Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, along with follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.
How would you fill the New York Knicks final roster spot?
Joe Caporoso - If the Knicks are going front-court, I’d prefer Ivan Johnson over the other names they’ve been associated with. He doesn’t have ideal size but is a more than competent depth and rotation piece who’d bring some nastiness upfront. If they are going with a Guard, I’d like to see them lock up Toure Murry to continue the youth movement on the back end of their roster. Murry has intriguing long term potential and could use a year of seasoning on the bench.
Chris Celletti - Before you get all “Who cares who the 15th man on the Knicks will be, he’ll never play!” on us, remember how Mike Woodson coached this team last season. Yes, injuries did force his hand to get a little creative at times, but he did start 14 difference players last year. J.R. Smith wasn’t one of them, neither was Amare Stoudemire. James White played in 57 games. Woody will use his depth and then some, so there’s a good chance that whoever occupies the 15th roster spot to start the year will get some actual game time.
No team can ever have too much depth on their front line. To that end, the Knicks could add someone like Lou Amundson, who is still a good rebounder. There have been rumors that Hamed Haddadi could be on the Knicks’ radar, but he hasn’t proven to be much more than a garbage time player in his six NBA seasons, as opposed to Amundson who has some playoff experience despite bouncing around the league at what’s probably a record rate. If I had to pick between the two I’d go with Amundson.
With the signing of Beno Udrih, the Knicks have basically filled out their back court, but it’s possible they’ll decide to give the final roster spot to Toure Murry, who impressed during the Summer League. I’m not personally familiar with how good of a defensive player Murry is, and I think that’s one thing the Knicks’ back court is lacking a bit. They could use a point guard who is a hound on the ball, but it seems as though they’ve already got their trio in Ray Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Udrih.
Kevin Smith - The Knicks are rumored to have interest in Lou Amundson, but despite the fact that I’ll never complain about a little frontcourt depth, I think the final spot can be used on someone with a little more upside. There’s no single player that I have my eye on for the last roster spot, but I do believe it should be used on a younger player who can be developed in to a role player down the line. Coach Woodson has enough rotation guys, so they might as well take a shot in the dark. I wouldn’t completely rule out Toure Murry, who I thought made more of an impact on the Summer League squad than Jeremy Tyler, however the addition of a third point guard in Beno Udrih leaves the Knicks with no need for another ball handler, especially considering that JR/Melo/Shump often bring the ball up the floor too.
Aaron Jacobs - The Knicks, on paper, have depth across the board, which makes it tough to say which way they should lean when deciding how to fill that final roster spot. We all witnessed last year how quickly depth can disappear, we watched all of the depth of the Knicks front-court and back-court diminish as the season went on. Lou Amundson, Drew Gooden or Earl Barron would all be good signings that Knicks fan wouldn’t complain about, after all how many of us truly trust Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani to stay healthy for a full 82 games?
I have previously made my case for both Jeremy Tyler and Toure Murry. Tyler already signed a contract, so I still want to make a brief case here for Murry. At 6’5″ Murry can play either point guard or shooting guard, especially since we all saw how much Coach Woodson loves his small ball to a fault at times, and he can be a versatile defender of either guard spot. He is also a capable passer which Woodson liked at the point and shooting guard position, often opting for two point guards on the floor for better ball movement. Murry has the most upside of any veteran we could sign and would continue a youth movement of sorts for the Knicks bench joining fellow newcomers Tim Hardaway Jr, C.J. Leslie, and Jeremy Tyler.
Chris DiGioia - It is going to be interesting to see if the Knicks are willing to use their last roster spot on a younger player with potential, or yet again find an older veteran who can fill a specific void. With the resigning of Kenyon Martin, the return of Amare Stoudemire, the trade for Andrea Bargnani, and the somewhat high hopes of the young big man Jeremy Tyler, I don’t see too much room for another front court guy. On top of that, we still have the Tyson Chandler sitting in the middle, and the possibility of Woodson using Carmelo at power forward often.
So, that brings me to Toure Murry. The 23-year-old has been invited to the Knicks training camp, and I would like to see him stay on the roster. The athletic guard has a solid 6’5 frame, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s supplying the Knicks with much needed youth.
If the Knicks do decide to go the opposite route with a veteran front court player, I’d love to see Drew Gooden. No matter what city he’s playing in, and no matter what coach he’s playing under, if Gooden gets the minutes, he’ll stuff the stat sheet.
Tim Murray - The Knicks should use their final roster spot on either Earl Barron or Drew Gooden. Last year Barron came in towards the end of the season and in limited minutes made a strong impact with his rebounding and Gooden is still a serviceable veteran who could possibly contribute eight points per game, a few rebounds and a locker room presence. I think it is wise to bring in a big man as opposed to a guard because unless an elite point guard appears out of nowhere with only the Knicks on his list of teams, they are set in the ball-handling department. Last season the team also faced more problems with injuries in their front-court than their back-court.