Knicks Sign James White, Verbally Offer Contract To Pablo Prigioni

Knicks Go Overseas To Find Talent, Looking At White And Prigioni

7/11/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Knicks Sign James White, Verbally Offer Contract To Pablo PrigioniThe New York Knicks, who have been active in free agency thus far, signing both Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby, have gone overseas to find some more talent. They've got their eyes on two players.

First off, the team has announced the signing of Italian Leaguer James White, who played his college ball at Cincinnati. White is an unquestionable freak athlete and extraordinary dunker. He had a great senior year for Cincinnati, averaging 16.3 points on 48.8% shooting, plus 5.1 rebounds as a swingman. He got to the line nearly 5 times a game and shot 83.8% on his free throws. He's 6'7'' 200, and his athleticism suggests he may be able handle guarding some of the games most lethal perimeter players.

He played 6 games for the Spurs in 2007, averaging a decent 8.3 points while he was there. His only other stint in the NBA was with the Rockets in 2009, during which he only played 4 games and averaged 2.8 minutes per contest.

MSG Network's Alan Hahn suggests that the signing of White may be due to a hope that he can use his solid size and incredible athleticism to guard guys like LeBron James for stretches of games.

In college, White relied too strictly on his athleticism to score, so his scoring ability has not translated to the pros, resulting in his limited NBA action. However, he could be interesting to keep an eye on as a defensive specialist and finisher in transition. If nothing else, he'll spice up the Knicks' Summer League games.

Here's what we're dealing with (skip to :20 to see the good view):

The Knicks have also given a verbal offer to Spanish League point guard Pablo Prigioni. His name is probably less known than White's in the US, but this 35 year old can definitely ball.

The Argentine sensation has been one of the elite players in the Spanish League for years, and was vital to the success Argentina had in the 2008 Olympics, in which they earned the bronze medal.

In the past year, Prigioni has averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 assists per game, along with 1.9 steals and only 1.5 turnovers.

I don't have the answer as to why, but players seem to always put up lower numbers in the Spanish League. During his final year playing for Barcelona, Ricky Rubio averaged 4.8 points on 32% shooting and 4.1 assists. He came to the NBA to average 10.6 points and 8.2 assists in his rookie year. Just because Prigioni's stats seem bad does not mean they won't translate into decent NBA numbers.

Prigioni is a flashy, pass-first point guard who can get the ball moving in the full court game and may be able to help out off the bench, especially if 39 year old Jason Kidd gets hurt or needs a night off.

We won't get a look at Prigioni in Summer League, as he'll be playing for Argentina in the Olympics, but if you're as die-hard of a Knicks fan as I am, check out an Argentina basketball game once in a while.

In case you haven't seen Prigioni yet, here's a look (the sweet passes start up at :53):

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7/11/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

At least White isn't 400 years old. Though I'm not sure how he will help the Knicks win the 2004 NBA title, which seems to be what they are going for.