The New York Knicks seem to employ a perpetually overstuffed roster, with notable players finding their way into the news for both on-court and off-court reasons all the time. On Monday, the franchise officially parted ways with two of those players, buying out and waiving New York native Metta World Peace and guard Beno Udrih. The potential importance of the moves likely has more to do with their new destinations.
None of this is a surprise. The news was effectively broken by MWP on Twitter on Saturday morning, and both players have been less-than-stellar members of the Knicks during a disappointing season for the entire team. After signing with the Knicks this summer, there was hope that the man formerly known as Ron Artest would serve as an effective wing defender and occasional scorer off the bench. He has not been that player, shooting just under 40 percent from the field and seeing action in just 29 games.
Udrih is a somewhat weirder case, having been forced into starting 12 games through several injuries. He has shot 42.5 percent from three-point range (and on two-pointers, and from the field, which seems like a statistical oddity), but he has not been a steadying presence and even felt the need to request a trade when he had no place in the rotation. Clearly, the Knicks decided that Udrih was not worth the drama he created.
Yet, outside of the dysfunctional context of the Knicks, it's possible that both players could help a contender. World Peace can be the player the Knicks hoped to get for a team with a more coherent rotation, and Udrih could help a team's as a backup point guard in the event of an injury. Both players have abilities, even if they're not on the level of recent post-buyout pickup Glen Davis.
While New York tends to be the focus of any story regarding one of their transactions, the fact is that MWP and Udrih matter more to the playoff picture as late-season pickups than as former Knicks. At 21-35 in the top-heavy East, the Knicks are not a viable contender. Sometimes we must remember that a tabloid story is not always relevant news.
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