The New York Knicks signed big man Solomon Jones for the rest of the season after waiving Kurt Thomas this week. This move makes a ton of sense for New York- Thomas, although serviceable when healthy, is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, and Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and Marcus Camby have all been dealing with injuries.
So who is this Jones guy?
Well, he’s a 6’10”, six year NBA veteran who was playing in China this season until he inked a deal with New York. He spent three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, two with the Indiana Pacers, and played a combined 21 games in the past two years for the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers.
In his first season with the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters of the Chinese Basketball Association, Jones was averaging 15.8 points in about 30 minutes per game in addition to 7.3 rebounds per night before becoming a Knickerbocker.
Jones’ size is huge for the Knicks. Prior to his signing, the team had been playing with Carmelo Anthony and (the offensively gifted/defensively challenged) Chris Copeland as their primary big men. Going into the playoffs, New York can’t rely on Melo’s offensive rebounding and desperately needed another Center on their roster.
Jones debuted against the Cleveland Cavaliers two nights ago as the Knicks won 101-91. In twelve minutes, all Jones managed to do was grab a single rebound and commit two turnovers; he didn’t attempt a shot from the field.
Today we will get a good look at Jones, as he is set for just his twelfth NBA start (first in two years) when the Knicks take on the Pacers looking to clinch the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Jones could be a key piece down the stretch for a team that is looking like a legitimate contender heading into the postseason.