The Knicks are considering a deal with Ike Diogu today that would extend into next season, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). Presumably, such a move would be instead of signing Lamar Odom. The team is still in talks with Odom, according to Begley, but apparently he’s not the only one on the Knicks’ radar as they look to fill their open roster spot.
Diogu was with the Knicks during the preseason, but apparently they never intended to keep him into the regular season before cutting him prior to opening night. Still, he remained on the team’s short list, and a report in late February indicated the team was thinking about re-signing him. The Bobcats also reportedly auditioned the 30-year-old big man about a month ago before signing DJ White instead.
The veteran of parts of six NBA seasons has spent most of 2013/14 with the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League, appearing in 42 games and averaging 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. He hasn’t appeared in official NBA games since 2011/12, when he made a two-game cameo with the Spurs. Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, last saw significant NBA action with the Clippers in 2010/11.
Diogu’s salary for next season would almost certainly be non-guaranteed. The motivation to sign a player today is so that the Knicks could use that non-guaranteed salary as trade ballast to help salaries match if they make a swap before July. Still, Odom, a 14-year veteran, would be more valuable in that regard than Diogu, whose minimum salary wouldn’t be quite as high.