If True, Walsh Move a Step Forward

Although there has been no official word, a few different sources have reported that the Knicks have hired Donnie Walsh to oversee their franchise. Walsh isn’t the sexy move that Colangelo or West would have been, and his tenure in Indiana isn’t without it’s flaws. However for the Knicks in the Dolan era, playing it safe shows a marked improvement.

Since Dolan took sole possession, many of the the Knicks moves have been risky get rich quick schemes. Some of the hallmark transactions include trading for Glenn Rice, Antonio Mcdyess, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry, and Zach Randolph. If these deals have one thing in common, it’s that each one failed to account for the Knicks long term future. Rice was exchanged in favor of Patrick Ewing’s massively expiring contract. McDyess was gotten in lieu of the #8 pick (Nene). Meanwhile the rest took away the Knicks financial flexibility, not to mention four first round picks and a few young players. But despite surrendering all this, New York finds itself at the bottom of the league hoping to lose games in order to get a better draft pick.

During Walsh’s tenure, the Pacers rarely went for the big move. The early ’90s Pacers were built primarily through the draft. Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Antonio Davis, and Dale Davis were taken in successive years. Meanwhile the early ’00s Pacers were constructed through shrew trades. Walsh paid pennies on the dollar for Jermaine O’Neal (Dale Davis) and Ron Artest (Jalen Rose & Travis Best). These deals are the antithesis of the recent New York acquisitions.

Compared to Walsh, Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas were inexperienced, impatient, and incompetent GMs. Fans were happy at the trade deadline this year when New York didn’t make any deals. Not because the team didn’t need to move players, but because Isiah Thomas didn’t have a chance to further damage the team. With Walsh at the helm, New Yorkers won’t hold their collective breaths anytime the ESPN ticker announces a Knick trade. If Donnie Walsh assumes the helm, he will be the first capable GM in the James Dolan era. And that’s a small step forward for a franchise wrapping up its 8th straight losing season.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

182 thoughts to “If True, Walsh Move a Step Forward”

  1. This was actually a longer blog that got cut up. One of the things that ended on the cutting room floor was that with Walsh it’s possible that the Knicks could be on the winning end of one of those lopsided deals. With Isiah Thomas, you just hoped he broke even. But I could envision Walsh actually trading Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry, or Jamal Crawford in a midseason deal to a team hurting for offense. And with freeing up cap space and/or getting prospects.

    Mind you I don’t think the Knicks will immediately turn it around. But I think that it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

  2. If Walsh can complete those deals the Knicks would be back in business. We can free up some cap space and perhaps get a couple of picks this year and next (Because Utah has ours) and then we might have a chance in the LeBron Powerball sweepstakes.

  3. Couldnt agree more Mike. Definitely a step on the right direction. On a slightly different tack, the Knicks are at a really critical stage right now as a franchise. They need to clean out the unlikeable players (Marbury, Z Bo) and the unwatchable (Q Rich) and bring in not only players that are quality but also players that are likeable. There are a few – Lee for one and some of the other young players.

    But when the Nets move to Brooklyn they will compete for young fans. And if LeBron goes to Brooklyn…well, the Knicks will be in danger of being the 2nd team in NY pretty damn quick.

    lets face it, the Garden, while still the mecca of hoops for me, is not a top class arena any more and more families live out on long island and in brooklyn. Im worried about this and not only does Walsh need to focus on getting the team to win again, but he needs to be thinking about how to ensure that LeBron, if he does make a move, doesnt go to the Nets.

    That means clearing house NOW and making sure Lebron knows that the Knicks would be serious about surrounding him with the quality he would need to win a championship.

    bTW, write it down, OJ Mayo is a Knick next year. And i dont think thats a bad thing.

  4. There will only be two ways to judge Donnie Walsh when and if he gets the job of New York Knicks general manager: savior or just another product of the Knicks’ assembly line of ineptitude.

    In a press conference Monday in Indianapolis, the city in which he has spent the last 22 years as GM, Walsh announced that he would be stepping away from the organization after the end of the season. Later that day, ESPN.com reported that the long-time Pacers boss would sign on to fill a similar role for the Knickerbockers, effective at the end of the season.

    And what a morbid season it has been for a franchise that was once the heart and soul of the city.

    19-51. Winning 27 percent of their games. A worse record than the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that traded its best player and future Hall-of-Famer for a hodgepodge of miscreants, rejects, busts and players who suffer from occasional lapses of narcolepsy on defense. The only way it could get any worse is if the coach sexually harassed someone.

    Now the team and its fans badly need a white knight to save them, but is Walsh the guy?

    The best way to fix the many ails of New York is through the draft and fiscal frugality. Lately, Walsh has shown to not be adept at either.

    Since 1992 -15 first-round picks – Donnie’s draft decisions are hitting a putrid .133. Danny Granger is the only solid choice while Al Harrington has made his way from team to team in his time in the NBA. That is the drafting equivalent of sending a pitcher to the plate.

    This is the guy the Knicks want to pinch hit for Isiah Thomas?

    And as for frugality? Well, Walsh traded for Troy Murphy and Marquis Daniels so he could pay them a combined $15.5 million.

    The Knicks need someone who will not repeat the errors of the previous Garden bosses. Scott Layden’s decision to acquire Shandon Anderson’s $7 million a year contract or giving Allan Houston such a bloated contract that a termination clause was later named after him should be ghosts left in the past, not to have similar decisions haunt them in the future.

  5. so which GMs out there have a perfect track record, and which of those aren’t currently locked up? of that subset, which are actually going to sign up to work for this joke of a franchise and owner? given all that, I’m pretty happy with Donnie Walsh.

    also, judging GMs on their past record isn’t exactly a science. Danny Ainge looked as bad as Isiah at this time last year, and Kobe thought Kupchak was doing such a bad job that he staged that months-long hissy fit in protest. those guys both look pretty good now.

  6. I have to say I don’t fully get the Jerry West love. he didn’t do a very good job at all in Memphis, he’s even older than Walsh (he turns 70 in May), he has no connection to NY (meaning the aspect of giving the city back its long-lost team isn’t really there), and he’s already got plenty of rings, so I doubt his desire is as strong as those who don’t.

    if you asked me to rank who I’d want on a 3 year/$15 million deal right now, I’d take Colangelo, then Walsh, then West, in that order.

  7. Since 1992 -15 first-round picks – Donnie’s draft decisions are hitting a putrid .133. Danny Granger is the only solid choice while Al Harrington has made his way from team to team in his time in the NBA. That is the drafting equivalent of sending a pitcher to the plate.

    Forgetting the whole “selective endpoints” game, as you chose 1992, while Walsh’s draft picks from 1987-1991 were basically amazing (excluding the gimme choice of Rik Smits at #2 in 1988, Walsh made four picks in those years, and while 1989’s pick of George McCloud at #7 was bad, the other three were Reggie Miller at #11, Antonio Davis at #18 and Dale Davis at #13 – yes, that’s right, he used three double-digit picks to make up the nucleus of the great mid-90s Pacers teams), Walsh’s draft record is still pretty good.

    Note that since 1992, he’s been picking only in the double digits (except the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE trade he made when he sent Antonio Davis to Toronto for Jonathan Bender at #5 – YEUCH), so here is what he ended up with in the first round:

    Malik Sealy at #14 – Decent pick
    Scott Haskin at #14 – Terrible pick
    Eric Piatkowski at #15 – Decent pick
    Travis Best at #23 – Very good pick
    Erick Dampier at #10 – Good pick
    Austin Croshere at #12 – Decent pick
    Al Harrington at #25 – Very good pick
    Vonteego Cummings at #26 which became Jeff Foster at #21 – Good pick
    Primoz Brezec at #27 – Good pick
    Jamison Brewer at #13 – Terrible pick
    Fred Jones at #14 – Okay pick
    James Jones at #20 – Decent pick
    David Harrison at #29 – Decent pick
    Danny Granger at #17 – Great pick
    Shawne Williams at #17 – Bad pick

    That seems like a very solid draft record for a guy who was only picking in the double digits every year. Lots of guys who stayed in the league for a long time.

  8. jon abbey:
    -rc buford had a perfect track record until he traded scola to the rockets.
    -kevin pritchard has a good record over in portland.
    -mitch kupchak has a decent record not including the kwame brown for caron butler trade, but he managed to turn that into gasol.
    -rod thorn has been steady except for when he extended carter’s contract.

    i think we can all agree that its impossible to find a gm with a perfect track record. the only one was red auerbach, and i dont think we’ll ever see a genius come along like him ever again.

  9. I think ja’s larger point is that none of those guys are available for hire. (although there was an interesting rumor about Pritchard recently…)

  10. Not saying Walsh is to blame, but look at his current roster. Bad contracts of J. O’Neal, M. Dunleavy, and T. Murphy. Not to mention this team has gone down in wins in each of the last 5 or 6 years.
    I’m not convinced Donnie is the answer

  11. “Not saying Walsh is to blame, but look at his current roster. Bad contracts of J. O’Neal, M. Dunleavy, and T. Murphy. Not to mention this team has gone down in wins in each of the last 5 or 6 years.”


    take a look at any Pacers fan discussion, you’ll note that they all wish Walsh was staying and Bird was going.

  12. please retain the following:

    jamal crawford
    david lee
    nate robinson
    renaldo balkman

    please extract the following:

    zack randolph
    jared jefferies
    eddy curry from the starting lineup

    and also these items can be swept up…

    fred jones
    mardy collins
    randolph morris
    wilson chandler

    do what you must with the following:

    quentin richardson
    stephon marbury

    please draft the following:

    derrick rose
    paul harris (a little bit later on, obviously)

    please do not draft the following:

    oj mayo under any circumtances

    getting rid of isiah is a given, so don’t give me shit for not asking for him to be extracted.

