Center still on Giants’ FA “to do” list?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants lost out on free agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who signed with Tampa Bay yesterday, but they may have another center in their sights: Tampa’s Jeremy Zuttah.

CBS Sports’ NFL reporter Jason LaCanfora is suggesting the Giants as a natural landing spot for Zuttah, a 6’4″, 308lb product out of Rutgers. The Giants have done well with Rutgers centers in the past (Shaun O’Hara). Zuttah is also only 27, which fits their current free agency philosophy to get younger.

From Rotoworld:

Zuttah’s roster spot is in danger following the signing of Evan Dietrich-Smith. The Bucs are considering keeping Zuttah and moving him to guard, but can clear his entire $4.5 million cap hit without any dead money if they choose to release him. The Giants currently have just J.D. Walton and free-agent Kevin Boothe as candidates for their starting center job.

Not sure the Giants will be willing to assume Zuttah’s salary and cap number. There are a few options remaining for them at center in free agency. Brian De La Puente is still available and is a better player who could be signed for the same money, or less. Then, there is an outside chance the Giants could make a play for Cleveland’s Alex Mack, who was transitioned by the Browns last week.

According to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, Mack’s agents are planning on making it difficult for the Browns to retain the 28 year-old center, who is considered the top free agent remaining on the market. Wesseling reports that four teams are interested in Mack, two of them being the Colts and Ravens. The other two teams are unknown. Could the Giants be one?



UPDATE: 2:30pm: Dan Graziano of ESPN NewYork commented on the Giants’ plans at center in his Saturday dispatch:

“The New York Giants’ plan at center appears to be an economy plan. They signed young J.D. Walton, who started for the Broncos in 2010 and 2011 but hasn’t played since early 2012 due to injury. They hope he can develop quickly, if not instantly, into their starting center. In case he can’t, I believe they are talking to Kevin Boothe about a return. I also heard the name of former Patriots center Ryan Wendell earlier in the week, but he may have been a backup plan to Walton.”





83 comments
dragon
dragon

This kid Alexey is good he was playing well in Houston but with all those stars it was hard for him to show his stuffs. give him a chance.

James Mojica
James Mojica

How can you say the Pablo Prigioni trade isn't a "big move?"  It totally is as every move strategically places the Knicks in better position to win now and in the future.  Alexey is a sharp shooter, 26years old, has plenty of handle, can create his own shots, has great instincts and vision on the court, and we also got 2 second round picks but somehow this is just a cap move?  All that for one man who is 37 years old and who's role was drastically diminished.  

GooseEggs
GooseEggs

After reading all of the comments, I see the pros and cons you have all mentioned.  IMHO, this is addition by subtraction.  Also, you can possibly use the 2nd round picks as a trade asset or even to pair it with other picks to move up in the draft.  Phil needs 2 way players. I believe he has a plan and will stick to it.

nyoak34
nyoak34

I guess the doorman was too busy shovelling snow to keep it going.

1harris1
1harris1

Actually the Prigioni deal wasn't a bad trade.  Two second round picks and a 26 year old who could be a useful backup?  That was a decent return for Pablo.

rico
rico

@1harris1 It was a nice thing to do for Prigs who perhaps returns in a year as a back-up backup or assistant coach.  And yeah the Knicks are bankrupt of 2nd rounders for years to come so it's a start on that,

Charles Reliford
Charles Reliford

We definitly have address FA's based on what we do in the draft. Personally I'm thinking I'd rather get Mudiay or Russell over Okafor only because Duke players don't transition well to the NBA. Who is/was the last great Duke player who made it big in the league... Grant Hill?

brad5614
brad5614

Plumlee with nets is solid too

PreacherScott
PreacherScott

@Charles Reliford "Duke players don't transition well to the NBA. Who is/was the last great Duke player who made it big in the league... Grant Hill?"

Depends on how you're defining "great"... while Grant Hill was the best of the lot on many, if not all boards that ranked former Duke players, I would posit that Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, Shane Battier and J.J. Redick are not having or didn't have too much trouble with their game when they came to the NBA...


Fun fact: Duke and Kentucky are tied for most players coming out of their programs currently playing in the NBA with 18; last year Duke had eight players on playoff rosters. second only to Florida (nine, ten if you count Al Horford who was injured and didn't play). 

brad5614
brad5614

Of course this wasn't the plan... But adding shump to get rid of the cancer called jr smith was well worth it... Two weeks ago we heard Pablo couldn't even fetch one 2nd rounder and we got two...yes the true test is this summer... A guaranteed top 4 if we finish with worst record and hopefully 2-3 two way players plus money for 2016 when cap explodes... 2016 is the goal to compete for a title

cippycups
cippycups

We don't even know if Phil can draft with all these picks...still a lot to unfold

brad5614
brad5614

2nd rounders are trade sweeteners

tdzo
tdzo

Free agency signings take place after the draft.

So depending on who Phil thinks he can sign, and wherever the lottery balls fall, most of the decisions made will be based on who we can draft.

