Thursday, July 19, 2012
Does Summer League Standout Chris Copeland Have Chance to Make Knicks?
Though the Knicks have plenty of new additions heading into training camp next season, our friend Seth Rosenthal notes that the team, nevertheless, also has a few roster spots to fill as well.
One player vying for one of those coveted spots is Chris Copeland. Shortly after joining the Knicks' Summer League team, the forward also penned a non-guaranteed deal that will get into him into training camp.
While he's only donned orange and blue through three contests (with the fourth about to be underway in Vegas), Copeland has shown potential. He currently owns averages of 13.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. What's more, the Colorado product has also shot 47.1% from the field.
It's still early, but Copland is already beginning to give the Knicks an idea of what he can do. He's able to score, not only due to a decent jumper, but also because of his physicality around the rim. He's agile enough to finish under the basket on the offensive end, and can use his lengthy frame to cover various defenders too.
Copeland has talent; there's no denying that. His skill set should draw comparisons to a player like Carl Landry. The Knicks' forward can do an array of things, but although he plays aggressively, seems to have difficultly pulling down rebounds. Nevertheless, with Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas all already part of the team's front-court depth court, adding a bit of a quicker big man may not hurt.
No longer the definition of a traditional prospect, Copeland is now 28 years of age and has spent parts of the past two seasons playing overseas in Belgium. With the Knicks' looking to build a more mature team that is poised to win now, Copeland may fit right in. Though he would still come to the Big Apple with a wealth of experience playing professional basketball, he would also be a rather cheap option due to his lack of opportunity in the NBA to date.
The Knicks took a similar chance on James White, who signed a guaranteed contract and is playing in Summer League as well after spending time in Italy. With a couple more spots to fill, Copeland may fit the bill as the type of player the team is looking for.