So far this offseason, Glen Grunwald and the New York Knicks have been under fire for their work in free agency, with the age of some of the Knicks’ free-agent signings causing some concern amongst their fans.
Of the Knicks’ new signings, four of them—Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Kurt Thomas—are all over the age of 35, making them some of the oldest players in the NBA.
Not only that, but after letting impressive young star Jeremy Lin leave for the Houston Rockets, the Knicks have only two players under the age of 28 on the entire roster: J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.
But despite all this, age really isn’t as big a problem for the Knicks as it’s made out to be.
The main reason for this is that the Knicks aren’t asking for too much out of their older players.
Prigioni and Thomas may not even be in the rotation at all next season (at least until injuries come around), and the Knicks will not have a single player over 30 in the starting lineup.
The majority of the Knicks’ most important players are still in their prime, and will be the major contributors in a championship run.
Of the Knicks’ older players, it will likely be Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby who get the most minutes, but they’ve shown that despite their age—both are over 38—they are still very much capable of playing big minutes in the NBA.
Just last season, Kidd was a starter on a playoff team, playing 29 minutes per game and looking comfortable doing so.
In New York, with Raymond Felton ahead of him, Kidd will have his minutes reduced to about 20 per game, which he should be perfectly fine with considering his great physical condition.
Like Kidd, Camby was a starter for the majority of last season, and one of the things he was looking for this offseason was a starting role.
Of course, Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler will be starting for the Knicks, but that only makes things easier for the aging Camby, who is definitely capable of handling a backup’s minutes.
When you’re durable and in great physical condition, age really is nothing but a number, and it looks like this will be the case with Camby and Kidd coming off the bench.
There are plenty of younger players around the league who’ve been ravaged by injury—or who simply aren’t in great physical condition—that can’t play to the same level of some of the Knicks’ older players.
The Knicks are in win-now mode, and as long as they can stay healthy, age really shouldn’t hamper them as they continue their search for their first title in 40 years.
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