  13. Any chance a real coach could do something useful with Crawford? I think he’d be more effective without Isiah’s green light to shoot whenever he wants.

  14. Can we return to reality now? I mean, how are you planning on filling nine roster spots? Recruit from and1? Morris and Chandler are certainly in the keeper list until such time as you show me something better.

    As far as Rose vs. Mayo — basically the entire universe would rather have Rose than Mayo — so that’s in essence a no-brainer. The problem is that Rose will almost certainly be the second pick in the draft. (I say second because Miami might prefer Beasley to a second Dwayne Wade.) So unless the Knicks get really, really lucky, Mayo is likely to be the best remaining option on the table. Lopez would probably be better, but again, luck would have to be involved.

    We could do a lot worse than Mayo.

  15. Whenever I think about the teams ahead of us in the lottery, I also think about how ridiculous the Sonics/New Names? might be in a few years.

    If Seattle gets the second pick and takes Rose, do you think we can/should swing some sort of minor deal for one of their other PGs?

  16. if we cant get derrick rose, id take oj mayo or trade down and get dj augustin. this draft class has a lot of talent, itll be real hard to screw this one up.

  17. “GMs on their past record isn’t exactly a science. Danny Ainge looked as bad as Isiah at this time last year, and Kobe thought Kupchak was doing such a bad job that he staged that months-long hissy fit in protest. those guys both look pretty good now”

    Having incredibly bad gm’s on the other side of your deal doesn’t make you a good gm.

  18. Jon,

    I like Walsh, but while Bird has been running the team Walsh has still been CEO. Unless you personally are a member of the Pacers’ front office, it’s pretty hard to say who’s signed off on what.


    I agree with your point that Walsh is a pretty good drafter. As you point out, he’s been at it for a long time so you have to leave him some room for error.
    I would point out a couple of things.
    Brewer and James Jones were 2nd rounders. As was Antonio Davis. I’d say that actually helps your argument considerably. Davis was a steal, Jones a solid pick(although he didn’t help Indy much), while Brewer wasn’t a bust but mearily a 2nd rounder.

    Also, where’s Jonathan Bender? That hurts your case, but I have to think that anyone could have made that mistake (especially back in the era of high school wonders) and given another top 5 pick Walsh’s luck would even out. I guess we’ll get a chance to find out in June. Trading Antonio Davis for #5 was somewhat impresssive, but imagine if he had come away with Rip, Andre Miller, Shawn Marion, or Jason Terry…(or Fred Weis).

    Although it’s not an ideal situation for obvious reasons, I think Walsh comes into a good situation. Lots of contracts set to expire over the next couple years, a high lottery pick, and some decent young talent.
    Another positive, in my opinion, is that the Knicks have plenty of guys who can score (some efficiently and others not so much, but high volume scorers aren’t what the roster’s lacking), and good defenders/passers/team players tend to be undervalued. Basically, what I’m getting at is that surrounding a couple of the Knicks’ scorers with the right easily acquirable players could result in a borderline playoff team immediately. I see that as kind of the mean.

  19. “Having incredibly bad gm’s on the other side of your deal doesn’t make you a good gm.”

    No, but putting together and running one of the NBA’s best teams does. I mean I see your point as far as their past failures and maybe the KG deal, but both guys did something right. Also, if you want to criticize Memphis the Lakers were having a great season before that deal, and can you really criticize Sam Presti and Seattle for trading an aging Ray Allen for the #5 pick considering that they’re rebuilding? Even the T-Wolves deal is not an obvious bust, and we’ll have to wait a few years to see how AJ and co develop. (One thing I thought was inexcusable was not getting Rondo and the #5 pick out of that whole thing.)

  20. I like Walsh, but I’ve got to admit one of the best Pacer picks, Granger, was a Larry Bird pick.
    My draft choices in order of preference:
    1. Beasley
    2. Rose
    3. Lopez
    4. Gallinari
    5. Griffin
    6. Mayo
    7. Westbrook

  21. agreed with that, and also:

    “Having incredibly bad gm’s on the other side of your deal doesn’t make you a good gm.”

    actually, of course it does. the simple fact that you got them to deal with you as opposed to the other 28 teams in the league seems to me to be an integral quality of being a good GM. if Colangelo hadn’t gotten Isiah to bite on Marbury, the Suns probably wouldn’t have been able to sign Nash, just as one example.

  22. Jon, The Celtics/Twolves deal was unique. Other teams were offering Minnesota more but friendship trumped value. Can’t attribute it to smarts. Agree with your point in regards to the Lakers/Memphis deal … but this lopsided deal suggests that if those two teams couldn’t work it out, another “great” gm was going to get Gasol for next to nothing ’cause Memphis wanted to move him.

  23. Jimmy, every trade is unique, and while the Garnett deal is the cornerstone of that team, he’s not the only guy there. I do think Ainge got a little lucky, and that McHale has a cushy front office job waiting in Boston when he gets fired, but the bottom line is the bottom line.

    as for LA, besides Gasol, Kupchak’s done a fantastic job building depth on that bench, they’ve been hanging tough without Gasol, Bynum, and Ariza (another mid-season heist).

  24. I simply would like to be on the side where there is a good GM.
    But is anyone confident that Isiah is gone from the Bricks entirely?
    I mean, they could give him Mills’ job, or leave him on the bench…
    Walsh and Isiah go back a ways…

    Put me in the category of liking Mark Jackson on the bench. I realize not everyone agrees…

  25. “But is anyone confident that Isiah is gone from the Bricks entirely?”

    no, he’s like the smiling killer in a horror movie, someone’s going to need to put a stake through his heart, set him on fire, blow up the house, and he’ll still somehow survive for the sequel.

  26. He’s (Isiah) like a cross between Deng Xiaoping and Michael Myers…

  27. oj mayo will survive because he does do one thing very well (besides his otherworldly offensive talent)that is becoming a lost art: excellent defender.

  28. On an unrelated note, I’m pretty impressed with Ernie Grunfeld’s resume right now. Not only did he rebuild the Knicks with awesome trades (Oakley for Camby, Starks for Sprewell), he took the perennially woeful Bucks team to the playoffs 5 times, then goes and builds a Wizards team with 3 all stars (if you count Gilbert Arenas). Now that’s management.

  29. I can’t believe I didn’t mention Bender! So sorry, Ted.

    I was just looking at a list of their actual draft picks, and it didn’t have Bender on it, of course. Still, total brain lapse for me to miss that! Thanks for the pickup!

  30. Brian, I think you’re being a little kind with the picks. David Harrison was not a decent pick, not even an okay pick. He’s a terrible player. It doesn’t really matter that he was drafted 29th, he’s a terrible player that doesn’t contribute to team success, at all. When you also consider that there were a few decent players taken after him (including Varejao with the very next pick), you have to conclude that that was a terrible pick for Walsh.

  31. big game tonight. I hope all of this front office turmoil doesn’t cause the team to lose sight of the most important thing: letting the other team score easily and frequently. if we somehow manage to lose tonight, we have a real shot of losing out and moving up (down) to 3 or 4 in the race.

  32. Knicks are 1/2 game out of 4th and 1 gm out of 3rd! Go Knicks. Now if Minnesota can beat Houston and Memphis can beat Sacramento, we’ll be in good shape — assuming of course, we don’t blow it and eke out a win against Chris Quinn and Ricky Davis.

  33. Brian, I think you’re being a little kind with the picks. David Harrison was not a decent pick, not even an okay pick. He’s a terrible player. It doesn’t really matter that he was drafted 29th, he’s a terrible player that doesn’t contribute to team success, at all. When you also consider that there were a few decent players taken after him (including Varejao with the very next pick), you have to conclude that that was a terrible pick for Walsh.

    I disagree, but even if you want to say it is a terrible pick, his overall record is still good as a drafter.

  34. Well, at least Donnie Walsh knows the roster he’ll inherit can beat a d-league team.

  35. “This team does nothing right. Nothing.”

    let’s not lose (heh) track of the big picture. since beating Charlotte to go 18-39, we’ve lost to everyone except the NIT team formerly known as Miami since, 2-12. if we lose the last eleven, I still think we’re in pretty good shape to move up, but this was it for allowable wins down the stretch.

  36. We might as well stop talking about other GM’s coming in it seems Walsh is our man. Lets not waste anymore breath on West, Colangelo, Grunfeld or any other hopefuls that wanted to come to the party…its just not going to happen. I say why not bring in these New York guys to straighten things out. They have an understanding of how important the team is to the people and its my hope that they will work hard to straighten things out. Id like to see Carlisile coaching here but if it Mark Jackson then ill take that. Hes from Queens I bet he’ll have them playing hard. As far as the draft goes…we need a PG. Mayo can create his shot …hes a big kid..plays quality D and hes going to get better every year. Whoever said hes not going to be in the league needs to go back and look at some tape. The skills are there but you have to give him time to learn the pro game and he’ll be fine. They really reigned him in at USC and told him to take over at the end of games when it was close. I dont really think he was coached right there. If we can get Rose that would be nice too…but Mayo locked up Rose with good D when they played each other so….pick your poison. Mayo shoots better , Rose is more explosive. Who will be better remains to be seen. I really hope we can get more picks in this draft or for the 09 draft. We are going to need young talent for years to come. The thing about Walsh is I think he’s well aware of the situation and the cap problem and our players. If hes a smart man he wont make any moves to jeopardize our success in the future. We do have to understand that he might have to gamble a couple of time and hope for a break. Zeke gamble on Marbury and Zach and it just didnt work. Who will Donny gamble on? We’ll just have to wait and see. Should we still go for Artest? Should we draft a guard or center? (Mayo or Lopez). Should we keep Zack? Lots of decisions to be made. Im just hoping for the best.

