The New York Knicks have been a mess all season long and now, someone officially wants out.
According to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley, guard Beno Udrih has had enough of the Knicks and has requested a trade. Head coach Mike Woodson refused to say whether or not he did in fact ask out, but the no comment and the words he used in describing Udrih makes it hard to believe this is all a fabrication.
Anyone who has been following the team this season knows that Udrih and head coach Mike Woodson haven’t exactly seen eye to eye all year. Sports Illustrated has a pretty good (albeit informal) timeline of events between Udrih and the team and it’s clear that it’s not been a perfect marriage.
Udrih has been a fairly important player for New York considering he’s eating up about 20 minutes per game. He’s not a huge contributor to the team in the box score but is getting time on the court and is certainly in the rotation. The guard’s numbers are pedestrian (5.7 points, 3.6 assists, 1.9 rebounds per game), but Udrih certainly brings a few things to the table.
For starters, Udrih is a veteran but not over the hill. At 31, he can still play and by all indication, should be able to do so for several more years. He also is under a very reasonable contract, making only about $900,000 this season. Udrih wouldn’t cost a potential suitor a lot of money and, only under a one-year deal, he can be let go at the end of the season. On the court, he’s also a viable three-point threat. Udrih’s 43 percent shooting from the field is slightly below his career average, but the guard is making a career-high 41 percent of his attempts from long distance in 2013-14. He isn’t a three-point specialist by any means, but is proving to be very capable from there this year.
Lastly, Udrih also has some postseason experience in three seasons with the Spurs. His stats (particularly, his 33 percent shooting) are underwhelming, but with 36 playoff games to his credit, he does at least have some playoff experience.
Udrih wouldn’t command much in a trade, so any potential team probably won’t need to give up that much for him. It’s possible a team out of contention for the postseason might have some interest, but the bet here is that playoff teams will be the ones gunning for him. As we’ve covered here recently, Miami and Golden State are two teams looking for guard help. Udrih would fit in with both of teams well, providing some help off the bench.
Based on his request, an Udrih deal seems all but guaranteed before the deadline.