Monday, September 23, 2013
Knicks to invite Diogu, Powell to camp
By Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- The Knicks will sign Josh Powell and Ike Diogu to one-year, non-guaranteed contracts, according to sources with knowledge of the agreements.
Powell and Diogu join Chris Smith and Toure' Murry as players signed to one-year non-guaranteed deals. The Knicks are under no financial obligation to these players if they choose to cut them. The contracts only kick in if the player makes the team out of training camp.
Once Powell and Diogu sign, the Knicks will have 18 players under contract. The maximum number of players under contract for training camp is 20.
Twelve of those 18 players are under guaranteed contracts. So, in theory, there will be as many as three regular season roster spots up for grabs during training camp. Teams can carry a max of 15 players during the regular season.
Both Powell and Diogu worked out for the Knicks during a two-day free agent mini-camp at the team's practice facility last week.
Big men DeSagana Diop and Cole Aldrich and guard Ricky Davis were also present at the workouts. Though, at this point, none of them are believed to have been offered a spot in the Knicks' training camp.
The 6-8 Powell has spent time with the six NBA teams in a six-year stint in the league, including two seasons with the Lakers. He spent last season with Olympiakos. Powell's known as a strong rebounder, something the Knicks would likely be looking for in the 14th or 15th man.
Diogu has played for six teams over six seasons in the NBA. The 30-year-old is 6-8 but has been measured with a 7-3 wingspan. Diogu's known as a solid rebounder who can defend the interior and score around the rim.
Jeremy Tyler, a 6-10 F/C signed by the Knicks after a strong showing in summer league, is expected to miss training camp following foot surgery. So Powell and Diogu have a chance to prove that they can fill the void left by Tyler.
It's no surprise that the Knicks would bring in two veterans to training camp. Generally speaking, Mike Woodson has shown a proclivity to coach veterans over younger players.
But, according to multiple league sources, there is a bit of a chasm among Knicks' decision-makers over which type of player they should add to the end of the roster. Some would prefer to sign veterans to suit the team's "win-now" approach. Others would prefer to add a younger player or two who can be developed over time.
It's also worth noting that the Knicks have not yet signed a backup for center Tyson Chandler.
GM Glen Grunwald said earlier this summer that the team would consider adding another seven-footer now that Marcus Camby is gone.
Diop is one option. So is Aldrich. The Knicks also worked out veteran center Hamed Haddadi earlier this summer.
We should know more about the rest of the Knicks' roster in the coming days. The first day of training camp is Oct. 1.