NBA Roundtable

Knicks Sign Tyson Chandler, Amnesty Chauncey Billups

In Free Agency, Trade Talk on December 13, 2011 at 1:56 am

ESPN reports

New York acquired Chandler via a sign-and-trade as part of a three-team deal. They completed the transaction on Saturday.

Chandler gets a four-year contract worth about $56 million.

The Knicks sent veteran center Ronny Turiaf, cash considerations and a 2013 second-round pick to Washington. They also dealt second-year guard Andy Rautins to the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas sent a second-round 2012 draft choice to Washington and the draft rights to Ahmad Nivins and Giorgos Printezis to New York. Washington also sent a future second round draft choice to Dallas.

In addition, to create enough cap space to sign Chandler, the Knicks waived veteran guard Chauncey Billups, designating him as the club’s amnesty player. Billups and his $14.2 million contract will not count against the Knicks’ salary cap.

“We made a commitment to our Knicks fans that we would put together a team that would compete for an NBA championship year in and year out,” Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan said. “The addition of Tyson along with Amare [Stoudemire] and Carmelo [Anthony] is another important piece of that puzzle.”

A few quotes

The Knicks rose to the top of Chandler’s list of suitors as soon as they showed interest. The reason behind that? He wanted to play with Anthony and Stoudemire.

“When this opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t turn this down,” Chandler said. “It’s a young team, a team that’s going to be good for years now. My whole goal is to win a championship and to be able to contend for one. I just couldn’t pass up on it.”

D’Antoni said that a front-court featuring Stoudemire, Anthony and Chandler is — on paper — the best in the league. Chandler agreed. “I don’t think we’re overstating that,” D’Anonti said. “… I think we’re better than anybody in the league.”

Analysis

Tyson Chandler

A top ten, arguably top five, center in the NBA today.

For my money, the second best defensive center in the league behind Dwight Howard. An above average rebounder. A limited offensive player who runs the screen and roll well and is an excellent finisher around the rim.

Not really worth the money New York are paying him ($14mil per annum) but it’s no crazier than the money people have payed the likes of Rashard Lewis. So long as Tyson Chandler can stay health, a serious “if”, he should be able to earn enough of that contract to keep everyone happy.

Ronny Turiaf

A good backup center. Solely in terms of defense, Turiaf is one of the best backup centers in the league. Reasonably skilled offensively but continues to make very poor use of those skills. Largely a non-factor on that end of the floor. Poor rebounder.

Amnestying Chauncey Billups For Tyson Chandler

Aggressive move. I like it.Really put themselves out there and tried to improve their team.

The Knicks were unconvinced that Chris Paul (or Dwight Howard) would make it to free agency next summer with both players likely to be traded over the next few days, weeks or months … and most importantly, to a team where they would be interested in signing on long term with.

That left them looking for other 2012 free agency options or choosing a more assertive approach to this summer’s class. They choose this summer due to the available talent at the center position.

Then choose Tyson Chandler for his defensive excellence. A massive need for the club.

Excellent move.

Knicks New Roster

PG – Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby
SG – Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert
SF – Carmelo Anthony, Bill Walker, Renaldo Balkman
PF – Amare Stoudemire, Jared Jeffries
C  – Tyson Chandler, Jerome Jordan

The Knicks still have their $2.5 million exception for teams under the cap and they can continue to add minimum contract signings to the team also. I am not certain but I think they still have Shawne Williams’ bird rights and hope to re-sign him in the near future.

Looking at that lineup, it may be necessary to insert Shumpert into the starting lineup instead of Landry Fields to get an extra ball-handler on the floor. I hate to take Fields out of the starting unit but I am very concerned about Toney Douglas’ ability to run the team. Shumpert may be able to take a little pressure of Douglas with his ball-handling and passing.

Overall, just not enough quality outside of their starting frontcourt to a contend for a Championship.

After, over the next year or two, the Knicks fill out their supporting cast with more talent? Sure, I can see that team competing for a title.

Ideally though, you’d like to see them add one more top tier talent and make a Big Four rather than build around that Big Three in the frontcourt. Preferably, a high quality guard who can run the team.

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