This week, the Knicks made it official: both Chris Smith and Toure Murry, who spent NBA Summer League with New York, will have opportunities during training camp to fight for spots on the roster for the upcoming season.
That said, both players are guards, and the fact that the Knicks are pretty strong in the backcourt already may lesser each hopeful's chances of breaking through.
With that in mind, New York may instead favor reeling in a big man or two to help out fill out the front court instead.
The Knicks currently have sixteen players under contract (be it guaranteed, partially guaranteed, or simply a camp invite) ready to strut their stuff. However, Jeremy Tyler will have to wait just a little while longer for his time to shine. Rehab from a recent surgery is set to keep him out all the way through training camp.
With only a partially guaranteed contract himself, Tyler's injury and inability to participate in camp may automatically put him in jeopardy of being a sensible cut. Even so, the big man impressed in Las Vegas this summer by providing a physical and assertive defensive presence the Knicks have often lacked over the years. He's worth an extra look, but if the Knicks cut him following camp, another team is surely to take a chance on Tyler before waiting for him to get healthy enough to sign a contract.
Even if the Knicks are smart enough to keep Tyler (with the idea of developing him further down the road in mind), they may still prefer to have a capable big man to bring through camp and/or start the season off with, anyway. There's no such thing as too much talent, especially at a position where many players are susceptible to getting hurt.
Thus, even as they come closer and closer to filling out their roster, could the Knicks still have interest in Hamed Haddadi? The former Grizzlies' big man worked out for New York earlier this summer, and is now reportedly entertaining offers from teams both in the NBA and China. Are the Knicks one of them?
At this point, it seems as though Haddadi would demand some sort of guaranteed deal. Big bodies are worth paying for and arguably even stocking up with for the later months of the season.
One strategy could be to bring in Haddadi now, and then assign Tyler to the D-League affiliated Erie BayHawks, should there not be enough minutes to go around when he comes back. It'll be interesting to see if the Knicks hold further discussions with Haddadi with that option in mind.