Quick update on the Knicks. 

First off:
If Jim Dolan was involved, I'm betting this house will fall apart in 2-3 years...Found that via Son of Dippin', who had this classic caption: "That's lead paint".

Watched last night's game against the Wizards... here's pretty much all you have to know:

  • Eddy Curry is definitely on his way out.  Isiah Thomas has decided that only one of the Zach Randolph/Eddy Curry duo is going to play, and it appears to be Randolph.  It's actually the right call, in the end.  Randolph scores, rebounds, and has a nice passing touch (not reflected in his assists numbers).  He just needs to be quicker in his decision making right now. 
  • The Randolph-Nate Robinson "fight" in the fourth quarter... check it out below (I was too lazy to upload it myself, though I will be getting a PCTV stick soon, so I can upload clearer You Tube videos... no more pointing the camera at the TV, baby):


Okay, I'm not going to lie... while I find that all too embarrassing, I do enjoy Zach Randolph's flinching like he was getting shot when Nate Robinson tossed a towel at his head!

  • Despite trailing most of the fourth (and most of the game), the Knicks crawled back into it late in the fourth quarter.  Twice.  Once, an 8-0 spurt closed the margin to 81-80 Wizards.  Then, after the Wizards went up 89-82, the Knicks again came back, and forced overtime.  In the overtime the Knicks just caught fire, scored 23 points, and won handily. 
Posting and Toasting has a more detailed recap of last night's game right here.

The larger point, if you care about the Knicks:  they beat a bad team, and continue to play well in general, as they have over the past month.  Since, in fact, Isiah Thomas decide to put the guys on the court that would put effort up every night, and got rid of Marbury and diminished Curry's role on the team.  Take what you will from that.
************
ESPN's Chris Sheridan is reporting that "a source" that claims a possible three-way trade is in the works, with the Knicks getting Vince Carter, the Heat getting Eddy Curry, and the Nets getting more expiring contracts. 

This sounds like the kind of rumors that people throw up as the trade deadline approaches with the goal of attracting an audience.  But here's an interesting sentence in this article that caught my eye:

"The Knicks have discussed several Carter trade possibilities with the Nets, including, in December, one scenario that the Knicks turned down because it would have cost them Jamal Crawford."

Word?  The Knicks turned down a trade for Carter earlier this season because it would have cost them Crawford?  Why do they need both?  I guess the Knicks envision Carter as their answer at the SF position, teamed with Crawford and whoever is running the point (Nate Robinson).  Hmm.

As for the actual possibility of trading Curry for Carter... I don't think it's enough, but setting that aside:  It wouldn't be a bad trade for Isiah and the Knicks.  Curry seems more and more like he's not part of the future here (the way the Knicks are treating him, you would think Jerome James will move ahead of him in the depth chart soon!); Carter would (in theory) solve their SF.  Contract-wise they have the same number of years left: they are both signed until 2011.  Vince Carter has a team option for 2012.  Carter's contract is about $6-7 million more per year than Curry's.  I guess the Knicks have decided they will not get under the salary cap anytime soon, so why bother?

It makes sense, in that Kobe is no longer an option in 2009.  But in 2010... I still think LeBron (and others) is worth trying to get under the cap for.  Well, maybe the Knicks are hoping LeBron will wait until 2011 to opt out of his contract?  And realistically, once they traded Steve Francis for Zach Randolph this past offseason, their hopes of getting under the cap enough to sign LeBron in 2010 went south.  So the extra $6-7 million isn't going to make a difference. 

The Knicks... "We'll planning to make our move... in 2011".


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4 Comments

Comments

[February 20, 2008 2:14 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ben said

Isiah has made plenty of crappy moves, but this one would take the cake. Vince Carter is a complete disaster. He doesn’t play defense, is a baby/clubhouse cancer, has a diminishing offensive game and above all is selfish with the ball and would further stunt the growh of the younger Knicks players.

I don't understand how Isiah would prefer Vince over expiring contracts in a Curry deal. We have our freaking first round pick back finally and could land a top 5 pick this year. If we build around a core of Nate, Craw, Lee, Zach and top 5 pick and stand pat, we can bring in a quaility guy in the summer of 09 with that cap space - it isn't necessairily Lebron or bust.