  37. just stringing us along, sadly. it just came down to who wanted it less.

    I haven’t seen much of this one, but it’s funny that Clyde seems so stunned that people are still in the stands.

  38. seems like the one move that really killed nyk was letting camby go. i think you’d see a whole different team if that hadn’t happened. the interior defense and rebounding would open up everything else, and some of isiah’s other moves might have looked a little smarter.

    hopefully walsh can do something to stop bleeding points in the paint

  39. About O.J. Mayo:

    What’s scary is NBADraft.net has his comparative upside to be Ben Gordon and/or… Stephon Marbury.

  40. The fact is, as of yesterday the Knicks still had not contacted Jerry West, Jerry Colangelo, Kiki Vandeweghe or Mark Jackson any more than they have contacted Larry Brown. It is a given that Dolan will do what makes the least sense, and if this is what he’s doing, congratulations are once again in order.

    There is no denying Walsh’s track record. But it defies logic that Dolan would act now, after all this time.

    “Why would Dolan deviate from the way he’s worked up to now?” an NBA source said yesterday. “It would show weakness.”

    There should be a thorough, rigorous search for someone who is available, willing, and capable of fixing this mess, not a quick fix. I maintain that if such a search were carried out, better candidates than Walsh would emerge. Two of them are named Jerry.

    Colangelo has maintained a low profile since he said during All-Star weekend that he was “open” to talking with the Knicks. West told Newsday last week that it would be “exciting” if the Knicks called, but the 69-year-old Hall of Famer maintained that he isn’t sure if he wants to run another franchise.

    Those close to West say he does, and that the Knicks are the franchise he wants to run. Simply put, West doesn’t have an itch. He has a rash.

    But the Knicks have something worse: an impetuous desire to act contrary to all sane basketball practice.

    The question I have is the same one a high-level coaching source proposed yesterday while trying to compute how Walsh could zoom to the top of a Hall of Fame list of candidates without any of the other candidates being contacted.

    If the Pacers didn’t want Walsh to stay, why would the Knicks be in such a rush to hire him? That’s a question that should leave you scratching your head.

  41. jrock makes a great point – the lack of any kind of interior defense has killed this team the past few years. Hardly the only problem, but one of the most glaring. Keeping Camby also would have prevented us from making the onerous deal for Curry that cost us a few top draft picks.

    Whoever doesnt think Mayo will be an impact player in the NBA hasnt watched him play enough. He is maturing as a person too and has not been remotely the head case some people thought he was going to be. His ceiling in the NBA is very high.

    I like Rose and both should be great, but Mayo is more NBA ready in terms of his offensive game. Rose might be a bit better as a passer but Rose’s shooting needs alot of work and his free throw shooting is poor (right now).

  42. “The fact is, as of yesterday the Knicks still had not contacted Jerry West, Jerry Colangelo, Kiki Vandeweghe or Mark Jackson any more than they have contacted Larry Brown.”

    how do you know this? also, Kiki Vandeweghe? not contacting him is a good thing, not a bad one.

    “If the Pacers didn’t want Walsh to stay”

    how do you know this? they had a nine hour meeting earlier this week prior to Walsh saying he was leaving, it’s not like he was fired.

  43. I’m not sticking up for Walsh for no reason. I think he’s a solid choice, and I don’t think it’s clear that any of the other possibilities, even Colangelo, would be any better.

    I wonder if all of these people touting Mark Jackson (for GM or coach) actually listen to him call games, because he is one step above Kenny Smith, which isn’t a compliment. listening to Joe Girardi call Yankee games (before he managed Florida), you could tell he was a guy you wanted managing your team. listening to Mark Jackson call NBA games, not so much.

  44. You just showed your bias. You are just like Dolan. There were several other candidates who were not interviewed. Instead Dolan takes the first person he fixates on. I know we’re all itching for Isiah to leave, but what exactly has Walsh accomplished that makes him such a great candidate for the position, that you do NOT even interview other people?

  45. “You are just like Dolan. ”

    hahahaha, get a grip, my man. and please credit posts when they’re entirely written by someone else in the future…

  46. this is amazing:

    “The New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported Thursday that owner James Dolan’s preference is to keep Thomas on the sidelines, even after he hires a successor to Thomas to run the organization.

    “There isn’t a basketball executive alive who would keep Isiah as head coach, but Jim is telling whoever he interviews, ‘I would prefer to keep Isiah but you do what you have to do,'” the source close to Dolan told the Daily News. “If Isiah isn’t the coach, Jim still wants him to stay in the organization in some capacity.” ”


    if Isiah is still coaching this team next year (which I still don’t think he will be, this sounds like Dolan trying to pass the buck), I’m gone as a fan, after 25 years or so. I still wish someone would kill Dolan, no jury in NY would convict you.

  47. Walsh would come into this job and comply? Why would anyone in their right mind take a GM job under those conditions? This is wrong on so many levels. I pity the lottery pick that comes in only to be incompetently coached and have his career ruined if it does come to pass. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGHHH.

  48. “this sounds like Dolan trying to pass the buck”

    I agree. If Isiah does have some dirt on Dolan, he wants to maintain his ‘good cop’ status. He wants Walsh to come in and do the dirty work. Not to mention, he’s probably just saying this to try and get the buyout number lower. Isiah is getting his just punishment by having the skipper this ship through the end of the season. He’s a the butt of all jokes in the NBA, the media and NY. The threat of making him sit on the bench for another 82 games is a pretty solid bargaining chip as crazy as that sounds.

  49. Walsh in New York would be a step forward so long as Dolan doesn’t Herb Kohl out and he lets Walsh do his thing…

    Which seems likely, given what he’s allowed a much more incompetent GM to do for the last few years. If Walsh manages to bring some semblance of fiscal responsibility and the notion of team chemistry and floor balance to the Knicks, they will benefit inestimably from his presence and it would be GREAT for the league.

    I hate the Knicks; I’ve hated the Knicks since the Celtics kicked the crap out of them in the ’88 playoffs. I hated them more when they got good and started competing with the Bulls and the Rockets. And I’ve continued to hate them since, though it’s been tempered with pity lately.

    Lots of people like to hate the Knicks but it’s no fun picking on them when they are in the doldrums, among the worst teams in terms of future prospects and realized success.

    Walsh’s presence (if he ends up in New York) woudl revitalize the franchise and would soon give hope that the Knicks might go back to being a franchise WORTHY of the hatred, the rivalry. The league always needs good emotion in its playoff series… Nothing made me feel better than when Jordan shook two Knicks on the baseline and dunked on Ewing, or when he hit that little hanging shot while Ewing fouled him and then got up in his face while Ewing lay stunned on the ground. Things like that were always awesome and Walsh might help the Knicks get good enough to be that kind of rival again.

    I hope it happens.

  50. There is no reason to rush to Walsh, which is probably why some of you and Dolan are doing it. Guys we are not going to figure out Dolan’s mind; it obviously works something like Crabbey’s brain. If someone tells him the correct way of doing something, he does the opposite. I believe these type of people are called contrarians. He also has no patience. So, if he hires Walsh and wants to keep Isiah, he will continue to sell tickets for $10. If Walsh accepts and keeps Isiah, that’s it for me. I’m barely watching now, but another year of Thomas will kill all feeling I have for NBA basketball in general, and the NY Knicks in particular.

  51. I’m not surprised. The only thing Dolan knows is business. He doesn’t want to let I.T. go for nothing. So he’ll stay as coach. He already got 2 for 1 on his money the last couple years. What a bastard – he doesn’t care or even think about the fans. He’s all bottom line. I’m SO becoming a Nets fan in a few years, even if they keep the stupid name and logo. Duck Folan.

  52. It explains why Dolan went for Walsh so quickly- he wanted someone willing to keep Zeke and Walsh had hired Zeke before. Also, it explains why Zeke would kiss Walsh’s but every time the media would bring up Walsh to him. Ugh. I’m gonna be sick.

  53. I’m telling you, Mills is out, Isiah will take his job a president and COO, where he can continue to eat Dolan’s shit for his $24 mil, and Walsh will be in control of personnel, and Mark Jackson will be coach.

    It’s going to happen…

    Or Isiah will become what Stick Michaels was for the Yankees, a top scout, who brings in talent…

  54. yeah, this goes back to my ongoing fundamental thesis about the Knicks: our nightmare will never be over as long as Dolan still owns the team.

  55. “I feel like I’m being toyed with like in “The Crying Game.””

    Classic! Ha. I’m dying over here.

  56. I’m telling you, Mills is out, Isiah will take his job a president and COO, where he can continue to eat Dolan’s shit for his $24 mil, and Walsh will be in control of personnel, and Mark Jackson will be coach.

    I think some scenario like that makes sense. Like I mentioned the other day, there are a lot of coaches/GMs who have been kicked up to the front office when they were fired.

    Now, if he stayed as a coach, then yeah, that’d be stunning.

  57. it starts with the endgame:

    In my view, that means getting LeBron in 2010…that’s job one, at any cost.

    So to do that, job 2 is trading Zach.

