12:32 pm Sep. 12, 2012
The New York Knicks announced the signing of four players on Tuesday, with the intention of inviting them to training camp. Whether they will make the team, let alone contribute, is another story.
The best bet to do both is John Shurna, the Steve Novak-type who can provide the Knicks with perimeter shooting they otherwise lack.
But perhaps the most intriguing addition was Henry Sims, a seven-footer (legit 6'10" without shoes) who played four years with Georgetown.
Sims, like fellow backup center Marcus Camby, is athletic and capable of blocking shots in bunches. And Sims is a gifted passer, finding cutters in the Georgetown system from the high post in a way neither Camby nor Tyson Chandler can. So he'd add a dimension to the Knicks' collection of big men that is missing.
But he also suffered from significant lapses in concentration, ones that limited the breakout quality of even his generally strong senior season. His accuracy from the field was subpar, and he managed to grab just six rebounds per game, despite usually finding himself the tallest man on the court.
Still, it is tempting to imagine Sims getting tutored by the intense Chandler and Camby. The Knicks lose nothing by taking a look.
The other two invitations went to Oscar Bellfield, a point guard from U.N.L.V. who could struggle to find minutes behind Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni, but who could serve as depth on the Knicks' D-League team, and Mychel Thompson, a second-year nondescript wing player, most recently with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who can play some defense.
Still, the biggest reason to keep an eye on this group, collectively, is that a team as old as the Knicks could find themselves in need of youth. Four players with a combined one year of N.B.A. experience certainly qualify as young.