Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks appear to need another shooter off the bench, but it won’t be Jamal Crawford or Shawne Williams.
Crawford will sign with the Portland Trail Blazers for two years at $10 million, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, while Williams is headed to the Nets, reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $6 million offer. The Knicks could only offer $5 million over two years.
“Shawne made a decision that’s best for him and his family,” Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire said Thursday.
Stoudemire had hoped that Williams would return to the Knicks after averaging 7.1 points and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. But he said he did not speak to Williams Wednesday as he was deciding.
“Shawne worked really hard last year to get in this position right here, so he deserve it and I wish him all the luck,” Carmelo Anthony said. “I’ll miss him as a teammate but he gotta do what he have to do. At the end of the day it’s basketball but it’s a business, too.”
Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said Williams “got an offer,” but that the Knicks were preoccupied with trying to land Tyson Chandler.
“We missed it,” he said. “But when you’re going after somebody like Tyson you gotta kind of skate on the thin ice a little bit. But it’s nothing disrespectful. We love Shawne.”
Crawford was not a realistic option because the Knicks could only offer the $2.5 million “room” exception. A Seattle native and former Knick, Crawford will get to play close to his home in the Pacific Northwest.
“We were a long shot to start with,” D’Antoni said. “You take your bidders and it doesn’t change anything. We wish him well and I’m sure he’ll do fine.”
As for recently amnestied point guard Baron Davis, D’Antoni said Knicks interim GM Glen Grunwald would “monitor” things going forward to see if the team can add another bench piece. Davis will be sidelined 8-10 weeks with herniated discs in his back, his agent, Todd Ramasar, told SNY.tv.
“Right now, he’s on waivers,” D’Antoni said of Davis. “So really it’s nothing that we’ve even talked about. We’ll just kind of monitor the situation going forward. Glen’s going to keep his eyes and ears tuned to the league and then we’ll try to better the team if we can.”
Stoudemire said he wasn’t worried about Davis at all: “This guy’s out for 8-10 weeks, man. He’s not our concern at all. We can’t do anything about his injury. We can’t afford to have any letbacks. We have a positive thing going. We feel great about our guys and so we just gotta keep it going.”
Stoudemire and Anthony both say they are happy with the Knicks roster as presently constituted, even though Bill Walker continues to sit with a strained left groin.
“I mean, we need shooters,” Anthony said. “Especially the way that myself play and Amar’e, the way that we drive to the basket. On this team, we get a lot of open shots. Guys get a lot of open shots. I know the guys that we have are capable of doing that.”
He added: “I’m very confident in this team that I have right now.”
Said Stoudemire: “We have a solid team, we feel comfortable with the roster.”
Stoudemire and the Knicks will visit Williams’ new team, the Nets, Saturday in an exhibition game at The Prudential Center.
“He’s not too far away,” Stoudemire said. “We’ll see him soon enough.’
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.