New York Knicks: John Shurna

Novak on Shurna: 'There's a spot for him'

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
7:18
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks have two guaranteed roster spots to fill before opening night on Nov. 1 against the Nets.

One of them is likely for Rasheed Wallace. Could the other go to John Shurna?

Shurna's almost mirror image, Steve Novak, is a strong believer that it should.

"He's done a great job at camp," Novak told ESPNNewYork.com after practice on Friday. "He's approached it the right way. He's got a motor on him. He just moves, moves, moves, always trying to get open, always trying to wear the defense down and he shoots the ball so well. I'm obviously biased, but I feel like there's a place for him somewhere. I hope this year with us. He's going to be able to play for a long time."

Shurna has approached training camp the right way because he knows who's the boss, the defensive-minded Mike Woodson. Shurna has been occasionally assigned to Carmelo Anthony during 5-on-5 scrimmages and he hasn't backed down, getting right up in his grill and even forcing a couple of turnovers -- one of which led to a one-man fastbreak dunk.

While Shurna gets a lot of attention for his 3-point shooting (44.0 percent his senior year at Northwestern), he's underrated athletically. He can run the wing, hang with the speedy Raymond Felton and take off far from the basket. In fact, he won a dunk title in high school, which Novak didn't even realize.

"Did he? I love it," he said. "I think he definitely is stronger than he looks, and he gets his hands on rebounds and stuff like that. He's a good player. There's a spot for him, there's no doubt about that."

Novak said he has shot around the 3-point line with Shurna, and has taken the 22-year-old under his wing. Novak recalls what it was like to be in Shurna's shoes years ago.

"I think more than anything, I know that he looks at where I am, being in the league my seventh year," he said. "I remember being where he was that first year in camp, and coming out and trying to find your way. I hope it's good for him to see that I'm still here, that I found a place, because when I was his age, you just pray that there's a spot for you. I just tell him keep working, this is your window, just stay focused. He's done a good job."

Shurna said "it's been great" to learn from Mr. Discount Triple Check, and he's ecstatic about being in New York.

"I thought it was a great opportunity with a great organization in a great city," he told ESPNNewYork.com recently. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I'm happy to have the Knicks jersey on the front."

While Shurna went undrafted this summer because he wasn't viewed as a strong defender nor someone who could create much off of the dribble, he's lights out and explosive in the paint. And every team could always use another stretch four.

John Shurna could be this season's Josh Harrellson, a last-man bench guy who could become a fan favorite for his hot shooting and hustle plays -- and some highlight moments for punctuation.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Knicks sign four free agents

September, 11, 2012
9/11/12
2:45
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The Knicks made several additions to their training camp roster on Tuesday.

The team announced the signings of free-agent guard Oscar Bellfield, center Henry Sims and forwards John Shurna and Mychel Thompson.

All four players will compete for the final spots on the Knicks' 15-man roster.

The contracts are believed to be non or partially guaranteed.

The Knicks have already signed several players to partial or non-guaranteed deals.

Chris Copeland signed a non-guaranteed deal and Chris Smith, the younger brother of J.R. Smith, signed a partially guaranteed deal.

The Knicks now have 19 players under contract heading into training camp, which starts Oct. 2. Thirteen of those 19 players have guaranteed deals. NBA rules stipulate that teams can have 15 players on the opening-day roster.

So Shurna, Bellfield, Sims and Thompson will have to impress the Knicks' staff in training camp to gain a roster spot.

Bellfield played four seasons at UNLV, where he became the Mountain West Conference's all-time assists leader (582).

Sims, 6-10, averaged 11.6 points and 6.0 rebounds as a Georgetown senior.

Shurna set Northwestern's all-time scoring mark with 2,038 points.

Thompson, from Pepperdine, appeared in five games (three starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.

Knicks sign Shurna to 1-year deal

September, 10, 2012
9/10/12
9:36
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The Knicks have signed free-agent John Shurna to a partially guaranteed, one-year contract, his agent, Brad Ames, confirmed.

Shurna's contract is a minimum salary deal. It becomes guaranteed if he is on the roster on Jan. 10.

The 6-9 Shurna led the Big Ten in scoring last season with 20 points per game and hit 44 percent of his 3-point attempts. He played in the summer league with the Atlanta Hawks.

Shurna is the third player the Knicks have signed to non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals.

Chris Copeland signed a non-guaranteed deal and Chris Smith, the younger brother of J.R. Smith, signed a partially guaranteed deal.

The Knicks have 16 players under contract heading into training camp, which starts Oct. 2. Thirteen of those 16 players have guaranteed deals. NBA rules stipulate that teams can have 15 players on the opening-day roster.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

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Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.2 3.1 1.0 35.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 6.6
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.7
StealsS. Larkin 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3