Carroll used to work out with Knicks coach Derek Fisher in Southern California, which is the reason for the interest. Carroll, in a contract year, had the best NBA season of his career, posting averages of 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
He also built a reputation has being a strong defender. Carroll is coming off knee and turf toe injuries that he played through during this past NBA Eastern Conference finals.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carroll was also dealing with turf toe, an injury that normallly take three to four weeks to heal. Carroll told the AJC that he was unable to do much with his left leg.
"That’s why I kept getting shots blocked,” Carroll said.
After scoring 25 in the series-clinching win over the Wizards on May 15, Carroll only scored a combined 28 points in four games against the Cavaliers.
Carroll is hitting the free-agent market after this season and could be in line for a big contract. However, if he re-injures the knee, Carroll could see his pricetag drop this offseason.
However, given that the Hawks are in the Eastern Conference finals, Carroll would rather fight the pain and go for a championship than worry about his contract championship.
“I’ve been getting a million calls and emails about me, why am I there, this might be the biggest contract of my life," Carroll said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz. "But at the end of the day this game isn’t promised to you. So whenever you’ve got an opportunity to play basketball, a lot of people say it’s bigger than money and it feels like that to me. I cherish this game and I want to be out there fighting, and if I have to fight on one leg, I’m gonna fight on one leg. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by. Eastern Conference finals, playing against LeBron James. I don’t care if I have to do it on one leg, I’ll hobble out there.”
The Hawks trail the Cavs in the series 0-2.
Carroll had to be helped off the court during the opener after taking a hard fall. A serious knee injury appeared likely, but he was diagnosed only with a bone bruise. Still, he was clearly not 100 percent and trying to hang with LeBron James on the court has a way of making knees not feel so good.
"I got out there, so I must've felt good," he said via cleveland.com. "But when you're a little kid, you dream of an opportunity to play in the Eastern Conference finals and playing against one of the best players in the world. I didn't care if I had one leg, I wasn't going to let his opportunity pass me by."
Carroll, however, expressed disappointment at the team effort, which inexplicably given the circumstances, was lacking.
"I don't know, man. I think we just came out flat," he said. "How does that happen? I don't know."
Carroll sustained a left knee sprain during the Game 1 loss Wednesday and he was considered a game-time decision Friday.
The Hawks are 3-point favorites over the Cavaliers on Friday.
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