Source: Camby to play until '15, then coach

Could Marcus Camby follow in Bill Cartwright, Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed and Herb Williams' path as former Knicks centers turned NBA coaches?

Marcus Camby

Marcus Camby

#23 C
Toronto Raptors

2013 STATS

  • GM24
  • PPG1.8

  • RPG3.3

  • APG0.6

  • FG%.321

  • FT%.421

That's the plan for Camby, according to a source close to the 39-year-old big man.

"He wants to play two more years and then move into coaching," the source said. "He would likely start out as an assistant, as many [former players] do, but someday he'd be a great head coach. He has a very high basketball IQ."

One team Camby can't sign with until next summer is the Knicks, per CBA trade rules, which state that a former player can't be reacquired by that team for one full calendar year. Last week, Camby, along with Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson (via a sign-and-trade) and three future draft picks, was traded to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani.

However, Camby doesn't want to play in Toronto, but rather for a team that's "a contender," according to the source. The source said "a buyout [with the Raptors] is in the works and should be finalized before the end of the week."

Chicago, Houston (where Camby played in 2011-12 and has his main offseason residence), the L.A. Clippers, and Miami are "the front-runners" to land him. The Heat were in pursuit of him last summer, but as he prepared to fly down to South Beach, his heart was set on returning to his former team, the Knicks.

The source said after the buyout is finalized, Camby will then meet with those four teams.

"His decision will be fairly quick," the source said. "He's not ruling out the [veteran's] minimum, but if a team shows a bigger commitment, that could make a difference."

In his 17-year NBA career, Camby, the 2006-07 Defensive Player of the Year, has averaged 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He's just 31 blocks from passing Hall of Famer Robert Parish and becoming 10th on the all-time list (Parish has 2,361).

Regarding the Knicks, they are still in the market for a backup big man, and the source confirmed Kenyon Martin is still in the picture. He would have to sign for the vet's minimum.

"Kenyon is a possibility," a player source told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday.

Last season, Mike Woodson elected to go with smaller lineups, in favor of Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton in the backcourt, and Carmelo Anthony at power forward. Perhaps if K-Mart returns, Woodson will be intrigued to play him behind Tyson Chandler at times, and then rotate Anthony, Bargnani and Amar'e Stoudemire in the frontcourt.

DALEMBERT UPDATE: The Mavericks have reached a verbal agreement with free-agent big man Samuel Dalembert to be their new starting center, according to sources close to the process. The Knicks were interested, but they didn't have the financial means -- only the vet's minimum -- and Dalembert had an opportunity for more playing time.

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