In an offseason where the New York Knicks biggest acquisitions were Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby, it’s interesting to see which players were considered, but turned down in order to go in a different direction.
According to Aaron Goodwin, the agent for unrestricted free agent small forward Matt Barnes, his client was being seriously considered by the Knicks at some point during the offseason.
“Matt had a high interest in the Knicks, and Glen (Grunwald) and I spoke several times,” said Goodwin. “We agreed that it was a position that was needed for the Knicks, especially defensively to advance. But in the end, I don’t think the coach was truly on board.”
If Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson convinced GM Glen Grunwald against signing Barnes, it could be because he’s coming off of two injury-plagued seasons and his legal history. His most recent arrest was due to an outstanding traffic warrant where he allegedly threatened a police officer.
It’s not known when the Knicks had interest in Barnes, but following the knowledge that Iman Shumpert would be out until at least December, it could have shifted the Knicks attention away from the small forward to finding a shooting guard who could allow J.R. Smith to come off of the bench and they ended up signing Ronnie Brewer.
Barnes would be a great addition to the Knicks as he is regarded as one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA with the ability to also shoot three-pointers and secure rebounds. He averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 33.3 percent from three-point range last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Knicks have just one guaranteed roster spot remaining and Malcolm Thomas is apparently the favorite to land the job since he is in for a two-day workout.
Undrafted small forward John Shurna was invited to the Knicks’ training camp, so it’s unlikely the Knicks are still considering Barnes unless he would be willing to accept the veteran mininmum. Shurna averaged 20 points with a 44 percent three-point shooting percentage at Northwestern last season.