Knicks Acquire Marcus Camby and Retain Novak

The Camby man is coming back to New York. In a sign and trade deal with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks have acquired veteran center Marcus Camby in exchange for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan and second round picks in 2014 and 2015. Camby’s contract is worth $13.2 million over three seasons. Today, the Knicks also retained sharpshooter Steve Novak on a $15 million contract spanning four seasons in length.

First, lets discuss Camby. I think Marcus Camby is an excellent fit with this Knicks team as currently constructed. If he was 5 years younger, he is 38 years old currently, I think Camby would have been a perfect fit. Even at this advanced stage of his career, Camby is an excellent defender and rebounder. A technician on defense, Camby uses his veteran experience and grit to make up for deficiencies he may have due to his age and decreased athleticism. He’s not Tyson Chandler, but he’s a rock solid defender in the low post area. Offensively, he’s a great fit next to Amar’e Stoudemire. Not only can Camby help Stoudemire on the defensive end, but he can help open up the offense for the Knick power forward. Unlike Chandler, Camby has the ability to step out and hit an 18 foot jump shot. Last season he posted very solid shooting stats from the floor. According to Hoopdata, Camby shot 42.9% from shots 10-15 feet and 44% from shots 16-23 feet. Barring injury to Chandler (knock on wood), Camby will be coming off the bench which likely means he’ll be playing many minutes next to Stoudemire. I think that is a front court duo that can work. With Camby’s offensive spacing, Stoudemire will have a better opportunity to return to superstar form; which is bigger than any free agent signing the Knicks can make. 

I have no problem with the package the Knicks sent to Houston in the sign and trade for Camby. They rid themselves of 1) Toney Douglas himself and 2) Toney Douglas’ $2 million contract. Douglas wasn’t going to have a ton of opportunity to make himself useful with the current backcourt as constructed and he was just dead money sitting on the bench. I like TD, I think he’s a good guy and I wish him the best. I’m sad to see Jorts Harrellson go, as I think he’ll be a solid player in the league for a few years. However, he’s another guy who was never going to be more than average and he wouldn’t have had much of a role on this team with Camby in the mix. Jerome Jordan was cool, but he also had no role other than to wave his arms like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man when the Knicks were blowing out an opponent or getting blown out.

The two second round picks the Knicks sent to Houston are interesting to me. I haven’t seen it hinted at anywhere in the media, but I wonder if the Knicks are trying to help the Rockets land Dwight Howard. It is no secret that Houston has been trying to stockpile assets to move to Orlando for Howard. It is also no secret that Brooklyn wants Howard and is working tirelessly to put a 17 team 4 team package together to get a trade done. Two second round picks sound minute, but every little bit helps. It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes to fruition from this. The Knicks were smart to also not include Dan Gadzuric’s $2 million non-guaranteed contract in the trade, as they can now potentially move him in another sign and trade for another piece.

Now onto Novak. Like the Camby deal, I have no problem with the Knicks signing Novak to a 4 year $15 million deal. Is it a lot to pay for a shooter? Probably. But the Knicks are trying to get to a championship. They don’t have any shooting. Owner James Dolan has money to spend and evidentially will be satisfied paying the luxury tax. So why not overpay? They keep Novak and they keep the best outside shooter in the NBA. This isn’t Eddy Curry where they paid him ludicrous money. Novak’s contract will average out to about $3.75 million a year, which is not a ridiculous salary to give a guy who shot 47.2% from downtown last season.

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