misuse it, and this CBA is about protecting the owners from themselves).

The post reports that Walsh may even be willing to sacrifice some of the treasured 2012 cap space to get a center, because the new CBA may make adding a Chris Paul or Dwight Howard impossible anyway.

Just something to watch. Whenever the lockout ends and free agency begins. Which may well be a while.

  1. hnirobert3 - May 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    And Sam has eyes on Miami. Sorry, Donnie.

  2. bignick1063 - May 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    I’d rather see them go after Nene after he opts out of his conract with Denver.

    • bignick1063 - May 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      “contract”

  3. dysraw1 - May 4, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    sammy d would be a perfect piece to add,the knicks play to much. shouldve been think more bigs the moment stoudemire came on board.

    • sethb222 - May 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

      I agree, Let Amare be himself and never have to play Defense. perfect fit. they need someone to distribute the ball cuz chauncey isnt the answer

  4. jolink653 - May 4, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    i think this would be a really good move..i’m tired of hearing about chris paul adding him would solve none of the knicks problems n at the same time take up any remaining salary cap room…the knicks need to use their money to put good role players around amare n carmelo with those role players having some size n defensive ability…nene would be a great addition n i would absolutely love to get tyson chandler but i don’t see dallas letting him get away the knicks just need to make the right moves n i think they will if donnie is still calling the shots

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