    Now that may mean you have to package him with somebody you don’t want to lose…Balkman perhaps. Even if you give up a good guy, you have to move Zach. No matter what.

    Who would LeBron want to play for? I doubt Skiles. Maybe Carlisle…anybody ever read any quotes about coaches LJ respects? Whoever it is, go get him….

    And under these circumstances, a pick like OJ Mayo can make alot of sense in the draft…need a good young PG no matter what, and let him play 80 games as a rookie and learn the hard way next year…so what, we lose another ton of games for a year…. It’s all about 2010.

    If LeBron goes to work for his buddy JZ in Brooklyn, well, I’ll be posting on the Netterblogger board…they’ll be fun to watch!

  58. Isiah must be completely excised from this organization. He is a poison, a cancer. He cannot stay in any role. If that is allowed to happen, then fuck Dolan yet again, and fuck Walsh too.

  59. no one hates Dolan and Zeke more than me….but I kinda like the idea of making Zeke work for his money in some meaningless capacity…I think it’s a kind of hell for a guy like him, and he’s earned his rightful place in it.

  60. Under Yahoo blogs you can vote in the BDL Bedlam brackets. Isiah is a #2 seed vs. #15 Sonics mascot

  61. isiah would make an excellent go-fer for walsh…”hey zeke fetch me a sesame bagel with cream cheese and a double latte.”

  62. The fact that Dolan has kept Thomas this long (and is supposedly thinking about retaining him in any capacity) speaks volumes about how clueless Dolan is and which is why Dolan probably jumped on Walsh without calling any of the other gm’s the expressed interest.

  63. Maybe Isiah could dress up in a cape and do the halftime show on a trampoline.

    I read that Utah has our 2010 pick. Does anyone have a rundown of what future picks we’ve already traded away?

  64. I would at least like to see Isiah stick around through the end of this season. The goal is to collect balls now, and Isiah is the perfect guy to accomplish that goal. Once the season’s over, I don’t care what they do with him so long as I don’t have to see his rictous grin anymore.

    I think retropkid brings up a good point that the knicks should target a coach that LBJ would be willing to play for.

  65. Lebron James in a Knicks uniform..wow. Can you imagine that? That would change the city. Remember the days when the NBA was on NBC and the Knicks had those incredible playoff games with Charlotte and the Bulls and Indiana. Those were the good time. I just had to go back for a second guys. You always have to remember the good times. Fast foward to now and things are so bleak…..Isaiah needs to be banished to Patmos where he can await the arrival of the anitchrist. The whole teams needs to be stripped down. We can take our key pieces and build arround that. Lee, Chandler, Craw and our high draft pick. Zach has to go so that we can be eligible for the Lebron Powerball. Everyone else can go too. We needs some draft picks for the next two years so that our process of developing talent can be continuous. We need to be active in the D-League too. Chandler and Morris should have been down there ballin’ instead of getting paid on the bench. Zeke is a joke for saying he doesnt think player should be sent down there b/c NBA practices are more effective. Nothing beats live game situation competition. By not sending them there sooner he might have stunted their growth. Righting this ship can be done. Lets just hope they do it the right way.

  66. people are going to be crushed when LeBron either stays in Cleveland or goes to the Nets. or maybe they’ll just become Nets fans…

    Dallas losing a huge game to Denver late, it’s going to be really funny if they miss the playoffs.

  67. “the only thing dolan knows is business”

    It’s worse than that. Dolan knows nothing. His dad built the business and gave him the knicks/rangers to run because he figured it would keep him occupied and he couldn’t fuck it up too bad. He was wrong.

  68. “Dallas losing a huge game to Denver late, it’s going to be really funny if they miss the playoffs.”

    Agreed. Even if they get in, they don’t seem to be a real threat…I think the Nets did well moving J Kidd at this stage…Mark Cuban will have to re-load, that team is about to expire as a competitor…

    I’d like to see Denver push their way past GState into the 8 spot and play New Orleans in the first round…that would be a fun series….Iverson vs. Paul for 7 games….

    Job for Zeke: you set up one of those “water dunking” deals….at halftime, if you make a half court shot, he gets dunked…for $7 MM a year, he shouldn’t mind the very occasional dunking…maybe it should be for lay-ups, come to think of it…

    I had another thought about him being on the receiving side of sexual harassment — for the sport of the MSG audience — but the rules of this board prevent me from sharing it! ;^)

  69. TDM –
    Real GM tracks traded picks for all teams.

    The Knicks traded another number one to Pheonix in the Marbury trade – subsequently traded to Utah. It is protected for the next two years (can’t be in top 22) and unprotected in 2010.

    The Knicks have traded their number 2 in both 2008 and 2009.

    As to signing LeBron. Not without a trade or two of some of the dead weight. Here is the math, the current cap is $55.6 and assuming it grows at $4 MM per year (based on history — wikipedia) it will grow to $67 MM. The team has four players under contract (Randolph, Curry, Crawford and Jeffries for $45 MM – leaving $22. The Knicks have two #1 picks to sign (~$6 MM between them (basically Horford’s and Noah’s first year salary) and lets say they take Wilson’s and Balkman’s options for a combined $5 million. If the Knicks renew Robinson and Lee for $12 between them you now hav a team of 10 players and cap space of zero.

    Not sure how you would clear $20 MM from this team and retain enough talent to induce LeBron to come.

  70. Agree with NY Sun recommendation to hire Thibodeau. The Celtics are easily the best defensive team in the NBA, and it’s not just KG. Every guy that steps on the court gets up in your face. Did you see the Suns game? They completely neutralized the pick and roll in the 2nd half and frustrated the crap out of Nash. Every guy on that team brings it and is committed to D, and it starts with the coaches. Forget Marc Jackson, bring in a defensive minded coach and get rid of players who don’t buy in.

    PS It would be a hoot if the Mavs didn’t make the playoffs, would love to see what the cocky SOB Cuban would have to say other than blaming it on losing Dirk.

  71. A lot of Bostons success is KG. He will not allow lazy basketball while hes on the court. He brings that fire every game. We dont have anyone like that here in NY. So the Knicks seem to play just to play. Id like to see GS in the playoff. They have an exciting team to watch with them you never knw what can happen.

  72. @nj hoop:

    To be fair, the C’s defense starts with KG. But your point is well-taken. My $0.02…

  73. Cuban and Avery Johnson have reportedly been in some heated discussions. If the Mavericks fail to make the playoffs, do you think Cuban fires Avery and the Knicks will look at getting Avery Johnson?

    Another point, only about 10 games left in regular season and no teams in the West has clinched a playoff berth yet.

  74. The Vescey article indicates that a deal (handshake or otherwise) is not in place yet. Anyone think Dolan is still considering other people for the job?

    If so, I would rather have someone other than West. IMO, West hasn’t had much luck with Memphis. The Gasol trade has been roundly criticized as a theft perpetuated by the Lakers. Yes, Memphis got rid of a huge salary and obtained a couple of draft picks. But, given Bynum’s transformation into a legitimate big man, coupled with Kobe, Odom and Gasol, those first rounders look to be late ones at best. McKie is a has-been, Kwame is a never-was, and Crittendon is unproven.

    I think West was on board when they traded for Bonzi Wells – another headcase not living up to potential. They let Stromile Swift walk, which was a good move, but then Memphis traded Battier to re-acquire Stromile Swift (although in fairness they did get Gay (the player, not the adjective)out of the deal), only to trade Swift to NJ for Collins.

    Aside from getting Gay, the rest of these moves stink.

  75. I would become a Nets fan if LBJ goes to Brooklyn — I’d rather watch a great basketball team than remain loyal to a badly-run corporation (yes, remember that the Knicks are, first and foremost, a business) that has developed an awful product. LeBron could be a Knick… but as it’s going now, that’s unlikely.

  76. IMO, Cuban made a major blunder when he signed Kidd.

    Aside from the fact that he’s old and starting to decline, he may actually be a bit overrated. (I know I’m the only person on earth that belives that).

    Kidd is not much of an outside shooter compared to the other elite PGs in the league. In addition, at least some portion of his outstanding assist rcord comes from the fact that he’s had superb athletes like Carter, Jefferson, and Kenyon Martin on his team in recent years. He could simply throw the ball up near the basket and they could dunk or score giving him an assist. Not every point guard has athletes like that to work with. When you don’t, your numbers are going to be a little lower.

    Did Dallas get the better player?


    But not by as much as people think given the fact that one is getting better, one is getting worse, and the one getting worse is not quite as good as people think.

  77. >>The team has four players under contract (Randolph, Curry, Crawford and Jeffries for $45 MM – leaving $22. The Knicks have two #1 picks to sign (~$6 MM between them (basically Horford’s and Noah’s first year salary) and lets say they take Wilson’s and Balkman’s options for a combined $5 million. If the Knicks renew Robinson and Lee for $12 between them you now hav a team of 10 players and cap space of zero.<<

    I think it depends on who the #1 picks are and how they turn out. If they are good, some of the players you mentioned may not be resigned (Robinson for example). But basically you are right. The challenge for Walsh is going to be to get rid one or more of the “terrible value” contracts like Jeffries.

  78. avery johnson is not a good coach. He has no imagination. Plays the same conservative style all the time. Thinks too much.

    The reason Donnie Walsh is being hired (instead of colangelo or west or whoever) is because he likes Isiah. Dolan won’t betray someone who stays true to the MSG code, even if they suck. All the other interviewees probably said Isiah had to go.

  79. “All the other interviewees probably said Isiah had to go.”

