Aug 2, 2013, 8:48 AM EDT
The Knicks are trying to round out the end of their roster, the guys who will rarely get off the bench but can provide a little something when they do.
Now comes the report they also are in talks with former Hawks reserve big man Ivan Johnson, according to Jared Zwerling at ESPNNewYork.com. It just seems to be a matter of money.
The 29-year-old Johnson, who became an NBA player in 2011 and has played for the Hawks, was initially campaigning for a mini mid-level contract. But with remaining attractive free agents like DeJuan Blair and Antawn Jamison in the veteran’s minimum financial ballpark — Blair signed with the Mavericks for that amount — the free-agent market is quickly changing….
The source said, “I think it would be a great fit for Ivan to get big minutes [in New York] and further prove he can play in this league.”
The Knicks have 12 guys on their roster and could bring in a couple guys before the season starts.
While Johnson, a 6’8” traditional power forward, would be buried on the depth chart when you consider the injury history of the rest of the Knicks front line — Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Andrea Bargnani — it is likely he would get some quality minutes.
When he’s gotten minutes Johnson has looked pretty good. Last season with the Hawks Johnson played in 69 games, averaged 15 minutes with 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds a game.
Johnson plays a physical game Knicks fans would love (he likes to be almost an enforcer), and with that he brings a lot of energy and good defense, he’s a strong rebounder and he can finish with authority around the rim. When he just does those things he’s good, but he can take some ill-advised shots and in setting up those shots he can turn the ball over too much. When he plays within himself he’s a quality role player, he just gets outside that role sometimes.
That said, at the minimum this would be a quality pick up for the Knicks bench.
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