By Aaron Kopperl
With the 2013 NBA free agency period beginning, the New York Knicks are hoping to address their two most glaring issues, a backup guard and a backup big man. The Knicks may have already found a valuable backup guard in the draft by selecting Tim Hardaway Jr., the son of a former Knick nemesis. Although the Knicks also were able to sign undrafted free agency C.J. Leslie, you can never have too many useful big men on your team, especially come playoff time. One player the Knicks should attempt to sign is Spurs PF Dejuan Blair.
What Blair lacks in height and knee ligaments, he makes up for in hustle and aggression. Weighing in at 270 pounds, Blair has proven to be a capable defender and rebounder. However, with the emergence of Tiago Splitter, Blair lost his starting job and was relegated to the bench for a large portion of the 2013 playoffs. Due to this lack of playing time, Blair would come at a relatively cheap price, which should leave the mini mid-level exception relatively unaffected.
Another interesting option could be to use Chris Copeland as the trade chip. If San Antonio happens to be one of the approximately 10 teams pursuing Cope, the Knicks should attempt to negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Spurs (or whichever team signs Copeland if not the Knicks) so as to avoid losing a proven scorer for nothing.
Glen Grunwald stated at the start of the 2013 offseason that the Knicks would need to be creative in if they wish to improve. Here is one move that is creative and certainly has the potential to help this team. While it is definitely not as splashy as the New Jersey…err, uh, Brooklyn Nets’ recent trade, it would definitely fix a problem the Knicks had last season, a young backup big man.
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