    There have been no other interviewees. However, if they do interview others, you are probably correct that firing isiah would be an upfront condition for accepting the job for any interviewee. I’m still not convinced that Walsh won’t send isiah packing. I think his loyalties are to his team, currently the pacers. He doesn’t strike me as a guy that would jeopardize his team because of some personal relationship. As vescey also pointed out in his article today, Walsh approved isiah’s termination.

  80. This is great, on page 2 ESPN.com:

    10. According to the New York Daily News, Knicks owner James Dolan would prefer to keep:
    (a) Isiah Thomas as Knicks coach
    (b) Kim Jong-il as leader of North Korea
    (c) Osama bin Laden on the loose
    (d) Pouring salt on an open wound

    11. David Stern praised the Knicks this week for:
    (a) Pursuing Donnie Walsh
    (b) Their hard-nosed, gritty play
    (c) A fantastic job of tanking
    (d) Being slightly better than the Heat

  81. I hope we strongly consider drafting augustine if we have the 5th or 6th pick, i’m not sure why mayo and bayless are ranked so much higher in most mock drafts.

  82. I like the idea of pursuing LeBron in 2010. We need to move Zach, Crawford and Curry. No one will take Jefferies.

    Isiah stewed up such a cauldron of vileness, I am at the point where I want everything gone.

    I think we can move the following for 2009/10 expiring contracts and mid level #1s in the off season:
    – Zach & Chandler (i.e. for Cavs pick & Wallace)
    – Jamal & Lee (i.e. for Clips pick & Mobley)
    – Curry & Nate (i.e. for Kings pick & Shareef and KT)

    Ok the Clippers may not go for that unless they slip in the draft, but that’s the idea. If we can draft a bunch of young guys (and play them) there might be something to talk about at MSG in 2011-12.

  83. Grizz beat the Lakers. They are just 1 game behind the Knicks. C’mon Memphis, get those 23 wins.

  84. “- Zach & Chandler (i.e. for Cavs pick & Wallace)
    – Jamal & Lee (i.e. for Clips pick & Mobley)
    – Curry & Nate (i.e. for Kings pick & Shareef and KT)”

    -vote no on Wallace!
    -i wouldnt include Lee in that trade, we give up way too much!

    why do ppl suggest trading Lee for a pick, it doesnt make sense? we need to clean the roster for him to play mins. not trade him.

  85. “does anyone know if MLE signings count against the cap?”

    everything counts against the cap.

    and I don’t think most of these guys are tradeable except for even worse and longer deals, but dreaming is free.

  86. As much as curry is impressing, he’s definitely not a pg. The only real pgs projected in the lottery are Rose and Augustine, IMO. However, we should totally invite his teammate Richards to summer league and see what he can do (assuming he goes undrafted).

  87. Sorry I keep spelling Augustin’s name wrong, it’s tempting to add an “e” for some reason.

  88. There’s a lot of mixed reports about Isiah’s fate going on and I don’t like it.

    Reportedly MSG told Jerry Colangelo they don’t wanna talk with him about replacing Thomas. No word on West. So we can presume Walsh is Dolan’s man, a typical rush job decision without an interview process to land the best fit. What we don’t know is whether Walsh will fire Isiah. Keeping him is just ludicrous enough to make sense to the mental midget Dolan, so I’m taking nothing for granted here.

  89. couldn’t figure out your own user name, huh?

    “The only real pgs projected in the lottery are Rose and Augustin”

    Collison and Lawson would both likely be decided upgrades on what we’ve got now, Westbrook too.

  90. I’m not sure all those guys are going to be lotter picks/are combo guards, but point taken. They’re all more of point guards than what we have now.

  91. The Vecsey article is the one everyone should be reading. Firstly, since there is no deal done other than a promise to make a deal after the season, its silly to think that Walsh would make his intentions known at this point. It would be a lose-lose proposition. Firstly, if I was Walsh, I would want Isiah to think there was a chance of him retaining his job right now because there are still 12 games left because you wouldnt want him to sabotage anything. For example, its in Isiah’s interest as coach if he were staying to insure getting the best draft pick and giving more playing time to the young players to get them experience (and lose games).

    Also, to the extent that Walsh hasnt outlined his duties yet and the extent of his power, and to the extent that Dolan is “leaning toward wanted to keep Isiah” (which is just loony tunes), why would he come out now (without a contract) and say otherwise?

    There is no chance Zeke is the coach next year unless Dolan decides to take over the GM position himself. Vecsey’s article makes sense and unless you would believe Walsh to be a moron, you cannot think Zeke is the coach next season.

    Having said that, nothing surprises me anymore with this sinking ship of a franchise. I live in LA now and while i will always be a Knick fan, I find it increasingly harder to give a crap about an organization run by James Dolan. Im a Knick fan in exile basically and unless something dramatically changes, Ill cancel my NBA Season Pass next season and just watch the Clippers and Lakers. When someone returns some dignity to this organization Ill come back full force.

    So…wake me up when Dolan gets put out to pasture. The guy is an embarrassment and quite frankly deserves nothing more than to be the object of scorn and ridicule. I suggested to my brother (a fellow season ticket holder for 14 years until 2004) that all season ticket holders stage a one game walkout. Where right before the start of the game, everyone leaves and leaves the arena empty.

    I think that would be very effective way of letting the organization know that the fans will not continue to support the current regime. Other things can be done too. David Stern can do something too. MLB forced Charlie O’Finley to sell the A’s because he was destroying the franchise. The NBA can do the same with Dolan. Force him to either step down or sell.

  92. So what do we do with Marbury?

    No in their right mind wants him outside of NY. So it’s going to be next to impossible to trade him for anything other than a couple of longer and equally bad value contracts.

    No one in their right mind wants him back on the Knicks next year either. He’s still a good player, but at this point he has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s a self centered and very disruptive force to the team.

    Is there any way we can just keep him (to hold onto his expiring contract) but not allow him anywhere near the Knicks?

  93. I’m the leader of the anti-Marbury brigade, but let’s see who else we can pick up in the offseason before we send him home for all of next season. I’m still holding out a tiny, miniscule chance that this surgery will allow him to at least return to the form of a few years ago, although sadly he didn’t get the brain replacement surgery that really could have turned around his game.

  94. You need to adress the coaching before you make plans for Marbury. I think he might play well for Mark Jackson. They have the NY point thing going for them. Marbury was made the scapeoat for the Knicks’ problems. With Marbury out nothin improved. The team defense has been just as bad, turnovers remain high…

    I still think he could be salvaged, but I have not slept in days.

  95. I actually never thought Stephon was the problem. He doesn’t play great team defense, doesn’t feed the post that well, but he probably was our most reliable outside shooter (tied with Nate in my mind) and overall is a more complete player than Crawford. I think the problem was just how poisonous the locker room became — since he’s sort of a grumpy guy, makes the most money, etc. he ended up with a lot of the blame. Oh right, he quit on the team also. That probably didn’t help!

    But maybe with a new coach and fresh start he can be useful again. I don’t see much of a point in buying him out or whatever — it’s not like we have a David Lee type player who isn’t getting minutes because of him.

    Meanwhile, I think plenty of teams outside of NY would want his expiring contract. I hope we don’t trade him for a bunch of crappy long contracts and blow any chance of getting Lebron.

  96. I dont know what to do with Starbury. Just let him play his contract out. Unless we can get value for him or picks in return then I say just let him go out with a bang. Zeke will be gone anyway so maybe he will be able to focus. Weve got to find a way to get some picks either for this year or next. Psycho T has been playing amazing by the way. Why cant he bring that same play to the next level. I think hes being slep on big time. His will to win put him above everyone else. The team that gets him at the next level is going to b really lucky. Curry is amazing too but today he will really be put to the test.

  97. Marbury can still play. I am sure of that. But he’s disruptive and IMO you CAN’T WIN if you have a very disruptive KEY player on the team. I’;d be willing to bet that half the team can’t stand his guts (privately).

  98. I think TJ Ford is great. He may not be as good as Calderon (who I’ve not seen play much but gets much love here) but I have seen Ford play a lot and he is very difficult to guard going to the hoop and is a great passer. His FG% has gone up each year in the league, and this year’s 6 assists in 23 min/game is pretty solid. Definitely would be an upgrade from anyone we have in the PG position now. Maybe we could trade Crawford for him instead of Balkman. They’d never do Jefferies for him would they? Salaries don’t match up and Jefferies has an extra year. It might have to be BOTH Balkman and Jefferies. Jamal straight up would be GREAT. We can find a 40% shooting no defense SG in the D-League.

  99. Ford is a heath risk. However if all you give up is Balkman and Rose’s expiring contract, it is not a bad deal. I would not give Crawford for Ford unless Toronto sends back a first rounder. Think about it this way, if we cant get Rose in the draft, or trade to get a DJ Augustine, then trading for Ford is not that bad an idea. Ford can run an offense, he is scary quick, and he does not need to score in bunches to be effective.

    Ford’s contract is about 8 million a year through 2011. That means the total value of the remaining contract is just 3 million more than what we are playing Marbury next year. I can handle that risk. Put it in perspective, James gets 6 million to do nothing. Even if I have to hold my breath on every drive, Ford is better than James.

    Go for Ford only if you cant get Rose.

  100. Knicks on channel 9…how rediculous is that? Ill take TJ Ford…but we still need to draft a PG. If we did get TJ then we might have to keep Nate and if Craw were traded I might draft Mayo to be our swing guard.

