Saturday, February 22, 2014
What it means: World Peace and Udrih
By Ian Begley
The Knicks are working to cut ties with Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih. Here's a quick look at what that means for the team and the players.
Open roster spots: Assuming the Knicks compete the negotiations and buyout/release Urdih and World Peace, they will have two open spots on the roster.
The Knicks can go a number of ways to fill these spots. They can look to sign a veteran who has been recently released, such as Glen Davis or Ben Gordon. They can look into adding a player who hasn't played yet this season, such as Jason Collins. D-League players are also an option, as are players who recently completed their seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association, such as Ivan Johnson.
Of course, the Knicks can also choose to forgo signing any players and keep the roster spots open. That would ease James Dolan's luxury-tax bill. If Udrih and World Peace are released, the Knicks will still have to pay the money guaranteed in their contracts. Buyouts would make the money owed to each player negotiable.
Metta's future? World Peace struggled with a knee ailment for much of the season and fell out of Mike Woodson's rotation fairly early on. The Queens native maintained all season that he was physically fit and ready to play.
World Peace played just 13.4 minutes in 29 games for the Knicks. The 14-year veteran may be a valuable piece on the end of a contending team's bench. It's worth noting that he has a player option for next season. If he's released, that player option disappears.
Udrih's future? Udrih is on a one-year contract, so his divorce from the Knicks will be less complicated. He signed with New York in the offseason thinking he'd be the backup point guard behind the two-point guard alignment of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
That never materialized. Instead, Woodson went with a traditional lineup early on and Udrih was buried on the bench, playing just 19 minutes per game in 31 games.
Washington and Denver had expressed interest in trading for Udrih prior to last Thursday's deadline, but each team chose to go with another option at backup point guard.
Udrih is just 31, so you'd think that there would be interest in him once the release or buyout is complete.
Poor offseason: If the Knicks cut ties with Udrih and World Peace, that will mean three of their six players they brought in from outside the organization over the summer have been released.
Chris Smith was released by the Knicks earlier in the season and signed with the Erie Bayhawks, their D-League affiliate. Jeremy Tyler was released before the start of the regular season and re-signed. He's played well in his second stint with the team
The other players brought in over the summer -- Andrea Bargnani, Tour'e Murry and Cole Aldrich -- haven't made major impacts. Bargnani was solid when healthy but seemed to negatively impact the Knicks' offense. Aldrich and Murry have played well in limited minutes.