After a pleasantly surprising impressive seven game stint to close out the 2009-10 season with the Knicks, there was hope that Earl Barron would rejoin the Knicks this season as the team looked to make major advancements.
While averaging 11.7 points and 11 rebounds during his short time donning orange and blue, Barron had even drawn quite a cult following from Knicks’ fans who wanted him a part of the team’s new beginning.
Unfortunately, with the Knicks priorities elsewhere, Barron was, for the most part, not pursued. Towards the “end” of the offseason, the Knicks reportedly were interested in bringing him back for a minimum contract, but the interest (at that rate) was not a mutual one for Barron.
Unable to find a team as the season began, Barron finally caught on with the Suns in mid-November when center Robin Lopez went down with an injury. Even though he did end up starting six out of the twelve games he appeared in during his month plus with his new team, Barron quickly became expendable following a major trade with the Magic that happened to send Marcin Gortat to Phoenix, as the Suns subsequently waived him earlier today.
As it just so happens, the Knicks currently have a void to fill for a backup big man (as well as a backup point guard). Though he only averaged 3 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Suns, Barron has proven before that he can play well under Mike D’Antoni. His 7’0 frame also helps him on defense just as much as it would aid the Knicks, who are not particularly known for their size.
Furthermore, his previous cult following with the Knicks, also known as the “Barronites,” would certainly be open to giving him a second chance.
Signing Barron would, however, force the Knicks to waive a player (likely Roger Mason Jr. or Andy Rautins) in order to make room for him on the roster.
According to Newsday’s Alan Hahn, no such move is imminent.
Another team almost certain to have interest in Barron is the Magic, who are in need of a backup for Dwight Howard after sending Gortat to the Suns. The Magic have also had talks with the Knicks regarding a swap of former Knick Chris Duhon for the ever-energizing Ronny Turiaf.
The Knicks would obviously have a need for Barron even more so after trading Turiaf, but one has to like the potential of Turiaf and Barron providing the Knicks with depth down low together anyway, should Turiaf not be traded.