  101. Anyone who would trade Balkman or a shorter contract for TJ Ford is insane – I doubt he’ll still be in the league in but we’ll still be paying him!

    Is anyone else consistently underwhelmed by Derrick Rose? Weird to say, I know, after his great shooting game and with Memphis rolling… but he just doesn’t inspire full confidence as a poing guard. Sure, he’s good, but at #2 you just want more of a sure thing… I dunno, maybe I’m overcritical.

    I think UCLA will win it — it’s gonna be like Florida, they just have more NBA talent on the roster. Kevin Love is fun to watch, isn’t he?

    p.s. Jon Abbey, what is your take on S. Curry after the second weekend? Is he still in your “lucky to be in the second-round” category? I admit I have become a big fan but then it’s hard to say he’s definitively better than Salim Stoudamire, who still hasn’t found a place in the league. Based on 3 games I’ve seen, maybe Curry is more of a scorer, than just a shooter like Salim..

  102. p.s. typo in that TJ Ford comment – was saying I doubt he’ll still be in the league in 2011. (And at $8m per he’s not really a bargain, anyway)

  103. the thing about Rose is there are so many guys on that team who demand the ball (and whose egos get hurt if they don’t get it), that I think he doesn’t get to show his full repertoire so much. I was very impressed with him today, that dunk was explosive, he’s a good passer, good rebounder, good defender.

    Curry: he looks so frail, but so did Reggie Miller and so does Kevin Martin. he’s probably moved himself into the late first round, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay in school another year and try to bulk up a bit, he’s only a sophomore.

    I don’t watch college much, but I did pick all four #1s into the Final Four (first time I’ve ever done that, it’s kind of lame but not if they all make it). I have Kansas over Memphis, but now I’m leaning more towards UNC over Memphis. it’s going to be three intense games, that’s for sure.

  104. We should trade Marbury for slightly longer bad contracts and either a young guy or pick. MSG is still bringing in revenue, so we can afford to have a 90 million plus salary figure. But no contracts past 2010. I.e. Marbury for LaFrentz and Miles and their pick or even Sergio Rodriguez. Then Portland would have a better shot at making a run for Ben Gordon, Deng or Josh Smith in 2009-10. They don’t need to save for the 2010 LeBron sweepstakes, he is not going to Oregon.

    We could do the same for Malik.

  105. I was very impressed by Derrick Rose yesterday — plays totally under control, will be a GREAT rebounder from the PG position, and seems to be pass-oriented even while he looks to be an amazing finisher. I don’t know if he’s got the vision of Kidd but he is way more athletic, has a similar mentality, and already has a better jumper as a 19 year old. He also had 2 blocks in the 10-15 minutes or so of the game that I watched.

    Who I am totally underwhelmed by, though, is DJ Augustin. That guy will not be a good pro. How many sub 6′ guards make it to be real contributors in the NBA? I can only think of 5 — AI, Nate, Muggsy, Damon Stoudamire, and Boykins. And from an athletic standpoint, Augustin just is not as freakish as those guys. Maybe at best he’s another Stoudamire with a worse jumper. He had trouble getting around even some of Memphis’s non-Derrick Rose guards and couldn’t finish or make great passes even when he got into the lane. I have to admit that I’ve not seen much of him and I am making a judgment based on just the Memphis game, but I don’t want any part of that guy on the Knicks.

  106. “Anyone who would trade Balkman or a shorter contract for TJ Ford is insane – I doubt he’ll still be in the league in but we’ll still be paying him!”

    I am not insane, and all the voices in my head agree with me.

    I do not think Balkman, a superflous SF on this team next thanks to Chandler, and the expiring contract of Rose (required to make salaries match) is alot to give up for the potential of Ford. If he can remain healthy, we have a pass first, fast as all get out, low turnover point. Big deal if he gets hurt and we have to pay him (is he not insured?). How is paying Ford more of a sin than paying James 30 million to do nothing?

    I’m sure our crack medical staff will give Ford a complete checkout.

  107. If all I had seen of Augustin was the Memphis game, I would totally agree with you, Frank. In the vast majority of games, however, he’s shot a much higher percentage and looked to pass first. He also always plays under control, and is reportedly a very solid character guy. We all know that anybody is capable of having a bad game. Also, he’s not really that far under 6 feet, I think he’s 5’11”, so it’s not like we’re talking about Nate or Mugsy. The thing that is worrisome, however, is whether you think his play against Memphis is indicative of how he will be bothered by the big, athletic NBA guards. I guess we’ll have to wait until the NBA workouts start to see that. But if your goal in the draft is getting a true point guard, he’s probably the second best. Maybe Collison, but he hasn’t exactly been racking up the assists.

  108. Thomas B., I think you’re underselling Balkman but I won’t belabor it more than I have, until he gets more PT.

    “Big deal if he gets hurt and we have to pay him (is he not insured?). How is paying Ford more of a sin than paying James 30 million to do nothing?”

    Don’t take this as an endorsement of signing Jerome James to an extension… but because of health and salary, Ford is about as untradeable as anyone on the Knicks. If we bring him on (unless it’s a swap for another 2011 contract), it’s just another step towards locking us out of the LeBron/Wade/Bosh et al sweepstakes. That might be worth it for a handful of guys (a bird in hand…) but not a healthy TJ Ford, much less the TJ Ford who probably has about a 50% of being forced to retire in the next couple of years.

    p.s. Augustin is ok but I like Lawson and Collison just as much, especially Collison. I don’t think he’s more than 6’ but he has long arms, is easily NBA-quick, defends well and has a nice shot. Not saying he’s a better prospect than Rose, but I might prefer Collison and another mid-1st rounder, to Rose and nothing else. Hedging our bets. Looking forward to the Final 4!

  109. “Who I am totally underwhelmed by, though, is DJ Augustin.”

    Agreed. In fairness however, the Memphis – Texas game was the first time I had seen him. Based upon that, he seemed like another shoot first guard with a potential attitude problem that doesn’t take care of the ball. Did anyone see the cheap shot fouls he was taking late in the game? I know they were intentionally fouling to force Memphis to the line, which usually would have been a good strategy due to their poor FT%, however he was throwing elbows a little too much. Maybe his frustration got the best of him, but I wasn’t all that impressed.

    Rose, however, I thought was totally in control. He got his teammates involved and did not turn the ball over (9 assists, 2 to). Not to mention, his numbers have increased during the tourney with the most impressive being that he is dishing out 6 assists for every 1 turnover.

    Based solely on this game, Augustin reminded me of Marbury, while Rose reminded me of a more athletic Deron Williams.

    Speaking of Marbury – This season he has been a complete primadonna. However, during the 06/07 campaign, I really thought he had matured as a player. I thought he was leading the team by playing team ball. Hell, I bought my kid a Marbury jersey that year. Does anyone think that Isiah getting canned would help Marbury get his head on straight for one more season with the Knicks? It certainly would give him motivation to do well. In fact, that is partly why I think he played well in 06/07 — because he wanted to show people that Larry Brown was wrong about him.

  110. Caleb,

    Maybe I am underelling Balkman. I like the guy, but I have not liked what I have seen this year. I think the need to get a good point is greater than the need to keep a player whose skill set is mirrored by two other players on the team (Jeffries and Chandler).

    To be fair, I am not sure what Balkman can do anymore. His minutes have not been consistent and this style of play this year does not play to his strenghts (running the break, slashing, transition scoring, finishing off PG initiated dribble drives, and offensive rebounding). I wish he got a consistent 25 per game so I could really evaluate him. At this point, all we can say is the Balkman is somewhere between the player who flashed brilliance last year and the guy who cant get out of his way this year.

    Balkman, Rose for Ford and Toronto’s first round pick. The Toronto pick will be around 18-20, you could use that to get a Joe Alexander, Tyler Hansbrough, or a Nicolas Batum. I think Tyler’s work ethic and desire will make him a fine pro. I think of Batum as a Euro Marvin Williams. Caleb, would you not give up Balkman for Hansbrough or Batum?

    In a perfect world I would send Jeffries for Ford even up, but I dont think the Raptors would do it.

  111. “Caleb, would you not give up Balkman for Hansbrough or Batum?”

    No way. If Balk was in the draft this year and I was a GM he would be a top-10 pick.

    I think you’re missing my larger point… that trade isn’t Balkman for Ford, it’s Balkman (and salary, like Rose) AND any potential 2010 free agent. Get TJ Ford = guaranteed capped out in summer of 2010. For a guy who doesn’t play much D, is the backup on his team, makes $8m and has a serious neck condition which could end his career at any moment..

  112. Thomas B.
    Toronto is a team that sees itself on the upswing so why would they trade their pick for Balkman? Essentially Balkman is not that far advanced from a rookie and to make matters worse the pick the Knicks get back is about 5 spots higher than Balkman was drafted at. Then they throw in TJ Ford (who admittedly I have read has been a “problem” since he returned from injury) for Malik Rose? Unless Isiah bemcomes Toronto’s GM I don’t see anyone else stupid enough to make that deal unless Ford is just such a distraction that Trononto wants to get rid of him to get rid of him.

  113. If Toronto could shed the albatross of TJ Ford’s contract, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to swap a #20 pick for a guy who could anchor their perimeter defense.

