Last season, Wilson Chandler shot 26.7 percent from three and while he was a nice young player he was expendable as part of the Knicks future.
No more. Chandler has worked on his shot, found a sweet spot in the left corner and this season is shooting 38.6 percent from three. In a Knicks attack that relies heavily on guys draining the long ball, Chandler has become the most consistent of the Knicks shooters (he has a higher percentage from three than Raymond Felton or Danilo Gallinari this season). Chandler is averaging 17.9 points per game, trailing only Felton and Stoudemire.
Because of that, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is not going to let him go this summer when Chandler becomes a restricted free agent, he told the New York Post.
“Wilson’s a restricted free agent and I’m going to sign him,” Walsh said yesterday. “He’s a helluva player.”
Exactly what kind of deal the Knicks can work out with Chandler remains to be seen. First, there is the little matter of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and what it allows — if teams can no longer go over the cap to re-sign their own players (the Bird rule) that will make things more difficult.
Then there is the question of what Chandler is worth. Certainly he will get a healthy raise over the $2.1 million he is making this year on his rookie deal; but how to fit in a salary that is three or four times higher than what he makes now and blend that with the Knicks plans to bring in other stars is not simple. Walsh has some challenges ahead.
But he sounds sure about one thing — he wants Chandler back in New York.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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