David Weighs In On The Knicks SFs
It takes hours to read all the emails from my million or so adoring fans. This one comes from Dr. David Crockett Assistant Professor of Marketing, part-time KnickerBlogger and avid hoops fan.
As I said before, had the Knicks bought Anderson out this summer they’d probably have gotten a better bargain by giving him more flexibility in signing elsewhere. Nevertheless, it’s always a good sign when your leader recognizes a bad situation and gets out of it before things get worse.
You hit the nail on the head – the willingness for this Knicks regime to make changes. Before Isiah, the Knicks would have stayed pat with guys like Shanderson. For two years it was the same 30-something win team with little change. Even when Layden had created some excitement in the draft with Sweetney, Lampe and Vranes, he couldn’t get rid of dead weight like Othella Harrington & Weatherspoon to give them any playing time.
As I understand it, Shanderson comes off our cap now, right? If so, the cap space going forward is the most valuable commodity that’s been gained.
Sorry the KnickerBlogger staff capologist is vacationing in Greenland right now, so I’m not 100% sure about this. As far as I can tell, Shanderson’s salary still counts against the cap. If another team signs him, the Knicks get a reduction, which should be something like (his contract – the minimum contract)/2. In other words, unless someone is dumb enough to sign him for a LOT of money, the Knicks will see little cap improvement. The good news is that with New York’s cap situation, the cap space means nothing. Or is that bad news?
As it concerns signing Eddie Robinson, it’s a 1 year deal for the remainder of the $1.3. That’s the minimum he could sign for, right? It’s hard to fuss with that for a guy who is notoriously on again-off again. To me this is a wise (read: inexpensive, short-term) gamble.
Eddie just failed his physical. Although it doesn’t mean the Knicks won’t sign him when he’s healthy.
Speaking more broadly however, the open courtship of E-Rob even dating back to last season, says to me that TT’s leash may be quite short with Isiah. Thus he has picked the absolute worst possible time to play such horrible basketball. He may not be fully recovered from his back injury. He may be having a garden-variety slow start. Or he may be staring over the edge of the same cliff Roberto Alomar dove off upon coming to NY. I cannot say for sure which. What I can say is that the Knicks can probably get good production from the SF in a platoon that features Hardaway, Robinson, and an emerging Ariza.
I suspect that TT’s biggest issues in NY have less to do with his back and more to do with a chronic case of diarrhea of the mouth, which last season cannot have endeared him to many people. After all the ire he eventually directed at his teammates for not indulging his foolishness last season against the Nets, he may well be talking his way out of yet another situation that was tailor-made for him to do well.
I don’t think Tim Thomas is driving off Robby Alomar cliff at the tender age of 27, and he doesn’t look hurt. So I’m sticking with the “slow start” theory. Shooting-wise, he started off the game great tonight, but cooled off, and was quiet for the rest of the game. The problem with Tim is the lack of much else beyond scoring. In the first two minutes alone, Stephen Marbury got two easy rebounds that Thomas could have had. It just smacks of a lack of effort on his part. To make matter worse, Trevor Ariza looked impressive again, although he needs a little more finishing before he can be reliable day in & day out.
When I first heard that Isiah wanted to sign Eddie Robinson, two thoughts came to my head. Isiah likes projects: Nazr Mohammed, Vin Baker, DerMarr Johnson, and even Tim Thomas on some level. Zeke is a beach goer with a metal detector and a shovel, frantically digging for something he can trade in.
Next, I wondered why Isiah would want a SG/SF? We need a backup center, not a 4th SF. That led me to believe that one of the Knicks SF might be on the way out. Tim Thomas’ enormous contract makes him tough to deal, but Isiah has moved bad contracts before, usually by acquiring even more contracts. The other option I could think of is JYD. Williams seems to be the odd man out of the rotation early on in the year. He’s overpaid for what he brings, but I’m sure there is one GM out there that might want him for his “energy” on & off the court. Don’t get me wrong Williams isn’t valuable enough to bring in anything worth while, and would have to be packaged with someone – most likely Kurt Thomas. The last option is to keep Robinson as a DerMarr Johnson type. Maybe play 20-30 games, all garbage time & injury emergency.
Even without signing Robinson, the Knicks do have a little depth at SF. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them were shipped before the trading deadline.