Since Friday, when teams were allowed to begin talking to free agents, the Knicks have reached out to Antoine Walker and Stromile Swift (above), and they have checked into the availability of Kwame Brown and Samuel Dalembert. The free-agent signing period begins July 22, and the Knicks are likely to consider just about every player who is listed as a free agent and plays power forward or center.
A Knicks official said the team’s president, Isiah Thomas, would use the same approach in acquiring a big man as he has in his search for the team’s new coach: he will gauge the interest of every free agent, then consider the full range of options.
There is no clear front-runner in Thomas’s free-agent search, although he would prefer a true center to another power forward.
“I think that’s our biggest need right now,” Thomas said last week, adding that he was comfortable with the Knicks’ depth at the other four positions. “Any guy that has ‘center’ next to his name, we’re interested in.”
Yikes. I think Benoit Benjamin is doing jumping jacks in the hotel room above me. The New York Post’s Marc Berman writes that Swift, seeking $9 million a year, is unlikely to settle for the $5.1 million cap exception.