In other words, why sign Marc Gasol if you can draft Okafor? Why sign Dragic if you can draft Mudiay?

Let's just wait and see what the team looks like NEXT February trade deadline before we panic!

The important decisions will be made at a later date.


Paul Cole
Paul Cole

i wonder if at the beginning of the year fans were told the knicks would be in this position with no assets to trade (melo has a nt and is not trade able anyway) what the reaction would have been, now after being boiled in mediocrity slowly most kool aid drinkers think this was a plan and are all in.


you can lead a fan to water and you can make them drink even the dirtiest of water, at least in the mecca of bad bb you can.

rico
rico

@Paul Cole imagine if there was another gm, like change the name Phil Jackson to say Steve Mills, Danny Ferry ,Kiki etc...and what would people be saying about the state of the Knicks?  


True Jax is has wisdom and a track record of success, but not as an exec just yet. 

Knicks are screwed.  


We should've thrown in the pick for Dragic.  Now there's no reason to think he won' t re-sign in Miami.  


Brandon Knight and Reggie Jackson were both traded to teams that have their bird rights and can offer them the most money - which each will do.  Gasol and Aldridge aren't going anywhere this summer.  Rondo is unlikely to leave either.  So who does that leave us? Monroe? Harris? Matthews?


I don't know what Phil is planning on pulling out of his ass this summer and next, but judging by what he's done thus far - trading Shump, JR and Chandler for basically nothing in a market where Mozgov yields 2 1st rounders, my god - I'm not feeling good about it.  Chandler was traded bc Melo didn't like him; great.  Shump and JR were more or less salary dumps for this summer's free agent class and now pretty much everyone we were going to target aren't going to be available.  Well done, Phil.  

brad5614
brad5614

If the Knicks have Harris Monroe and matthews I'd say we finally have the makings of a team.. Two way players

Mike Davidoff
Mike Davidoff

i'd love Monroe or MAtthews, and if possible Butler. 

nyoak34
nyoak34

Green. Butler. Matthews. Monroe. Green number 2. Cast aside vets. A top notch rookie. We need a whole team. 2 players won't do it. We cannot afford a max guy unftil 2016 if we're going to do it right.

Michael Gallucci
Michael Gallucci

We're set for the next five years, we got Shved. No give Matt Fish a call, and see what he's doing. 


Anyone other than me wonder if Mr. Jackson has lost his MindFastball? And perhaps his influence has waned a bit?

chazt
chazt

I like what Jax has done - he's cleared cap space and gotten rid of players that couldn't/wouldn't play in the Phisher System. It's their team, and their prerogative to do as much. If Dolan is ok with it, and judging by his silence, I'm guessing he is, then who are we to judge and be so negative?


Let's judge Phil on the team he puts on the floor over the next three years. NYK is bound to keep improving. It's a no-brainer.

As others have already said, this season was a wash - Phil inherited this team, and we all know it wasn't a good team. Yes, Chandler is having a good season, but he's just one guy. Plus, his heart didn't seem to be into playing for NYK.

To be truthful, I'm more concerned about Melo coming back physically and being the player he has shown he's capable of being. Like it or not, NYK has been his team since the day he joined, and it will be his team until the day he retires or is traded or bought out.

I gotta hand it to Melo. When he first joined the team I was a skeptic - but he's shown hustle and determination, and the desire and willingness to play with/through pain. In my eyes Melo has at least earned the right to our patience.


Let's now show Phil the patience and respect he deserves. This season's over - no offense to D-Fish or the players remaining on the squad - hopefully they're going to hustle and play with smarts, guts and determination. As far as we fans are concerned, we should focus our attention on future success, both, from the front office and the team on the floor.

nyoak34
nyoak34

I agree with the tear it down aporoach. I do not agree that we've gotten the kind of value we should for the moves made.

raven6
raven6

happy with deadline. Dragic not worth assets and contract above 15 mil. I like we have patient GM. Shved acquisition fits our roster - a lot of  not good or unproven players. Pick sure being top 3. 

M&M; Consultants
M&M; Consultants

For the first time the knicks did something smart and wait for the summer. Why give up a lot when you possible get him in the summer. Phil knows what he is doing. Be smart and make the right deal. Last GM we had made bad deals and hurting the Knicks now

RivDim
RivDim

Not getting him in the summer. He's signing with the Heat. Stop lying to yourself. You will not get a point guard as good or better than Goran Dragic for 15 million a year or less, especially with new TV deal looming. Phil Jackson messed up by pulling the trigger too quickly on chandler and Shumpert. The Suns liked Shumpert, and he may have been the missing piece to get the deal done.

nyoak34
nyoak34

Monroe is not staying. His actions have made that clear.

Michael Gallucci
Michael Gallucci

@RivDim Exactly my point too. He's gone. The point of getting him now was to have the inside track on retaining him. Perhaps signing him while no one else could negotiate with him. Dragic IS a starting NBA point guard. 

RivDim
RivDim

Plus would have allowed the knicks to go over the cap to retain him.

