Report: Knicks’ Cleanthony Early targeting March return; team may add player in interim

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When the news came down — Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was shot in the knee during an armed robbery — there were fears he may never play basketball again (or walk the same). In light of that, the news that there was no structural damage and recovery would have him back this season felt like a miracle.

Early is targeting a March return, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

“He’s feeling better and he’s going to be fine,’’ a friend told The Post. “It was the best possible outcome, and it’s not going to have any effect on his career. There was no structural damage and no infection, so he didn’t need surgery. That was the beautiful thing, not needing surgery. Thank God — his knee could’ve been blown out.’’

That’s still a couple of months, so with an open roster spot the Knicks will be looking to bring in some guys on 10-day contracts for depth, according to the report.

Nevertheless, according to a source, Early’s March timetable is why the Knicks are expected to add a depth piece to a 10-day contract soon and are “exploring several options,’’ including monitoring the players waived from teams at the Jan. 10 deadline for guaranteed contracts. Though point guard is a priority, the Knicks have just 13 able bodies, having left open a spot on the 15-man roster after training camp.

There were suggestions that Jimmer Fredette could be that guy, but we’ve heard that several potentially interested teams have been turned off by his lack of defense. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News threw another name out there.

Whomever it is, expect the Knicks to add someone in the coming week or two.