Report: Knicks coaches want to sign Earl Barron, but front office is undecided

5 Comments

Th Knicks could use some frontcourt depth for next season, and no, the free agent signing of Andrea Bargnani isn’t what we’re talking about.

New York needs defense and rebounding off the bench, particularly if it wants to contend with teams like the Nets and the Pacers who are relatively stacked at the forward or center positions.

Earl Barron, who appeared in seven games for the Knicks in 2010 and played once for them last season, is someone who the coaching staff knows and likes. The front office, however, remains undecided on Barron, creating an awkward split in the internal thinking of how the team will round out its roster.

From Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:

The New York Knicks coaching staff would like to sign Earl Barron, but team management is not in any rush to do so, according to a source close to the veteran free-agent center.

“The Knicks coaches want Earl, but ownership wants to wait,” the source told Bleacher Report.

A second source familiar with the Knicks’ free-agency plans confirmed they are interested in Barron, 32, who appeared in seven games (six starts) for the Knicks in 2009-10, averaging 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds over 33.1 minutes. Last season—while he only played in one regular-season game for the Knicks, an 11-point, 18-rebound performance on April 17 against the Atlanta Hawks—the source said he impressed Knicks coach Mike Woodson during his short stint.

There’s more to it, of course — Knicks management is reportedly weighing other options, one of which is Hamed Haddadi. But a detail included in this report says that Haddadi worked out for the Jazz this week, and won’t wait for the Knicks if an offer from Utah comes first.

It’s unclear if Barron is worthy of a season-long roster spot, considering the way he’s bounced around the league without ever being able to secure a more permanent opportunity following his first three seasons with the Heat from 2006-2008.

That scattered history might be the reason that the front office is tentative about pulling the trigger on signing Barron, despite the wishes of the coaching staff. Or, it could simply be that there isn’t yet a plan in place on how the team intends to fill out the remaining slots on its roster.

New York has 12 players in place with guaranteed contracts for next season.