Knicks Acquire Marcus Camby and Re-Sign Steve Novak

They acquired 38-year-old in a sign-and-trade deal with the , with Camby agreeing to a three-year, $13.2 million contract, $10 million of which is guaranteed. The Rockets will receive Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan and second-round picks in 2014 and 2015. The Knicks also sent the Rockets $2 million.

The deal came hours after the Knicks re-signed Steve Novak to a $15 million guaranteed, four-year deal. Both Camby and Novak will sign their contracts when the N.B.A. lifts its signings moratorium at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Last season, Camby averaged 4.9 points and 9 rebounds in 59 games with the Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Camby, who played for the Knicks from 1998-2002, averaged 10.4 points and 8 rebounds during their run to the finals in the 1998-99 season. With Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and the newly obtained Jason Kidd, Camby believes the Knicks have enough players to contend for a championship.

“He’s always been a Knick at heart,” said a person involved in the negotiations. “This was a great opportunity to return to a city and fans he loves.”

Camby met with the Knicks on Sunday in Houston, a day after he declined to meet with the rival Miami Heat.

The Nets and the Dallas Mavericks were also interested in Camby.

The person involved in the negotiations said Camby talked with Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald and Allan Houston, the assistant general manager who played with Camby in 1998-99. Coach Mike Woodson was also in the discussions.

Camby, still contemplating all of his options, wrote a Twitter post Monday: “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….”

In the end, Camby felt most comfortable with Knicks management.

“Glen Grunwald and Allan played a big role,” the person briefed on the negotiations said. The Knicks will use Camby to back up Tyson Chandler, who was the defensive player of the year last season. Before the deal was struck, Chandler said he would welcome Camby if he came to the Knicks.

“I need a backup, and I think he would be great in that position,” Chandler said Monday. “He’ll be a great addition who can rebound and still finish around the basket.”

Chandler also appreciated that the Knicks secured Novak.

“I’m glad he’s coming back,” Chandler said. “For him to have the success he had last year and be rewarded is great. He’s the best shooter in the game.”

Once a seldom-used player, Novak found his way into the rotation last season as a 3-point specialist.

As much as Knicks fans enjoyed the sudden rise of Jeremy Lin, they also were enthralled with Novak, 29, who finished the season as the N.B.A. leader in 3-point accuracy, at 47.2 percent, having made 133 of 282 attempts. His crisp shooting kept defenses honest and the driving lanes open for Lin.

“This is where he wanted to be,” said Mark Bartelstein, Novak’s agent. “He wanted to be back in New York.”

Novak improved under the former coach Mike D’Antoni. He took on an even bigger role once Lin started in February.

Before D’Antoni resigned, Novak averaged 8.3 points. Under Woodson, he averaged 9.3.

The Knicks were able to keep Novak with relative ease after an arbitrator ruled that Novak, along with Lin, was entitled to his early Bird rights since the Knicks claimed him off waivers in December. The players union’s victory allowed the Knicks to have the flexibility in payroll to re-sign Novak.

“Without us winning the arbitration case,” Bartelstein said, “it would have been almost impossible for them to re-sign Steve.”

Steve Nash Heads to Lakers, Leaving Knicks in Lurch

The Phoenix Suns, despite some reservations about sending their star point guard to a division rival, agreed to a sign-and-trade deal. According to reports, Nash will receive $27 million over three years. His agent, Bill Duffy, said that Nash wanted to be closer to his children, who live in Phoenix.

The will receive two first-round picks (in 2013 and 2015) and two second-round picks (in 2013 and 2014) and a trade exception that the Lakers received in the Lamar Odom trade in December. The exemption made the deal work under salary cap rules.

The deal leaves the still searching for a veteran hand to stabilize their offense and to mentor Jeremy Lin, their promising 23-year-old point guard.

Nash, 38, has a home in the West Village and spends his summers in New York. But the Knicks were always a long shot to land him because of salary-cap constraints and a dearth of tradable assets. Their only chance was to acquire him via sign-and-trade. They made a hard push, offering a trade package built around Iman Shumpert and a bunch of minor players with expiring contracts.

Losing Nash increases the pressure on the Knicks to re-sign Lin, who was courted Wednesday by the Houston Rockets. The Rockets were expected to offer Lin a backloaded contract that could be worth more than $25 million over up to four seasons. The Knicks can match any offer to Lin because he is a restricted free agent.

The Knicks are also hoping to land Jason Kidd, although they are limited to offering the $3.09 million exception. Kidd could earn much more by staying with the Mavericks, who may be motivated to pay him after losing Deron Williams (to the Nets) and Nash on consecutive days.

The Raptors offered Nash a deal worth a reported $36 million over three years. The Mavericks could have offered just as much. The Knicks would have paid him about $25 million over three seasons in a sign-and-trade deal, though it would have cost them Shumpert, their best young prospect and their best perimeter defender.

To make the deal work under salary-cap rules and to give Nash a starting salary around $8.3 million, the Knicks would have sent Phoenix nearly every minor player available, including Toney Douglas, Dan Gadzuric, Jerome Jordan and Josh Harrellson, as well as Shumpert. The Knicks lost Landry Fields as a potential trading chip when he reached a handshake agreement with the Raptors on a three-year, $20 million offer sheet. The Knicks could have given Fields up to $5.3 million in starting salary in the sign-and-trade deal, which would have allowed them to offer Nash a bigger contract.

