It didn’t take a long for Baron Davis to find a team after the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to use their amnesty clause on him. According to ESPN, the New York Knicks will sign the 32-year old Davis for the season despite reports he is suffering from an injured back and could be back on the court in 8-10 weeks.
Davis cleared waivers Friday after he was released through the amnesty clause in the new labor agreement by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
SI.com reported that Davis and the Knicks have agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, which is the maximum New York could pay in using what is known as the “mini” mid-level exception for luxury-tax teams.
Davis will join Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby, Iman Shumpert, and Landry Fields as part of the corp of Knicks guards but let’s face it, Davis is a shell of his former self and this move still doesn’t address the Knicks’ needs in the back-court.
If and when Davis returns and is healthy, he can definitely help the Knicks’ trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler but this isn’t the Davis everyone saw on the court back in his Warriors and Hornets playing days. And he’s especially not the Davis we saw against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs.
Add the fact he isn’t known for his defensive prowess and New York is still stuck with a glaring issue — the back-court is still a defensive liability.
Aside from Fields (who might be the Knicks best perimeter defender) Bibby, Douglas, Shumpert and Davis will still cause more pressure on Chandler, and Stoudemire protect the paint.
And when Davis does come back to the court after rehab, there will still be that adjustment period for the team, not to mention finding his role on the squad and possibly taking someones starting job.
In addition, Davis also makes New York’s back-court much older. In a conference with young, dynamic guards such as John Wall, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, and Deron Williams, this New York back-court is going to have issues defensively, which will definitely tax Chandler and Stoudemire as the shortened season races on.
The Knicks may have struck-out on landing Chris Paul and are seemingly in a desperate search for someone at point guard, but the team was better off looking to add a tough, defensive-minded guard to compliment Bibby, and Douglas such as the recently waived Keith Bogans.
So now that the Knicks back-court has gotten older, perhaps now more prone to injuries in a truncated season, it seems defensive coach Mike Woodsen is going to have his hands full.