Sunday, July 14, 2013
Notes: Woody likes World Peace's 'skill set'
By Jared Zwerling
LAS VEGAS -- With Metta World Peace officially clearing waivers on Sunday, a source close to the former Laker said "it's a great possibility" that the New York native will return home.
Mike Woodson would welcome it.
"I like his skill set a lot," he said after the Knicks' summer league game on Sunday. "I think a lot of teams have liked his skill set over the years. He does a little bit of everything."
Some have wondered if World Peace and J.R. Smith would be able to co-exist in the same locker room. Woodson said he can handle any type of personality.
"I can coach any player," he said. "I coached guys from 18, 19, 20-year-old young men, and built a team in Atlanta, and that's tough for a first-time coach. So I experienced that, and I don't think there's a player I can't coach if he's willing to be coached."
World Peace isn't the only free agent the Knicks are targeting. Kenyon Martin is a strong candidate, and the team would likely want both of them for their versatile defense, toughness and intangibles. The team will need those qualities next season against the physically-minded Pacers, Bulls and Nets, who landed veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.
"We're still talking to Kenyon. Kenyon is still majorly in our picture," Woodson said. "I like everything about what Kenyon did for our ball club last season."
SHUMP SCOOP:Iman Shumpert didn't participate in the Knicks' second summer league game on Sunday because Woodson said "he has some other obligations."
"It's no biggie; we'll keep our hands on him throughout the summer," Woodson said of Shumpert, who is traveling to China on Monday for an NBA event. "That's what our development program is all about, so he'll be fine coming to [veteran's] camp."
Woodson went into a bit more detail about Shumpert's evolution, especially as a scorer and point guard.
"He's got to develop some go-to moves where he can score the basketball, and go get shots when he needs them," he said. "Defensively, I like everything about him, but offensively he's got to learn to play with the basketball and be able to get other players off, and be able to go get shots and make shots himself."
SUMMER LEAGUE STANDOUTS: Woodson said he's considering inviting point guard Toure' Murry and big man Jeremy Tyler to Knicks' training camp. Both players have impressed early on in summer league.
With Murry, he played more shooting guard in college and the D-League last season, but the Knicks saw some point-guard potential in him. While he needs to work on his pick-and-roll game, passing ability and finishing in the paint, he excels in transition with his handle, pull-up jumper and court awareness.
"I like him a lot," Woodson said. "Here's a kid who was a 2 that's made the transition over to the 1, and he's a big 1. And I like the fact that he gets up the floor and extends. Defensively, he's got good decision-making skills, so he's a guy that we've really got to keep our eyes on possibly bringing to camp."
Tyler, who has played in the NBA since 2011, is very aggressive on the offensive glass and has a nice touch around the rim. He also constantly communicates on defense and plays with a lot of confidence.
"I like him as well as a camp guy because of his body size and the fact that he's so athletic," Woody said. "You might look at him four, five years down the road and say, 'Wow, he finally figured it out.'"