Rapid Reaction: Brewer to OKC


WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks sent Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder shortly before the trade deadline for a second-round pick. The move opens up a roster spot for New York, which has been looking to acquire a veteran big man via free agency. Worth noting: Any player acquired prior to March 1 is eligible for the Knicks' postseason roster.

NO SHUMP DEAL: In recent days, league sources said that the Knicks were listening to offers for Iman Shumpert. They opted to hold on to the second-year guard.

Most in the organization wanted to keep Shumpert, but there was a faction, according to a source, that wasn’t convinced of Shumpert’s long-term value.

Shumpert, though, is a favorite of Mike Woodson’s.

He is also the team’s strongest perimeter defender. It makes sense that the Knicks, who have had defensive issues for much of the season, opted to hold on to Shumpert.

The 2011 first-round pick has struggled since his season debut Jan. 17. He missed eight months following ACL surgery, so rust is to be expected.

But at what point should the Knicks expect Shumpert to show signs of improvement?

WHAT ABOUT BIGS? The Knicks had shown interest in veteran forward Jermaine O’Neal. There was hope that O’Neal would be released by Phoenix, but that didn't happen prior to the deadline.

If O’Neal is released, the Knicks would have room to add him, thanks to the Brewer deal.

The Knicks also could opt to pursue a veteran free-agent big man, such as Kenyon Martin, to bolster the front line.

The Knicks’ interest in O’Neal and Martin indicates that they are not confident in the health of Marcus Camby or Rasheed Wallace.

Wallace has been out since mid-December with a stress reaction in his left foot. Camby has been sidelined since mid-January with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot.

Both players returned to practice Tuesday, but there is no specific timetable for either player's return.

RIVAL MOVES: The Nets, who are one game back of the Knicks in the Atlantic Division race, stood pat at the deadline. The Celtics obtained Washington’s Jordan Crawford via trade. Crawford is a talented scorer and could bolster the Celtics’ offense down the stretch.

QUESTION: Are you happy with the Knicks' moves at the trade deadline? What would you have done differently?

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