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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Report: Baron Davis to sign with Knicks

The New York Knicks may have missed out on one former All-Star Hornets point guard, but it looks like they’ll soon land another.


It’s been a long time since Baron Davis has played on a winning team, but things are looking up. (Amy Sancetta - AP)
Baron Davis, who spent the first six seasons of his 12-year career with the Hornets franchise and finished last season in Cleveland, has agreed to sign with the Knicks, according to a report from ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley.

The 32-year-old averaged 13.1 points and 6.7 assists per game for the Clippers and Cavaliers last season and would replace recently-waived Chauncey Billups as a veteran backcourt presence to facilitate the Knicks’ offense.

Sources close to Billups told Begley the one-year deal is worth $2.5 million, but Davis’ health will determine whether it’s a shrewd move. The Cavaliers expect Davis to miss eight to 10 weeks with a bulging disc in his back.

Injuries have hampered Davis in recent seasons and he has only twice eclipsed 65 games since 2003-04. Cleveland used the league’s new amnesty clause to waive Davis and save themselves $28 million against the cap over the next two seasons.

Still the prospect of adding another point guard option to complement 25-year-old Toney Douglas and 33-year-old Mike Bibby had Carmelo Anthony excited.

“Everybody knows what he can do when he’s healthy and when he’s focused.” Anthony said. “When BD is healthy, he’s one of the best.”

No teams with salary cap space chose to bid on Davis before he cleared waivers, and the proposed deal would exhaust what the Knicks are capable of shelling out under the “mini” mid-level exception for luxury-tax teams.

The move from a 19-win team to a serious playoff contender should come as a welcome change for Davis, whose last postseason run came during Golden State’s stunning first-round upset of the top-seeded Mavericks in 2006-07.

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By  |  10:34 AM ET, 12/19/2011

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