The buyout of Jared Jeffries with the Rockets became official Friday and he was placed on waivers, according to two NBA sources.
If Jeffries clears waivers, it won't be until Tuesday, when the Knicks plan to swoop in.
Jeffries (6-11) is one of Mike D'Antoni's big favorites, and Donnie Walsh and the Knicks coach feel he can solidify the weakened interior defense that was left bereft of size from the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Speaking before facing the Cavaliers in Cleveland, D'Antoni confirmed the Knicks' interest and said Walsh is working to do "what's best available."
"He's a winner," D'Antoni said of Jeffries. "He played well with us."
Jeffries was in the Knicks starting frontcourt last season before they traded him to Houston last February for more salary-cap space. His departure last season ruined the Knicks on the defensive end, as they were miserable after the trade.
Jeffries is in the last year of his contract and will make about $6.9 million this season. He appeared in 18 games this season (none after Feb. 2) and never found a place in coach Rick Adelman's rotation after joining the Rockets.
Walsh is mulling signing two big men to give the roster more size after losing Timofey Mozgov and Anthony Randolph in the 'Melo deal. Former Knicks center Earl Barron is still on the radar.