New York Knicks Target Hill, Foster
Fans of the New York Knicks would love to see Marc Gasol, Nene or Tyson Chandler starting at center when the team kicks off the 2011-12 NBA season Christmas. In fact, most Knicks fans would probably trade all of the presents under their collective Christmas trees to see such a vision come to pass.
That said, most Knicks fans also understand that it’s virtually impossible that any of the top three centers in free agency will be wearing Knicks jerseys come Christmas.
The Knicks don’t have the cap space to sign a true impact center, but they do have a target in mind. Jeff Foster may not be a guy who excites the fan base right off the bat, but he is a blue-collar worker who plays hard-nosed defense and crashes the boards without worrying about his own stats or needing the ball. In his 12 seasons with the Indiana Pacers he earned a reputation for doing the dirty work without ever complaining or questioning his role.
In short, he’s exactly what the Knicks need. He’s a legit seven-footer who will happily go to war with the likes of Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah without so much as flinching.
The only question is whether or not Foster is looking for a contract. Sources close to the situation in New York tell HOOPSWORLD that Foster is seriously considering retiring, and that even an offer from the Knicks might not be enough to disuade him from that decision. He’s played jusy 72 games over the last two seasons and may be ready to stop fighting the injury bug altogether.
Meanwhile, as has been widely speculated, the Knicks are also very much interested in adding Phoenix Suns free agent Grant Hill to the mix. Hill made it clear at the end of last season that he was not in the least bit ready to retire. He wouldn’t mind retiring in Phoenix, but he would also welcome a shot at a title. It’s been suggested that he would wind up in Miami, but count the Knicks among the teams that believe he still has plenty to contribute both on and off the court.
It remains to be seen whether either of the Knicks’ primary targets can be lured to the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, but if the Knicks could add Foster and Hill they would consider the lockout-shortened free agency period to be a success.