Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Knicks Welcome Marcus Camby Back to the Big Apple Ten Years Later
During his first tenure with the Knicks from 1998-2002, Marcus Camby was faced with beginning to fill the shoes of the oft-injured and ever aging Patrick Ewing. Despite the fans having such a high expectation for the center position, Camby filled in quite nicely, not only helping the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999, but averaging a double-double in each of his two latter seasons in New York.
From there, the big man embarked on an impressive career, so far highlighted by four All-NBA Defensive Team honors and an even a "Defensive Player of the Year" award in 2007. Though he's also led the league in blocks four times and has already accomplished so much, he is still in search of a championship trophy.
Ten years later, Camby is coming back to the Big Apple hoping to put that search to an end.
The Knicks re-acquired the fan-favorite on Monday by agreeing to a sign & trade deal with the Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo! Sports. In return, New York will ship Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, and Jerome Jordan to Houston. Also going the Rockets' way will be $2 million cash and two second-round picks (2014 and 2015).
Even at 38 years old, Camby is still able to provide a strong defensive presence. He is able to muscle his way around and grab rebounds using his physical frame. Pairing the one-time Knick up with Tyson Chandler at the center position is sure to provide opponents with substantial fear and frustration on a nightly basis.
Though Camby still represents one of the most celebrated Knickerbockers in recent years, on the surface it appears as though the team gave up a considerable amount of assets in order to get him back.
Consider this: the big man still averaged 9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 23 minutes per game last season. He certainly seems to have enough in the tank to make a considerable impact, and is able to do so in rather limited minutes off the bench at that. He provides the team with a much needed skill set, in addition to depth.
The long list of pieces and assets alike acquired by the Rockets in this deal seems like a long list. That said, Douglas became expendable after struggling to find rhythm as a floor general this season, and Jordan never really seemed to get a chance on the hardwood, be it justified or not. What's more, being in a big market like New York, the Knicks will always have enough money at their disposal, and thus, can trade/buy various other assets such as draft picks in the future.
Harrellson is the only piece it may hurt to part with. Originally drafted for his rugged physicality and defensive prowess while at Kentucky, the big man displayed somewhat of a shooting touch, filling in for Amar'e Stoudemire earlier in the season. His promise was refreshing and the potential he showed on both ends of the court made it appear as though he could ultimately help the Knicks off the bench.
Camby, who reportedly signed a three-year pact worth $13.2 million (only $10 million) will certainly have enough time to prove the Knicks did the right thing by taking a second chance on him.