  114. You think Balkman would play ahead of Moon or Parker? Balkman is essentially a wish and a prayer based mainly on occasional exciting dunks or breaks, his D on Melo in the second game of the season and the fact that he shoots mainly dunks and put backs so his shooting percentage and all numbers base dprimaly on it are very high wiothout being a reflection on his offensive competency or lack thereof. Balkman is also the guy that once a week comes in and picks up two to three fould, the guy whose leaving his man with the team up three to go try for a steal or a block and watching helplessly as Michael Finley knocked down an open three. In fuller minutes it is just as possible that his inattentive off the ball defense and lack of a half court game will expose him as hiss on the ball defnse and athleticism will make him into a key player on a good team.

  115. Parker is a more complete player, but half the rebounder that Balkman is, and five years older so without the upside.

    I don’t think Moon is close to Balkman’s level.

    But the bigger point is — if Toronto could get Balkman, Moon, Parker, a #20 pick or anything remotely like it, in exchange for their $8 million backup point guard who screws up their salary cap for the next three years, they’d be thrilled.

  116. Apparently Kirk Hinrich may be available at the end of the season. Might be an interesting pick up if the Bricks could land him.

  117. Still think he’s solid.
    But you’re right.

    It would be my oft-stated preference that we let contracts sunset. Keep running these young guys out there, and work the draft.

  118. Caleb – I read the trade as Toronto giving up their pick and Ford. Your version makes sense for all concerned.

  119. I think Moon is more well polished than Balkman right now. If the Knicks were trying to get Ford and Moon, it would definitely need someone like maybe Balkman, Collins, and Q-Rich for Moon, Ford, and throw-in Garbojosa for matching up salaries

  120. Caleb,

    “If Balk was in the draft this year and I was a GM he would be a top-10 pick.”

    Whoa. OK let me see if I got this right. If you were a GM the 2007 NBA draft would be…

    1. Greg Oden
    2. Kevin Durant
    3. Al Horford
    4. Mike Conley
    5. Jeff Green
    6. Yi Jilian
    7. Corey Brewer
    8. Brandon Wright
    9. Joakim Noah
    11. Spencer Hawyes
    12. Acie Law

    “I don’t think Moon is close to Balkman’s level.” Yes, I agree Moon is at least three levels higher than Balkman.

    Caleb my man, I say this only because I care; there are a number of decaffeinated brands available that taste just as good as the real thing. You should try one. :-)
    “Toronto is a team that sees itself on the upswing so why would they trade their pick for Balkman?”

    That is exactly my point. If Toronto really wants to shed Ford’s contract and give them more flexibility they need to throw in a pick. The Suns did the same when they moved Q Rich to NY. Actually, the Q-Rich trade is a good example of what a team will do to move a person making 8 million a year who has back problems.

    I do not think Toronto is desperate to unload Ford, but if they are, they should pay dearly to move him.

    On Capt. Kirk

    I agree with the astute Mr. Abbey. We should stay far away from the Bulls’ castaways.

    If the Bulls are Bear-Sterns, then the Knicks are the Fed Reserve. Why do we keep buying them out of their troubles? You don’t want to sign a career .398 “shooting” guard and defensive liability to a max deal? Trade him to us and take some of these expiring deals for your trouble. You don’t want Curry, another defensive liabilty that wont rebound, and sat out the playoffs with what could be a career (or life) threatening heart ailment? Where do we sign? Here take two first rounders and gobs of expiring contracts. The Knicks’ corporate welfare to the Bulls must stop!

  121. I think that from a team-building standpoint, TJ Ford is a liability, not an asset. If we are going to throw away our 2010 options for building the team, it should only be for a young, established superstar (or top-3 type pick)… because as long as we have cap room that summer, we can sign a player like that as a free agent.

    IMO the only teams who might want to consider Ford are “win-now” rosters (like maybe Houston) who don’t care what happens in 2-3 years — when it’s likely he’s finished by all the neck injuries. I mean — even healthy, he’s no superstar — maybe an average NBA PG.

    Avereage? Off the top of my head, even if you throw out health & salary concerns, I’d rather have any of these guys: Rondo, Miller, Harris, Calderon, Arenas, Billups, Parker, Conley, Paul, Kidd, Iverson, D. Williams, Davis, Ellis, Nash… maybe Mo Wiliams (a very similar player) or Hinrich (a very different one)… maybe a couple of the really young guys, like Sergio Rodriguez, or Shaun Livingston who’s just as big an injury risk but was on his way to being a lot better. That would leave Ford somewhere in the 15-20 range of PGs — not exactly a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Plus, you DO have health and salary concerns, which probably put his trade value lower than anyone in the league, even Marbury. Why not just take a PG with our pick, and keep trying to unload a long-term contract or two? (which will get easier as time goes on).

  122. Guys, we must do anything and everything to get Rose in the draft. The guy is the complete package, and like someone said, could be an even better version of Deron Williams. Guys like him can change a team’s fortunes in a hurry and bring exciting b-ball back to MSG. If we don’t get top 1 or 2 pick, then figure out a way to trade up.

  123. Thus far in his career, albeit in limited minutes, Balkman has been a better player than several of thsoe players… if that were the draft pool, I’d take him ahead of Yi, Brewer or Acie Law… don’t be shocked if ehds up better than a couple other guys.

    bear in mind that last year he was the best rebounder per-minute of any small forward in the league; he also was +10.. plus 10… on the defensive end. He was among the league leaders per minute in both blocks and steals, a combo that – as others have pointed out — is rare (like, the 4th player ever to do it). His offense, while limited, doesn’t hurt the team — this year and last, the Knicks actually score more with him on the court, than without. (can you imagine where we’d be if he hit FTs?)

    Now, I can’t sign off on Balkman’s stardom until he has more minutes under his belt, but you can only judge a guy on what he’s done, and so far he’s played as much – and as well — as almost anyone on that list.

    His huge fouling rate is obviously a concern, as is the fact that his impact and numbers are down this year. I’m hoping it’s just the first-half injuries and the wildly inconsistent minutes, but next year will be a big one for telling whether we have a DPOY candidate or just a solid role player on our hands.

    All that said, I like Chandler, too… he has not been nearly as good as Balkman in the minutes he’s gotten, but then he’s a few years younger so I’d expect a lot more improvement. Overall I’d call them similar-level prospects. I just wouldn’t trade Balkman, because I suspect his trade value is nowhere near his on-court value; the tradition-bound GMs around the league put his value closer to Thomas’ opinion, than mine. Of course, they’re wrong :)

  124. Caleb,

    ” I think you’re missing my larger point… that trade isn’t Balkman for Ford, it’s Balkman (and salary, like Rose) AND any potential 2010 free agent.”

    I missed this part. I am not sure that is true. If the Knicks made the Balkman/ Ford trade and did not make any other major trades, the 2010/2011 season will start with 46.8 in contracts. That number does not include whatever Lee and Robinson may be earning on their deals. If they are paid slightly above the MLE say 6.5-7.5 each, that adds 15 million, bringing the Knicks to 61 million in salary. That should be under the estimated salary cap that year by around 5-6 million. Now, i know what you are about to say “Thats not enough to sign Lebron, wade or Bosh.” Yes, I know. However, Randolph, Jeffries, Curry and Crawford expire that year. We could make trades to clear some of that space. Also, keep in mind that Lebron can opt out in 2010/2011. If he does not opt out then he will be a free agent the following year. And in 2011/2012 the Knicks will be 40 million under the cap (If Thomas is not still making trades for us).

  125. I’ll work up a longer post on our salary problems but basically, your math is right… you’re just forgetting that we also have to pay this year’s draft pick and next year’s — not to mention Chandler, Balkman (who’s due an extension for 2010-2011) and six more guys to fill the roster. The cap has only increased by $1-2 million the past few years, and word is it won’t even do that the next couple years… so it’s pretty optimistic to think it will be over $60m by then. Of course we can NOT re-sign Lee or Robinson, sell draft picks, etc. but those are the kind of choices we (I mean, the GM) have to make.

    Trading one of the Four Horsemen for Ford is just a lateral move, in this sense… trading a shorter contract (even Jerome James) for Ford just makes the problem worse.

    At this point it’s impossible to say how it will play out — too many different things could happen in the next 2+ seaons — but as long as getting under the cap is any sort of possibility, I’d be dead-set against taking on any contracts running beyond 2010, unless it’s a real superstar.

  126. Question – what if Lebron doesn’t want to come to NY? I know he wears a Yankee cap and all but his home is Cleveland and they’ll still be able to offer him more money. And he already has more money than God with his endorsements, even in Cleveland.

    To be honest, I don’t think any of the other 2010 free agents, even Bosh and Wade, are worth completely flushing the next 2 seasons down the toilet. It’s nice and all to plan for Lebron but if he doesn’t come and we end up paying some ridiculous amount of money for a less-than-Lebron level player, it only makes our situation exactly the same as it was before ie. overpaying for a non-superstar. Wade is great but just as injury prone as TJ Ford. I do like Bosh but I don’t really see him as a franchise player in the same vein as Kobe, Lebron, Nowitzki, Duncan, etc.

    So naturally we want to make deals that increase our cap space for post-2010, but I don’t know that I would NOT trade away players like Jerome James for quality players just on the off-chance that Lebron will come. If I were Lebron, I’d think 4 times before playing for an owner like Dolan.

  127. “Guys, we must do anything and everything to get Rose in the draft. . . . If we don’t get top 1 or 2 pick, then figure out a way to trade up.”

    Right now, the Knicks pick 4th. The interesting thing is that Memphis (3rd) and Minnesota (2nd) are both solid at the pg position. There is the possibility that either one of those teams may look to trade out of the top 3 since they have more glaring needs that can be addressed later in the draft.

    Miami needs a pg to pair with Wade more than they need a PF like Beasley. This could get interesting even if NY stays at its current draft position.

