The Knicks are scheduled to bring a total of 19 players into training camp with them next month, but as it turns out, only 13 of those contracts happen to be fully guaranteed.
So with two roster spots potentially up for grabs, the team has continued to work out various players this week, such as Tracy McGrady, Malcolm Thomas, and Tony Taylor Jr. But as New York aims to continue improving the roster, could all these said workouts simply be backup plans at most?
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Knicks have been gunning for veteran power forward Kenyon Martin for quite a while, but have so far been unsuccessful at convincing him to join the team for the veteran’s minimum.
In the case of players like Thomas, Taylor Jr., and some of the Knicks’ other training camp invitees, giving them a shot can’t hurt because they aren’t going to be rotation players right away. If anything, fans may see a player like Chris Smith (among potential others) stashed in the D-League as he looks to unlock some of that untapped potential while playing with the Erie BayHawks.
But in the case of veterans like McGrady and Martin, where would the minutes in the rotation (that each player seems deserving of) come from?
Stein asserts that the Knicks apparently feel as though Martin would be a nice backup to Amar’e Stoudemire, but with the likes of Steve Novak and Marcus Camby able to be utilized in a variety of ways through different lineups, would Martin truly see enough minutes on the hardwood? It’s difficult to say.
It would be make sense that the Knicks (from a personnel and market stand point) are a good fit for Martin. The forward has played on the same team with various Knickerbockers, such as Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and Camby (on the Nuggets), as well as Jason Kidd (on the Nets), for multiple seasons each.
With Martin still standing as one of the few remaining notable free agents with just weeks to go until training camp, one would have to wonder what exactly he’s waiting for. Though he may not be as inclined to sign for the veteran’s minimum, it’s likely that if a contract offer worth more money were to come, it would have been offered already.
With any and all offers to Martin likely to be worth the same amount financially, his decision may soon come down to where the best opportunity for him lies. When assessing things and considering the Knicks, however, the veteran may find he himself also beginning to wonder where the minutes would come from in New York.