Allan Houston signed a two-year contract with the New York Knicks yesterday, rejoining the team that once paid him $100,000,000 for a six-year extension, which ended in Houston playing only 70 games during the last two years of the deal. Houston is expected to join the team today for practice after not playing for the past three seasons.
“If he’s that good, I mean if he’s the Allan Houston that we know and we haven’t seen him in a while but if he’s that good a player, we want good players,” Knicks Head Coach and Chief Sexual Harraser Isiah Thomas said after practice. “If we’re in a position where a player can help us, we definitely will look at him and make room for him.”
The 36-year old shooting guard, who is one of the most prolific scorers in Knicks history will be used primarily as an outside threat, mostly because he is too old and slow to do anything else. He will almost certainly be a defensive liability when trying to guard quicker and younger guards on the perimeter, but then again, defense has never been much of a priority during Isiah Thomas’ tenure as Head Coach.
Houston apparently is not guaranteed a roster spot and will have to earn his place on the team. With Houston, the Knicks now have 20 players under contract, five more than allowed by NBA rules. It is assumed that the Knicks will cut recently acquired Jared Jordan, as well as Demetrius Nichols, who was acquired in the Zach Randolph trade. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Jerome James should almost certainly be cut after disappointing the team from the moment he agreed to a contract. The 7’1″ center averaged just over nine minutes per game in 44 contests during his first season with the Knicks and followed that up with under seven minutes in 41 games last year. He is currently in the third year of a five-year, $30,000,000 contract.
The Knicks open the regular season at Cleveland on November 2nd, before returning home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 4th.