Before I get into the recent news regarding Shawne Williams' decision to join the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, I would like to introduce myself to all you Knicks fans out there. I'm Ciaran from London and have been a Knicks fan since 2009. Now aged 17 (as of Saturday), my love for the Knicks grew substantially with the arrival of Amar'e Stoudemire last season, who I now consider to be my sporting hero. After creating my own Knicks blog back in October – the Mecca of Basketball- I am now here writing for Knicks Fanatics.
Anyway, back to Shawne Williams.
The three-point marksman has decided to join Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets on a two-year $6 million deal, a full $2 million more than the Knicks were offering, also including an opt-out clause at the conclusion of this season. After the news that Jamal Crawford has also spurned us, for the Portland Trail Blazers, a lot of Knicks fans are worried about the void left on the bench,
They shouldn't be.
As good as Shawne Williams was last season (and believe me, I love his tough style of play), he is not really that important to the team's success. Yes, he spreads the floor and yes, he is versatile but we shouldn't make too much of a deal out of this. To be honest, New Jersey will lose out more by starting Williams than we will by not having him our bench.
Right now, the Knicks roster probably has enough shooters to get by, especially considering that STAT & 'Melo will be contributing 50 points between them night in and night out. Mike Bibby, for all the laughs he received playing for the Heat last season, shot a fantastic 45% from deep whilst in Miami. Along with him we have Landry Fields, who, despite his second-half slump, still managed to post up a three-point percentage just 0.08% behind Shawne's. Even Toney Douglas, who people have recently dismissed as 'just a shooter' since it became clear that he may be starting this season, can be a solid three-point shooter for the Knicks.
Again, Shawne's versatility may be missed by the Knicks, but now that we know his shooting can be replaced we can move on to replacing the other parts of his game; the defense and the rebounding.
There are certainly other players out there who can fill his role as a back-up power forward. Kenyon Martin and Kris Humphries come to mind when looking for guys who may sign the $4 million contract we offered Williams. K-Mart has already said that he would be happy to take a lower contract to have another shot at a championship; the only problem there might be buying him out of his contract in China. As for Kris Humphries, he has seemingly disappeared from the free agency market following his divorce from Kim Kardashian and, now that he has been replaced by 'Extra E' in New Jersey, he is there for the taking. 'The Incredible Humph' had a breakthrough season last year, averaging a double-double from the Nets' starting power forward position. With that rate of production off of the bench for New York, he can certainly replace Shawne Williams.
At the end of the day, it's sad to see Shawne go and to let Jamal slip away but, really, with the core of players we have, there are enough cheap free agents we can plug in around our superstars to make things work. Shawne Williams isn't the be-all and end-all.