1harris1
1harris1

Fair point about Shumpert, but I still think the Suns would have done the Heat deal. Shumpert's value has dropped a lot.

I would take my chances that the Knicks will be able to find somebody at 15 mil. a year comparable to Dragic, but time will tell. He's a good player, but nothing great (and he's having a somewhat down year this season to boot, which I always find concerning of any player entering free agency looking for a big contract).

rico
rico

@1harris1 Riley is going to whisper in one of Dragics ears and Wade in the other and we'll see him in a Heatles uniform as an elite PG for years to come.  

1harris1
1harris1

@rico @1harris1 I don't know man-I just don't see him as that kind of player.  I can come up with 10 point guards right now-Curry, Paul, Lowry, Rondo, Lillard, Lawson, Rose, Westbrook, Parker and Irving, all of whom are clearly better than Goran Dragic (and that's without really thinking hard about it).  20 million a year for a non top-ten point guard?  I think it's fine to criticize Phil-just don't see this as a move to kill him on.


I also think Melo needs a tough minded point guard, with proven strong leadership qualities.  His greatest years in terms of team success came with guys like Chauncey Billups and Kidd in his backcourt. I don't know that Dragic fits that profile.  Neither does Calderon, but that's another story.

1harris1
1harris1

@rico @1harris1 And dopey me, how could I forget John Wall?  Yet another point guard clearly superior to Dragic.  There may be even others I've forgotten.

rico
rico

@1harris1 @rico I'm not killing Phil on it. I just think he's going to take his game to another level under Pat the Rat.  I kill Phil for being a five star frack-up on everything else so far, but I trust he'll put together an interesting group for next year. 


I also kill Phil for putting his system ahead of his players.  Riley adapts and inspired players, Phil so far has fired everybody in favor of his dysfunctional system.  Mike Dantoni got killed for 7 seconds or less which he never ran in NY...yet Phil gets a pass for cleaning house because nobody with talent on the team knows his system and the team is 10-40ish trying to force it on them. 

Grade F

1harris1
1harris1

@rico @1harris1 Can't argue with your take about Phil's tenure this far, but I'd be careful before pumping up Dragic too much.  While I think Riley is among the best NBA executives (if not the best), this move struck me as a somewhat desperate attempt to get the Heat back to relevance. Dragic is 28-I just don't see him elevating his game that much at this stage in his career.  Pat might have regrets about this deal when he's paying 20 million a season for a middle of the pack point guard in his early 30's


I actually was more bummed today about Reggie Jackson getting traded to the Pistons.  Firstly, because I think he was a nice target for the Knicks.  And secondly because if Detroit has any success from this point forward and makes the playoffs, Greg Monroe might be tempted to stay there.  Monroe would be a great fit for the Knicks imo.



1harris1
1harris1

I'm fine with killing Phil-just not a big Goran Dragic fan. Good player, but 100 million over 5 years for him? At the expense of two first round picks? Pass.

I will say though heaven help whoever we wind up with on that 2018 first round pick. First Lowry, then Dragic......this kid better turn out to be a player! lol

avzensport
avzensport

Wow 76ers trade Michael Carter-Williams. I don't get it

1harris1
1harris1

I'm shocked by that. They've given new meaning to the term "tanking". Crazy that you trade a young talent like that.

avzensport
avzensport

@1harris1 I am pissed about it and I am not even a 76er fan lol. It's probably good for us that he was traded. Wow the Bucks are building a squad.

rico
rico

@avzensport because the knicks don't have the market on stupid cornered....like many think

Charles Reliford
Charles Reliford

We have so any holes we have to be smart with the cap. I rather give out 1 max deal (Aldrige or Gasol), get a good 1st rounder (Okafor/Mudiay/Russell) then spread the rest of the money around (Matthews, Monroe, Jackson/Knight) and hope for the best with the second round picks.

M&M; Consultants
M&M; Consultants

Knicks are in good shape. Don't give away the future. Its not for certain Dragic will stay in Miami. Save your picks and players for the right deal. Miami gave up a lot

RivDim
RivDim

It's as certain as it can be that Dragic stays in Miami, a team on his top 3 wish list that can offer him the full 5 year Max.

"Save your pics and players for the right deal". Carmelo Anthony is 31 years old come May.

Charles Reliford
Charles Reliford

Dragic is a nice player but I wouldnt lose any sleep over not acquiring him. We need guards who can defend the perimeter. Every year the Knicks have been good they have had defensive minded PG's who make others better first and can score when needed. 

brad5614
brad5614

Everyone is so hung up on who isn't a max player....this summer virtually every solid free agent (gasol, harris, milsap, dragic) will get max deals since those deals will be bargains come the summer of 2016 when the cap shoots up 

RivDim
RivDim

Exactly. People think there are better or comparable players to Goran Dragic out there at bargain deals. Smh

avzensport
avzensport

@brad5614 Regardless there is still a cap. We can't give it all away. That's why we have sucked for so long.  We have alot of holes to fill. So it matters very much.