NBA PM: Brewer Couldn’t Pass on Knicks
Almost immediately after the Chicago Bulls decided not to guarantee the final year of guard Ronnie Brewer’s contract, the New York Knicks started their pursuit. The Knicks made their interest known very early and aggressively recruited the 27-year-old.
New York couldn’t offer as much money as other teams, but after hearing pitches from Mike Woodson, Glen Grunwald, Darrell Walker, Damon Jones and other members of the organization, Brewer was sold. He officially joined the Knicks last week, signing a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum.
“A lot of different teams were reaching out to me and I was weighing my options,” Brewer said to HOOPSWORLD. “At the end of the day, it didn’t come down to money. It came down to the best situation for me, as a person and as a player. I wanted to go somewhere I could win and have success. I wanted to go to a situation where playing basketball would be fun and I would enjoy doing it. You can go to a team that’s not as a good so that you thrive a little bit more, even though you’re losing, but that’s not fun to me. I wanted to go to a place where I could win.”
“From day one, the Knicks were on me and my agent,” Brewer said. “I had some relationships with people in the organization. Darrell Walker, one of the assistant coaches, and Damon Jones, who works in the front office, both went to Arkansas and they reached out to me. Coach Woodson reached out to me and the GM reached out to me as well. I felt like they really wanted me and I was an important target for their team, maybe the missing piece for them to be successful. It felt good to have the coaches and management reach out to me and recruit me.”
Brewer experienced success with the Bulls during the last two seasons, when the team finished with the NBA’s best record in consecutive years. After making a deep postseason run and winning so many games, the veteran shooting guard didn’t want to join a team that wasn’t ready to contend next season. Brewer feels that the Knicks are capable of being an elite team in the Eastern Conference.
“Talent wise, this is one of the best teams I’ve been on,” Brewer said. “If we can get the chemistry and kinks out early, we can have a lot of success. On paper and talent wise, it’s all there. I feel like this is a great team. We have a lot of potential.
“It’s a great market and there are great fans here, some of the best in the NBA. The fans and the media might get on you sometimes, but that doesn’t happen if you’re playing well. I intend for us to play well and I intend to have a great role on this team. I’m going to play hard night in and night out. I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
Not only did the Knicks sign Brewer this offseason, they also re-signed guard J.R. Smith, who spent last season in New York. The two guards will compete for the starting job in training camp, but Brewer insists he’s open to either role. Throughout his career, he has played well as both a starter and sixth man, and he says he doesn’t have a preference.
“Whether it’s coming off the bench or starting, I’ll play whatever role they want me to play,” Brewer said. “Either way, our second unit is going to be one of the deepest in the league, on paper and to start the season. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. This isn’t going to be a rebuilding year; expectations are extremely high. It’s going to be up to us to perform. It’s not just Amar’e and Carmelo. We have a lot of contributors. Everyone is looking forward to getting into training camp and getting everything going.
“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me. With Iman Shumpert out right now, they need a defensive presence on the perimeter. Coach Woodson is a defensive-minded coach so I feel like it plays to my strengths. After talking with him, he seemed excited and I’m definitely excited. It’s a huge challenge. There are a lot of expectations for this team because we have so much star power. For me, I’m just going to come in and do my job: Defend, make hustle plays, take charges and run the floor. I just want to be the glue guy on an already good team. I’ve been working on my jump shot so I’ll be able to knock down open shots and I can finish in the lane and on the break. After talking to Coach, he felt like I could really be a plus for this team and make an impact.”
Brewer never wanted to leave Chicago, but he understands that the Bulls had a difficult decision to make. Rather than having a high payroll with Derrick Rose sidelined for much of the 2012-13 season, the Bulls decided to part ways with Brewer, guards C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and center Omer Asik and bring in free agents Marco Belinelli, Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic.
“At the end of the day, there are two sides to the NBA: There’s a basketball side and a business side,” Brewer said. “I think it came down to a business decision. They didn’t want to go into the luxury tax area and they decided to go in a different direction. … We accomplished a lot and won a lot of games. It’s sad, especially for Bulls fans. We revived them and gave them life. I enjoyed the time I had in Chicago and I appreciate the organization. It is a little sad to see the Bench Mob and team disbanded.”
While Brewer would have liked to return to the Bulls, he feels he has landed in another great situation with the Knicks. He’s counting the days until the season begins and he can’t wait to don blue and orange.
“It’s the bright lights and the big stage,” Brewer said. “This is what every basketball player lives for and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Bulls Officially Sign Robinson: Nate Robinson has officially signed with the Chicago Bulls, the team announced today. Robinson will join the Bulls on a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum, according to sources close to the situation.
The 28-year-old spent last season with the Golden State Warriors, playing in 51 games and averaging 11.2 points and 4.5 assists off of the bench. This will be Robinson’s fifth team after stints with the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder and Warriors.
Robinson is the latest addition to the new-look Bulls, who have also added free agents Marco Belinelli, Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic this summer.
Recently, there has been a rumor circulating that Chicago may be nearing a deal with unrestricted free agent Tracy McGrady, but sources close to the situation say that nothing is close.
One-On-One With Kyle Singler: After spending last season in Spain, Kyle Singler is looking forward to beginning his NBA career. Singler signed with CB Lucentum Alicante during the NBA lockout and decided to remain overseas once a new collective bargaining agreement was ratified, inking a deal with Real Madrid for the duration of the season. Now, Singler has signed a multi-year deal with the Detroit Pistons and he’s excited to make his NBA debut after an illustrious college career at Duke University.
He played for the Pistons during the Orlando Summer League, averaging 10 points in three games. He was impressive, particularly in Detroit’s first two games before they started to rest their potential rotation players. HOOPSWORLD’s Yannis Koutroupis caught up with Singler in Orlando to discuss his overseas experience, summer league play and expectations for the upcoming season:
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