We have stunk for years, another 2 with some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of cap flexibility and watching a young team wouldnt hurt!


[February 20, 2008 2:55 PM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

Hey Ben, thanks for the comment.

I don't understand how Isiah would prefer Vince over expiring contracts in a Curry deal.

I don't disagree with you. I think expiring contracts would be great, I just don't think they are really possible. But I guess your argument is why not trade Curry straight up to the Heat for expiring contracts, instead of going via NJ for Carter... if that's the case, then I see your point. Personally, I don't think one is guaranteed a better plan than the other; I find both equally appealing and risky. All I want to know at this point is what is the Knicks' plan? Improve the team via trades, or rebuild via trades (and cap space)?

We have our freaking first round pick back finally and could land a top 5 pick this year. If we build around a core of Nate, Craw, Lee, Zach and top 5 pick and stand pat, we can bring in a quaility guy in the summer of 09 with that cap space - it isn't necessairily Lebron or bust.

A couple of thoughts - one, even if we got rid of Curry's entire salary, for expiring contracts, and did nothing else... we would be at $47,789,100 committed to the 2009-2010 season. That's without picking up the options on Renaldo Balkman, Wilson Chandler, and Mardy Collins. Let's presume we don't need Collins. Balkman + Chandler = $3.2 million more. So we are at $51 million now.

David Lee and Nate Robinson are still missing. Are we extending them? You said in your comment "yes", so let's add say... another $10 million to the number, because Lee is going to cost at least $6 million a year (and perhaps, as I fear, far more), and Nate is at least a $4 million player. Those are extremely underestimates.

And our top-5 player is going to cost at least $2-4 million in 2009-2010, depending on which slot he's taken in.

We're not under the cap that year. Not unless we get a taker for Curry and one of these contracts: Jerome James (not happening), Jared Jeffries (20% chance at best), Jamal Crawford (not worth giving away), Q-Rich (uninsurable, probably less than 10% chance we can get rid of him without taking a worse contract back), or Zach Randolph (we might be able to trade him for some cap space, but I don't know if we can erase his entire amount from the cap).

We would have to get rid of both Curry and Randolph for contracts that expire in 2009 to have a chance at signing a free agent. That's a tough task.

This is part of my "You can only get under the cap when your worst contracts expire" theory. Like the Nuggets, who aren't sniffing salary cap freedom until Nene and K-Mart come off the books, so they might has well keep signing Allen Iverson.

Or the Nets... to be continued...

[February 21, 2008 10:31 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ben said

Hey SML,

In my agitated state (I wrote that after facing the realization that Vince Carter might actually end up in a Knick uniform) I messed up a key point in my comment.

I am firmly entrenched in the camp of just losing for the next 3 years, drafting well over the next 2 and getting after free agents in the summer of 2010 (I mistakenly said 2009 in my prior comment) when Q and Jerome James are finally off the payroll.

Also the more I consider the potential money it would take to resign DLee, I have to side with you in considering trading him in the offseason. Given that I want a total overhaul, a trade that would bring us back a good pick or cheap young back court talent makes plenty of sense.

Either way you look at it tho, whether you are adding vince or building cap space, we are screwed for the forseeable future!

[February 21, 2008 11:18 AM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

Ben: Yep, agree with you. I'm not entrenched too firmly in either camp - I honestly don't know which would be better for the Knicks. Losing for three years while letting the contracts expire and lottery picks pour in sounds good on paper, but it doesn't always work out so well in real life. It took the Bulls like 7 years of sub-25 win seasons to get decent, and even then their window seems to have closed before they even got a chance to make it to the Conference Finals.

Of course, we know rebuilding on the fly isn't guaranteed to work either, as we have seen over the past four years. The Knicks have been in a bad situation for the past four years, and yes, I think it will likely continue that way for the next three years. It's just not our decade....

That being said, while I would root for Vince Carter if he was a Knick, I also would rather not have that happen. Let's leave him on the Nets. I'm sure there are other high priced SGs out there with bad contracts that we can aim for...


Spring Training 08






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