Yesterday Alan Hahn reported that the possible deal between the Knicks and Grizzlies is dead. Although the deal seemed to “heat up” as the papers caught wind of it, New York President Donnie Walsh called the deal “dormant” more than a week ago.
Knick fans are probably unhappy with the news, as most fans are anxious to see Randolph in another uniform just so that David Lee can inherit the starting role. I put myself in the position that I’d rather see no deal than a deal that hurts the Knicks. Trading Randolph fits with both the short and long term plans of New York, and it’s entirely possible that the Knicks can get a better deal down the road. At worst you’d think the Memphis deal should still be available in February.
There is other thing I noticed in Hahn’s article:
It was the second time this offseason that a chance to move Randolph’s three-year, $48 million contract did not result in a trade. The Clippers had interest in him back in July, but also wanted the Knicks to give up a first-rounder in a deal that would have sent a second-round pick to New York. Walsh said no to that and the Clippers instead traded the second-rounder to Denver for Marcus Camby.
Like myself, Hahn believes that Los Angeles wanted a first round pick in order to take Randolph off New York’s hands. To me it doesn’t make sense that New York would refuse to trade Randolph for nothing in return to the Clippers, then work on a deal for Darko & Marko with the Grizzlies. Given Donnie Walsh’s tenure in the business, it seems to make more sense that the Clips wanted a first rounder instead of Walsh failing to realize that getting nothing for Randolph was a smart deal.
And this from Hahn’s chat:
[Comment From Big Wayne]
If Jamal Crawford has a breakout season this year under Mike D, do you think he’ll opt out of his deal next summer?? Would it be a good thing or a bad thing if he did that??
I think he will, Wayne and if I were his agent I’d advise him to. Jamal is nearing 30 so this may be his only time to cash in with free agency. I think if he has a breakout, all-star type year, he would have to opt out. Now, would Jamal agree to take around the same amount of money (which helps the Knicks payroll) in exchange for a long-term committment? That’s what we have to see. It’s a critical year for Jamal. He has to prove not only that he can consistently score and play defense, but he can be a leader, too.
This is interesting. Let’s just assume that Hahn’s correct and Jamal does opt out. If the Knicks don’t resign him, they’d be saving $10M in 2010. This would leave the Knicks with a hole at shooting guard, unless they can get a good shooting guard in the draft, cheaply in free agency, or as their big free agent in 2010 (Wade?). However Walsh has said publicly that he likes Crawford (on many occasions) so you’d have to wonder if he’d offer Jamal a long term deal to stay.