Compared to past Knick free agent signings, this one seems pretty reasonable and a good fit. The only real negative to the deal is similar to last year when the Knicks signed Jerome James to fill a need and then duplicated by trading for Eddy Curry. This year, Jeffries will eat into Balkman, Rose, and Richardson's minutes.
Jeffries doesn't jump out at you on the stat sheet and playing with Gilbert Arenas has stunted his offensive development (not enough shots), but he is one of the best young perimeter defenders around. He is willing to do dirty work and doesn't demand the ball on offense either. The Knicks are loaded with talent and they have several good scorers. Getting guys like Balkman and Jeffries for energy and defense rounds out the roster. If one of the vets decides to lead all this talent, the Knicks will surprise people in the East.
Last year, the Clippers surprised a lot of people, but they had the talent for years. They were just waiting for someone like Sam Cassel to put it all together. Brand has always been rock solid, but never the leader that Sam is. Who will it be for the Knicks? All signs point to Marbury (possibly Curry, but he's shown no history of being a leader). He doesn't even need to reach is career numbers; he just has to be a leader. The dim lighting at the Garden can only help so much, at some point a vet has to step up.
Posted by Eddie Huang at 7/30/2006 10:31:00 AM