Bruce Bowen was just released by the Milwaukee Bucks. He fell victim to a bad team making a move purely for salary cap space. Now it's being said that the 37-year old swingman will most likely not go back to San Antonio -- the place where Bowen made his name known. Now he's a free agent, waiting for any offers to roll in.
The New York Knicks have an abundance of forwards, most notably, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. Those two youngsters will no doubt get the most minutes. Al Harrington and Larry Hughes will get time there too. But what that group lacks is lockdown defense and a championship pedigree.
As a team moving forward, the Knicks aren't expected to make any huge jumps in the standings within the next two years. The group of young players hasn't proven itself yet. Hell, we don't even know if it's complete with David Lee still out on the market. But even with Lee, the group would improve immeasurably if Bruce Bowen was part of the team. Having that stable veteran with 3 NBA titles under his belt will make an impression upon the kids.
Bowen clearly didn't make his name as the leading scorer. His career-best is 8.2 points per game. But -- as cliche as it sounds -- he did all the little things. Hard work, diligence and intelligence are evident in Bowen's game. He can stress the significance of team basketball displayed in San Antonio. He'd be like an extra coach. New York doesn't have that type of presence on their roster -- not since the exit of Malik Rose.
The other thing Bowen brings is a ruthless, underhanded nature. He's not the most athletic player, but Bruce Bowen always ends up guarding the Kobe Bryant's and Carmelo Anthony's of the NBA. Why? Because he plays semi-dirty, pesky defense and is known to slip in some blows now and again.
I hearken back to the series against New Orleans where Bowen threw a forearm shot to the injured back of David West. That knocked West out of the game and helped the Spurs win the series. That type of attitude is reminiscent of the Knicks teams of the 90's.
I'm not suggesting that Bruce Bowen alone would bring a title to NY, but it's a step in the right direction. I wouldn't recommend signing him to anything more than a 2-year deal worth very little money. But an off-season with Bowen, David Lee and Ramon Sessions all signed would make the Knicks more appealing to upcoming free agents.