Friday, July 20, 2012
Agent: Knicks interested in Sonny Weems
By Jared Zwerling
Since the Raptors recently withdrew their qualifying offer to Sonny Weems, the Knicks have "shown some interest," according to his agent Roger Montgomery, who also represents Jeremy Lin.
Montgomery also confirmed that the Knicks are interested in another one of his clients, Maurice Evans, who played for Mike Woodson in Atlanta from 2008 to 2010.
"I think both of them would fit really good in that situation," Montgomery told ESPNNewYork.com. "Mo would fit for a number of reasons because what he does as a veteran, and he's played for Woody. And I think Sonny would be an absolute steal if he was able to go play with them, just because of how athletic he is. I think that he could be a starter and he could be a rotation guy. I think he would be ideal."
The Knicks appear to be in the hunt for a shooting guard, the weakest position on their depth chart because Iman Shumpert is out until likely January. As of now, J.R. Smith is the only true two on the roster. Speaking of Shumpert, Montgomery said that Evans and Weems have the ability to fill the defensive void on the perimeter and guard multiple positions.
The Knicks only have veteran's minimum contracts of about $1.4 million to use. It's likely that Evans would be more in line what that amount considering he's more of an intangibles player. He also made $1.2 million last season in Washington and he's turning 34 in November.
As for Weems, Montgomery said he's not jumping on a veteran's minimum deal just yet for his client. He said that players are falling off the board every day and he's going to patiently observe how the market plays out. But the Knicks are definitely on his radar.
"We're looking for a combination, basketball and compensation," Montgomery said. "And then at the same time, looking at giving him a chance to really showcase himself and help a team win. All those things come into play.
"In a perfect world, if you play for a team like the Knicks or Boston, you might very well consider looking at a minimum situation because you know you're going to get a chance to contribute to a winning franchise. So those are things that you have to look at. I'm not saying we'll take a minimum deal just yet, because there's still a little bit of money left in the market. But we'll see what happens."
A few other shooting guards/swingmen who are likely on the Knicks' radar include: Matt Barnes, Marco Belinelli, Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Delfino, Randy Foye and C.J. Miles. But it's possible that most of these players will get offered a bi-annual or mini mid-level exception contract first. Therefore, the Knicks may have to wait a bit to see who's available.
This past season, Evans played for the Wizards and wasn't an integral part of the team's younger rotation, only playing in 24 games and averaging 4.9 points. Weems played overseas after playing three seasons in the NBA and improving his points production in bench time. But Montgomery thought being the go-to player for his Lithuanian team, Zalgiris Kaunas, gave him not only a great opportunity financially, but also a chance to play significant minutes instead of waiting around for the lockout to end.
And he flourished.
"He needed to be the guy to learn the game more, and he had a tremendous year," Montgomery said. "He was one of the best players in Europe. He was really good. He got better. He can put the ball on the floor now. He can put him in some pick-and-rolls now. He shoots the three-ball better. He's not just a dunker athlete like he was in Toronto."
Sounds a bit like James White, right? Perhaps Weems may get that same opportunity in New York to prove he's more than just a high-flyer.