Fields averaged 9 points and 4 rebounds a game last season, numbers that declined from his rookie year.

Fields is expected to sign Toronto’s offer sheet once the N.B.A. moratorium is lifted on Wednesday. The Knicks will have three days to match the offer — though they have not given any signs they will — but they cannot use Fields in a sign-and-trade deal once he signs it.

Acquiring a veteran point guard like Kidd would give Lin time to develop. Lin became a sensation in February and had some brilliant moments, but he has started just 25 games in the league and remains an unproven commodity over a full season. He averaged 15 points and 6 assists in 35 games with the Knicks after they claimed him off waivers from the Rockets.

The Knicks have made it clear throughout the off-season that re-signing Lin is a top priority for two reasons: his improved play and his highly profitable marketability in New York.

On Wednesday morning, the Knicks reached an agreement on an offer sheet for a one-year deal with James White, who spent the last three years playing overseas. White, who was drafted in the second round in 2006, will make the league minimum of $854,000.

The signing of White was the Knicks’ first indication that they were prepared to start replacing their backcourt.

White, who is 6 feet 7 inches, has played the past two seasons in Italy’s Serie A league, the country’s highest professional level. He averaged 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists last season for VL Pesaro.

White, 29, said he planned to be a valued role player for the Knicks. “I’m not coming in to be a guy who doesn’t play,” he said. “I think I have the ability to contribute a lot and to make everyone around me better.”

Besides Lin and Fields, the Knicks are still hoping to re-sign Steve Novak and J. R. Smith. Novak retained his early Bird rights last week, which allows the Knicks to re-sign him for up to $5.3 million. Smith declined his option with the team last month, but he hopes to return for close to $3 million.

Rebounds

The Nets are reworking the contract of Mirza Teletovic to maintain cap flexibility and to keep alive their faint hopes of landing Dwight Howard. Teletovic agreed in principle Tuesday to sign for the $5 million midlevel exception. By rule, a team using the midlevel must abide by a hard cap of $74 million, which would virtually eliminate the Nets’ chance of acquiring Howard, and perhaps preclude them from re-signing Kris Humphries. At the Nets’ request, Teletovic and his agent returned to the table and were moving toward a new agreement for the mini-midlevel of $3.09 million.

N.B.A. Playoffs: Stoudemire a Maybe for the Knicks

Jeremy Lin, the only N.B.A. player to make Time magazine’s list of the practiced in relative anonymity. He will not play Sunday in the fourth game of the Knicks’ opening-round series against the Miami Heat. The Heat lead the best-of-seven series, three games to none. The Knicks have lost an N.B.A.-record 13 straight playoff games.

Coach Mike Woodson said the Knicks would probably make a game-time decision on Amar’e Stoudemire, who was on the losing end of a confrontation with a fire extinguisher case after Game 2 on Monday. Woodson discussed the option of starting J. R. Smith in place of Steve Novak if Stoudemire did not play. In practice, Stoudemire tested his injured hand, shooting the ball and running some offensive sets.

“He looked pretty good out here on the floor, but again, it’s not my decision,” Woodson said of Stoudemire.

Tyson Chandler said: “He looked O.K. But I don’t know, honestly, because I don’t know what his hand feels like. I didn’t see him grimace or anything catching passes, but at the end of the day, I don’t know how it’s going to react.”

Stoudemire and Chandler each took a young son to practice. The two fathers and their sons shot baskets together in a happy scene that belied the Knicks’ grim prospects.

Still, the team’s players and coaches discussed the things they can do in Game 4 to finally beat the Heat.

“I felt like our defense stepped up,” Chandler said of Game 3, adding, “It’s hard to say that you get confidence from a loss.”

Woodson praised the lineup (Smith, Landry Fields, Josh Harrellson, Jared Jeffries and Mike Bibby) that gave the Heat a difficult time in Game 3. The group, heavy on hustle and physicality, ran off an 8-1 spurt early in the second quarter.

“I didn’t get back to that,” Woodson said. “We didn’t get back to Josh Harrellson, but it’s something I’ve got to look closely at because that second unit, we were able to outplay their second unit.”

But with the end probably near, some players were in a reflective mood.

“We had great expectations for this team this year,” Chandler said.

“It’s been fun,” Carmelo Anthony said. “It’s been up and down, but for the most part, I don’t regret my decision to come here.”

Novak said, “It has been one of those years where we’ve won eight in a row, lost eight in a row.”

He added: “It’s been a very interesting year, not the easiest, especially when you’re trying to come together as one unit and it’s always changing.”

Anthony, who is 0-7 in the playoffs as a Knick, said: “Not winning at all, it hurts. I feel that. I go home at night, I think about that. But right now, my focus is for tomorrow. Them three games is behind us; tomorrow’s all we got.”

As Anthony spoke, players from the W.N.B.A’s Liberty had taken the floor, which now belonged to a team with unlimited prospects.