The New York Knicks will be back in action on Friday when they return from the All-Star break to host the Heat at MSG. Whether or not anyone is actually excited for that to happen, though, is questionable at best.
Losers of three straight, seven of eight and 13 out of their last 16 games, the Knicks are sinking faster than the potholes at Pitkin and Pennsylvania. And save for Derrick Rose’s impending return to the hardwood, reinforcements might not be coming any time soon.
After all, the trade deadline has come and gone without any kind of follow-up to the Cam Reddish deal. There’s still the buyout market to consider, of course, but with its roster full-up at 15 (plus a pair of two-way players), New York may elect to play out the campaign as constituted.
Nevertheless, one hoops pundit thinks the club could be a nice fit for the belle of the hardship signing ball, former Brooklyn Net and seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson.
Stinar Sees a Spot in the Big Apple for Iso Joe
In a prime piece of off-week musing, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar looked at three teams that could benefit from signing Johnson. Of course, Ise Joe hadn’t played a regular-season game in the Association since the 2017-18 campaign before the Celtics brought him back on a 10-day hardship pact in December.
Since then, though, the 40-year-old has been back on the sidelines, presumably waiting for another opportunity.
While the Nets and the defending world-champion Bucks were both on his list, Stinar had the Knicks as the No. 1 landing spot for the old-timer, writing:
Johnson is not someone who could turn around an entire team at this stage in his career, but he is a respected veteran who could help the young players. In addition, Thibodeau is known to love veteran players. Johnson is also one of the most clutch players in the history of the NBA.
Given the number of middling veterans currently taking time from New York’s young guns, one could argue that adding another one to the mix isn’t really going to help them. At this stage, though, Johnson wouldn’t be playing many minutes (if any at all), and he may have some wisdom to impart on a group featuring several underperforming players.
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Is Johnson Hall of Fame Bound?
He may not jump out to some as one of basketball’s all-time greats, but Johnson nonetheless has a résumé that looks like that of Hall of Famer.
In addition to his many All-Star selections, Johnson was an All-NBA pick in 2010. From 2005 to 2010, he had five straight seasons of averaging 20-plus points per game. Also — as of this writing, he ranks 14th in career three-point field goals (1,978) and 31st in games played (1,277).
Finally, he has surpassed the 20,000-point mark for his career. Excluding active players and recent retirees, only two players — Tom Chambers and Antawn Jamison — have managed that feat and not gotten into the Hall of Fame.