The New York Knicks are looking for a little depth along the front line, but at this point in free agency the pickings get slim. Jeremy Tyler is going to get a look after playing with the Knicks Summer League team and averaging 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. However, the Knicks want a more veteran presence, too.
They worked out former Grizzlies’ reserve and Iranian international Hamed Haddadi, but now he has worked out for the Pelicans too, tweets Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com.
Haddadi has size — he’s a legit 7’2” and weighs north of 260 now. He spent four seasons on the Memphis bench but he was traded to Phoenix as part of the Rudy Gay deal last year. He’s not part of the Suns plans so now he is a free agent. Haddadi struggled to get on the court in Memphis and Phoenix and while he finishes fairly well around the rim and is a solid rebounder, he doesn’t bring a ton of other NBA skills to the table. Other than size.
The Pelicans are going to start Anthony Davis at the five and behind him they already have Greg Stiemsma and rookie Jeff Withey. New Orleans has a roster spot and you can’t have enough depth along the front line, so they are taking a look at Haddadi, but I’m not sure about the need. Also, are they really going to offer more than the minimum (which is all the Knicks could offer)?
The Knicks need another big on the bench as insurance. We told you before Earl Barron got a workout and Zwerling notes he still hopes to get that job. However the Knicks are looking around and may wait into training camp to see who gets cut and may become available.
The FIBA Asia Championships concluded Sunday morning over in the Philippines with Iran dominating a hosting Philippines squad en route to an 85-71 victory. It was Iran’s third championship in the biannual event since 2007 and, not coincidentally, the third time Hamed Haddadi was named the tournament MVP.
Haddadi is currently a free agent after ending last season with the Phoenix Suns, but he’ll likely be able to find work now that his national team commitments are done until next year. The big man had 29 points and 16 rebounds in Sunday’s championship game, moving his averages up to 18.8 points and 10 rebounds while averaging just 22 minutes of action in his team’s nine games at the tournament.
Haddadi didn’t run into a lot of NBA-level bigs over the course of the tournament, but there were a few recognizable names competing as naturalized citizens in the tournament. Yi Jianlian was the tournament’s second-leading scorer, former lottery pick Jarvis Hayes suited up for Qatar, Temple’s Quincy Davis III led Chinese Taipei to a victory over China, Wang Zhizhi showed he still has a bit left in the tank, former Lakers draft pick Marcus Douthit was good for the Philippines — though he missed Sunday’s championship game with an injury — and J.R. Sakuragi used to be famous under another name in the states.
Iran and the Philippines both automatically qualified for next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup (previously known as the FIBA World Championship) and moved one step closer to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Korea earned Asia’s third bid for the 2014 FIBA tournament with a 75-57 victory over Chinese Taipei in the third place game.
China, likely considered the favorite heading into the tournament, will have to take a round-about route to qualify for the 2016 Olympics after being eliminated by Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. The team that features former NBA players Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi and a perpetually-struggling Sun Yue now has to hope they earn a Wild Card berth to next year’s FIBA World Cup in order to make guarantee a trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
After agreeing to terms with Greg Oden on Friday, the Miami Heat now have 13 players who will be on guaranteed contracts for next season. They have the rights to a 14th in Jarvis Varnado, but his deal is not fully guaranteed just yet.
If Miami is to max its roster out with 15 guaranteed contracts, the team figures to add a veteran presence that could help reduce the minutes of some of the starters during the regular season, and perhaps even be there to provide some assistance in the playoffs if it becomes absolutely necessary.
Sebastian Telfair fits the description, and the Heat have expressed interest in adding the veteran point guard, reports Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
Telfair played competently in a season and a half with the Suns, before being dealt to the Raptors in exchange for Hamed Haddadi and a second round pick as the team began to rid itself of veterans as part of a rebuilding effort that began with a coaching change in the middle of last season.
The nine-year NBA veteran has career averages of 7.4 points and 3.5 assists in 21.6 minutes per game, though the numbers were a bit leaner last year in 16.6 minutes per contest in total while playing in Toronto and Phoenix.