Knicks interested in Gani Lawal, according to agent

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Gani Lawal's agent says that the Knicks are interested in the 24-year-old big man, who's currently playing very well for Virtus Roma in the top Italian league.

The New York Knicks are interested in former Suns big man Gani Lawal, according to a report from ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling.

Lawal's agent, Dan Curtin, says that the Knicks will likely work out the 24-year-old after he finishes up his season with Virtus Roma in the top division of the Italian league. Lawal has flourished in Italy this season, averaging 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while leading Virtus Roma deep into the playoffs. Curtin feels this strong performance should earn Lawal a minimum contract in the NBA next season.

Lawal has three workouts confirmed so far with the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors, with five more expected, including with the Knicks. Lawal does have a connection with the Knicks, as he played with Iman Shumpert at George Tech.

Like Shumpert, Lawal has had to deal with a lengthy rehab after tearing his ACL. Lawal suffered the injury on January 6, 2011 and has not played in the NBA since, spending time in Poland, China, France and now Italy. Shumpert said Lawal reached out to him after the Knicks guard tore his ACL in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

While an ACL tear is a devastating injury, Lawal believes that it actually may have helped his career:

"To me, it was actually a blessing because I got a chance to really appreciate the game," he said. "I did re-change my body. I'm stronger than I've ever been at 245 pounds, 5 percent body fat, my vertical is five inches higher -- I've got a 41-inch vertical now -- and all the testing for the combine after my rehab, all my numbers were better. So I'm just a more finely-tuned athlete physically on the floor now."

Lawal and Shumpert have talked about reuniting in New York, and Lawal would provide some of the ingredients that were missing against the Pacers in this year's postseason. The Knicks were thin up front due to all the injuries to the bigs, and the 6'9 Lawal is a big, athletic body who likes to mix it up and play physical.

New York has had success finding solid players overseas, with Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland proving to be nice finds. Lawal could be the next guy to add to that list.

More from SB Nation:

George Karl "unsettled" with Nuggets, could leave for Clippers

Grant Hill retires as a model for future stars

Why Tyson Chandler still matters

How Paul George got to this point

The Halfy Hour: Best NBA fights ever

NBA mock draft 2013: Going away from the consensus | SB Nation's Big Board

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.