Marcus Camby interested in joining the Knicks

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A source close to Marcus Camby told ESPNNewYork.com that the unrestricted free agent would be interested in returning to the Knicks.

Camby, 38, played for the Knicks from 1998 to 2002. Camby has also played for the Raptors, Nuggets, Clippers, Blazers and, most recently, the Rockets.

Knicks could use a veteran big man off the bench who changes the game on defense. Camby is a four-time blocks leader who was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. He could be open to the team’s mid-level exception of $3.09 million. That will be available only if the Knicks sign-and-trade for a free-agent point guard, which is No. 1 priority on their list because they’re the weakest at that position on the depth chart.

If the Knicks sign a top free-agent point guard to the mid-level amount, the source would be “shocked” if Camby accepts the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million. The 16-year veteran could likely command more than $3.09 million, because he earned roughly $11.2 million in 2011-12 with the Blazers and Rockets, and he is still serviceable. Missing only seven regular-season games last season, he averaged 4.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

Camby’s priority is to be a starter, which wouldn’t happen in New York with Tyson Chandler holding down the middle. However, the Knicks would certainly be considered because Camby wants to compete and win, and the team is in the position to do that next season. Camby’s agent has been receiving calls about where his client will play  next season but a decision won’t be rushed. Camby is on vacation until this weekend.

“There are a lot of different options and scenarios. It’s wait-and-see mode right now,” the source said. “But Marcus loved playing in New York, and one of his favorite times in the NBA was in New York.”

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