Davis decides to sign with Knicks
Veteran point guard Baron Davis has decided to sign with the New York Knicks, two sources close to the situation confirmed to SI.com.
Davis was released by the Cavaliers with the NBA's new amnesty clause and cleared the waiver wire on Friday before being announced as a member of the Knicks on Monday. And while sources said the Knicks initially agreed to use their $2.5 million exception on Davis in a one-year deal that would pair him with the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire Carmelo Anthony and new addition Tyson Chandler, Davis ultimately agreed to sign a one-year, veteran's minimum deal worth $1.4 million so the Knicks could remain in play for other possible free agent additions. They are reportedly among the teams interested in adding small forward James Posey, who was amnestied by Indiana last week and has yet to be signed after clearing waivers.
The Knicks also recently added veteran point guard Mike Bibby on a one-year, veteran's minimum deal, but wanted more depth at the position after using their amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups in order to land Chandler in free agency. Davis had narrowed his choices to the Knicks and Lakers in recent days but ultimately decided to join New York, although it's not clear how soon he'll be on the floor. His agent, Todd Ramasar, told multiple media outlets recently that his client would be out "a minimum of eight to 10 weeks" because of a back injury.
Cleveland cut Davis loose because of the arrival of point guard Kyrie Irving, the former Duke star who was taken first overall in June. Yet while the Cavaliers' use of the amnesty means Davis' salary was taken off their books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes, they still have to pay him the combined $28.6 million remaining on his deal that lasts through the 2012-13 season. Had Davis been taken off waivers by a team with cap space, that balance would have been offset by the negotiated salary of Davis' new team.
If Davis, 32, can get healthy in time for a playoff run and play in the sort of engaged fashion he did while with Golden State as recently as three years ago, a Knicks team that was already on the rise might be even better by landing the two-time All-Star. It's a big "if," though, as Davis' game fell off significantly in two seasons with the Clippers and he routinely battled injuries before being traded to Cleveland midway through 2010-11.
Davis -- who has averaged 16.5 points and 7.3 assists in 12 seasons -- will clearly need time to not only heal but also to return to playing condition. He was largely inactive during the summer, hobbled by the nagging back problem and frequently seen in street clothes at the Drew League games in his hometown of Los Angeles watching his peers play.
ESPN.com first reported that Davis would sign with the Knicks.