Seriously, I'm getting the Photoshop on my laptop this week, so I can put the right faces on these guys:
According to Mitch Lawrence, Donnie Walsh has a "handshake agreement with the Knicks on a three-year, $15 million contract to come home and rebuild the Knicks". Sounds good.
Then he adds that there is a possibility that Walsh will keep Isiah Thomas on as head coach. It's apparently a strong enough possibility that Lawrence both headlines his column with it, and spends most of the column trying to argue against it. Even if you think it seems unlikely, keep these two things in mind: One, owner James Dolan owes Isiah another three years and $18-21 million, so he's going to have to decide whether to eat that cost or not. Dolan might just not want to. And two, Donnie Walsh is the only GM to hire Isiah Thomas as a coach besides Isiah himself. They have a good relationship, going back to their time in Indiana. So... it's not that unlikely that Walsh might keep Isiah on, or that it may even be part of the conditions that he is/was hired under.
But here's the part of Lawrence's article that really threw me for a loop, near the end:
Walsh will need some help to get the Knicks turned around, and is expected to hire a new general manger. Denver's Mark Warkentien is widely regarded as his No.1 choice, but is under contract with the Nuggets. Former Sixers GM Billy King is also held in high esteem by Walsh.Awesome! Yes, let's bring in Billy King as GM. That's tremendous. I'm going to pause now and recap what we Knick fans might be looking at:
Head Coach: Isiah Thomas. His reputation as GM/coach, while I feel a bit misleading, is well known. Particularly since he bares a large chunk of responsibility for the current salary cap situation by signing or trading for the following overpaid players: Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, Jerome James, and Jared Jeffries. We'll give him a bye on Stephon Marbury, because he was worth close to what he was getting paid at the time of the trade.
GM: Billy King, the man responsible for some of the worst salary cap management ever during his stint as the Philly 76ers' GM:
- King traded for a washed-up Chris Webber and his $20 million a year contract, which actually outlasted Webber himself in the NBA - Webber retired yesterday (two seasons after getting cut from the 76ers), while his $20 million contract is still on Philly's cap until the end of the season.
- He's sign some pretty bad contracts of his own - see Samuel Dalembert, Kyle Korver, and Kenny Thomas' contracts for examples.
- He also traded second-year budding star Larry Hughes and Bruce Bowen for a washed-up Toni Kukoc.
- Somehow found a way to waste the talents of one of the best guards ever (Allen Iverson), a Hall of Fame player who, in his peak, somehow willed his team to 50 wins a Finals berth despite his second best player being a washed up Mutumbo. Then, because of all his bad trades and bad contracts (particularly the Webber one), he had no choice but to trade away the best player on his team for next to nothing!
- Jermaine O'Neal, a guy who can only stay healthy for about 50 games a year, is getting paid $20 million a season until 2010.
- Jamaal Tinsley, a point guard who, at his best, is maybe the 16th best guard in the league, is getting $7 million a year until 2011!
- Thanks to the Pacers' dump trade of Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington, they got stuck with two of the worst contracts in the league - Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, both of whom will get over $10 million a year until 2011.
- Dumped Ron Artest at his lowest value (there were times they could have moved him, even after the Fight at Auburn Hills, for a little more) for a washed up Peja Stojanovic, who they let walk at the end of the season as a free agent. No sign and trade, no draft picks or young players acquired in either the Artest dump nor the follow-up free agency of Peja. In fact, it says a lot that this deal is considered the worst move of the past three years, and not the trade that landed Murphy and Dunleavy.
Anyway, this is all pure speculation. I find the local press more humorous than anything else. The reality is they have no clue whether Donnie Walsh is really on his way or if he's just using the Knicks to get a better offer from the Milwaukee Bucks. They have no idea if Isiah Thomas is going or staying. They have no idea if Billy King is really a possibility, or if that's just another name being pushed by his agent. And, of course, neither do I. So until we all know for sure what's going on, I going to try to sit back and enjoy the show. Because this is actually pretty entertaining...
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I don't care where he started, Isiah has a 23-win season, 33-win season, and now probably another low 20's win total under his belt with a payroll way over the luxury tax each year. They weren't this bad before he came on board when the Eastern Conference was more competitive. Not only have his results been just pitiful, he's also put them in a position where they won't have cap space for at least 2 more years. This is, without a doubt, the worst job any GM has ever done, in any sport. McHale is garbage, but at least he has Al Jefferson, cap space and picks to show for it. What do the Knicks have?
Don't get me wrong. Bringing Billy King in would be a mistake, but he isn't going to make them any worse off than they are right now. Anyone would be an improvement, even McHale.
Instead of trading Marbury, let it expire. If you take on somebody else who has 2 years left you are going to lose 40 million dollars.
Instead of wasting the money, just it for something useful like just buying draft picks. I know no one really does it, but I think you can. I know the Blazers have come out and just bought picks in the past.
Call up Steve Kerr and offer him 5 million for the Hawks' 1st rounder and he will bite probably.
Isn't Lebron going to Jay Z's Nets anyway??
I believe the Sixers got the better of the deal. We won't come to an agreement here I think. I don't consider Steve Nash a top 5 point guard either to be fair. I think people undervalue size at the guard position and overvalue size at the forward position.