The New York Knicks‘ recent decision to trade Obi Toppin has resulted in a notable deficiency in the depth at the power forward position. Despite the presence of Julius Randle as the team’s dependable starter and workhorse, it is clear that the addition of reliable backup support could greatly enhance the squad’s endurance.
Leon Rose’s Vision and the Knicks’ Strategy
As the Knicks’ President, Leon Rose is determined to bring in a third star player to bolster the team’s performance. However, he is also aware that combing through the market for less prominent additions to strengthen the bench is an integral part of their strategy. As per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Knicks might be considering acquiring a new big man.
As quoted, “According to a source, the Knicks are monitoring the free-agent market for a veteran big. Available players include Gorgui Dieng and Derrick Jones Jr.”
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Derrick Jones Jr: A Potential Fit for the Knicks
At just 26, Derrick Jones Jr., having spent his previous two seasons with the Chicago Bulls, could potentially be a suitable fit for the Knicks.
Last season, Jones Jr. participated in 64 games, averaging 14 minutes per game. His contribution included five points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game while shooting .500 from the field and .338 from the three-point line with a .559 effective field goal rate. His decent defensive capabilities and ability to create opportunities for the team’s other scorers could make him an effective backup to Randle.
Moreover, acquiring Jones Jr. would likely be a cost-effective move for New York, an essential factor if the team intends to pursue a significant acquisition and the expected high salary that comes along with it.
Gorgui Dieng: Another Market Option
Another potential addition highlighted by Bondy is 33-year-old veteran Gorgui Dieng, who spent the previous season with the San Antonio Spurs. Dieng participated in 31 games as a primary center, averaging 11.5 minutes and 3.9 points per game. Additionally, he averaged 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 0.5 blocks per game.
However, considering Dieng’s age and primary role as a center, he may not be the ideal option for the Knicks. With Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein already on the roster, Jones Jr. appears to be a more efficient choice for the Knicks in terms of fulfilling their power-forward backup needs.