  128. the dreadful position that Isiah has left us in (assuming he’s actually gone, knock on wood) is another reason why I think Donnie Walsh is a good signing on a three year deal. we’re not going to be able to fully get out of this hole in the next three years, most likely, so I consider Walsh a stepping stone GM. he’ll manage the crisis, make incremental moves if and when he can and slowly put us in better shape going forward. then, in 3 years, when he’s 70, maybe he can hand the team off to someone better.

  129. “Right now, the Knicks pick 4th. The interesting thing is that Memphis (3rd) and Minnesota (2nd) are both solid at the pg position. There is the possibility that either one of those teams may look to trade out of the top 3 since they have more glaring needs that can be addressed later in the draft.”

    please review how the lottery works, the order of finish never ends up being the actual draft order.


  130. We do need to get Rose. Any other pick at PG is a risk. There is Bayless. Who knows if he will pan out. He just might but theres questions about his passing ability. Augustine is too small and not athletic enough but he is lightening quick and gets to the rim. Can he do it in the NBA? Collison? He kinda reminds me of Jacque Vaughn when he was at Kansas. At the next level he may be a backup PG. LAwson? Quick but he reminds me of Raymond Felton. So what would he do for us. If Rose turns out anything like Deron Williams then we need to get him. We have the pieces t pry that pick from Memphis or do we? They might look to deal all of their other guards that theyve stockpiled. Conley, Lowry and Navarro dont have the potential that Rose has. Whoever the GM is is really going to have to work those phone lines and get something done. About the Lebron sweepstakes…who wouldnt want to play in New York? Id think hed be game to take on the challenge of brining a championship to this city. He knows how long its been. I think his friendship with Jay-Z is a major factor. GMs around the league dont know the power of that. We’ll see. If we dont get him we wont implode. But it sure would be nice. Ticket sales would immediately go up. Money would flow in. Excitement would seize the garden. Its all a dream for now.

  131. “please review how the lottery works, the order of finish never ends up being the actual draft order”

    Ha ha. Good point. I was speaking in the hypothetical situation where the knicks fell into 4th based upon probabilities. Regardless, the point is that assuming the knicks do not beat the odds and get into the top two spots, they may be able to trade up.

  132. The whole Jay-Z Nets thing is a pipe dream. Is there any chance the arena in Brooklyn will actually be built by the time Lebron is a free agent? I doubt it. Does Lebron really want to play in New Jersey — I doubt that too.

  133. I haven’t followed the TJ Ford story very much.

    Does he have a long history of injuries in college etc…. or is it just this year?

    Why are so many people convinced he’s super fragile?

    His overall pro record does NOT look that spotty (granted it is short).

    As far as Balkman goes, he’s never going to be anything more than 2nd or 3rd stringer because he can’t shoot to save his life. The only way you afford to have him playing a lot of minutes is if you have some dynamite outsid scorers that you can combine him with so he can focus on energy and defense without being a massive liability on offense.

    IMHO, he would have been OK with his style if he was Rodman’s size and strength and could play PF. But on the Knicks he is borderline useless other than the fact that we suck so bad any 2nd or 3rd stringer deserves minutes.

  134. W.C., read my post re: Balkman (or look at the stat page & 82games)

    I don’t know if Ford had a bad injury history in college but three years ago he was out for more than a year with a spinal injury, after a bad fall — if I’m not mistaken they discovered a congenital problem which made him more susceptible. Then it almost happened again this year against Atlanta, where he lost all sensation for a few minutes and then was out for months with nerve problems. So, he’s pretty breakable.

    Aside from that, he’s tiny and skinny and it just doesn’t look like a pair of freak accidents — sort of like Shaun Livingston; you look at the guy and it was waiting to happen.

    p.s. Mike Conley is another league altogether from the other PGs that Ray mentions (except maybe Rose)… I would love to see him in a Knick uniform — he’s the same age as Rose and while he doesn’t look to be the same scorer, in college he looked to be a better playmaker and much better defender… I have committed Knickerblogger sacrilege and suggested a trade of David Lee for Conley, since Memphis has PGs to spare.

    Rose — I’ve seen him a few times, and with the possible exception of the other day, haven’t seen him dominate a game, like you’d expect from a #2 pick. I thought OJ Mayo outplayed him in the USC game. So, Rose looks great and I guess I’d grab him at #2 but he doesn’t look like a sure thing..

  135. I think two things are being confused/combined here…

    1) we need a competent PG, someone in the top 30 or so guys in the league who can stop the other PG from penetrating and who can distribute the ball. right now, I doubt we have one of the top 50 guys fitting this description, Mardy Collins is as close as we get (sadly).

    2) we need a superstar, a franchise player, at pretty much any position.

    Derrick Rose is ideal, because it seems possible that he’ll fill both needs at once. but even if we don’t get him, I think we need one of the Collison/Lawson/Augustin/Bayless/Mayo group. possibly we can trade our pick for two lower ones, and take one of those guys and someone else.

  136. I saw that both Lopez bros have indicated they are jumping to the nba. If we traded down, we could get a pg and the defense lopez. Although he looks like sideshow bob, he can block shots and rebound.

  137. haha “the defense lopez.” i suggest we no longer call them brook and robin, but instead “the offense” and “the defense.”

    i reckon we trade down, get a decent pg for the trade, and pick up hansbrough and the defense lopez. hansbrough is the white charles oakley, but crazier.

  138. Love is solid. Did you catch him jacking up 3’s the other day. He is DLee with a jumper.

  139. Lee is a better leaper and athlete, Love probably has an even better basketball IQ (although Lee’s is quite high also), and Love’s outlet passes are just insanely good (Lee is good at this too, but Love is remarkable).

  140. Is it just me, but everytime I hear Brook and Robin I am convinced their parents only had girls names picked out.

  141. I’d also be a fan for trading for Mike Conley, especially if Memphis gets the #2 pick and picks up Rose (which they will likely have LOTS of pressure to do given he plays in Memphis already). I guess I’d trade DLee to get him — is much easier to find a double-double guy in the frontcourt (no matter the love he gets on this board) than someone who is potentially a franchise PG. That would allow us to pick a Lopez or Randolph or other such big man at whatever pick we get, thereby improving our overall cap situation too (ie. we wouldn’t need to pay Conley as early as DLee).

    Naturally, if we jump up to the #1 or #2 pick I’d rather get Rose or Beasley and keep Lee. Wow– wouldn’t it be great to move up to #1 somehow, pick Beasley, then trade Lee for Conley? I love dreaming!

  142. I imagine if Memphis is in position to pick Derrick Rose, Conley WILL be on the market and they’ll have offers… DLee would get us in the ballgame. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

  143. Caleb,

    “I’ll work up a longer post on our salary problems but basically, your math is right… you’re just forgetting that we also have to pay this year’s draft pick and next year’s — not to mention Chandler, Balkman (who’s due an extension for 2010-2011) and six more guys to fill the roster.”

    You are right about the missing roster players and the increase in the salary cap. I mistakenly looked at the luxury tax number rather than the soft cap number. But remember, we have to give a pick to Utah either next year or the year after, so that is one less player to sign at a rookie scale.

    I do think that before the Lebron derby starts we could move Randolph for an expiring contract and a player making half as much. That would clear 8 million from the cap. If we can do the same with Curry then we have the room to go after LBJ.

    Would the Pacers bite on Randolph and young players for O’Neal? When O’Neal’s contract ends the Knicks shed 23 million. Our course the Pacers might want to have that come off their books so they can go after James. I don’t know, this is such a mess.

  144. TMD,

    Knicks pick 4th? I think the current order by record is Miami, Seattle, Minny, Memphis, Knicks, Clippers. Knicks are 5th, but with the “youth movement” cough-tank job-cough going on, the Knicks are in position to get to third once Minny and Memphis pass them by.

    Perhaps David Stern will find a way to ensure that this will be a “transformative” summer for the Knicks as he did when we last won the draft lottery.

  145. “Would the Pacers bite on Randolph and young players for O’Neal?”

    That’s the problem — there’s pretty much no one in the league willing to make a 3-year commitment to Randolph or Curry or Jeffries, or even Crawford (at their current salaries).

    I think our best hope is to wait — hopefully, by 2009-2010 there will be a team or two that a) sees itself as a contender whose willing to pay big bucks for a year and a half, to get an extra scorer/rebounder (Zach); b) knows it’s hopelessly capped out for summer 2010 so doesn’t mind piling on another contract. As we get closer to that deadline (2010) we can think about sweetening the pot with our young players, but no reason to put those cards on the table now.

    In the interest of cap management, I would look at the option of moving Lee and Robinson for younger players (like Conley) who won’t be eligible for extentions until post-2011. If it comes down to it, I’d even bite the bullet and not re-sign Nate, depending on the price.

  146. p.s. We probably owe Utah the pick in 2010 — until then it’s protected into the 20s and I’d be shocked if we’re that good the next two years.

  147. Caleb,

    “We probably owe Utah the pick in 2010 — until then it’s protected into the 20s and I’d be shocked if we’re that good the next two years.”

    Agreed. But for arguments sake, lets say the Knicks make the playoffs next year.

    If that happens and the Knicks have a pick between 15 and 18, does it make sense to just give that mid first rounder to Utah in 2009? That would satisfy our obligation to Utah and we don’t risk giving them an unprotected lottery pick in 2010. Who knows, we could have a repeat of 2007/2008 in 2010. Letting Utah get an unprotected 2010 pick would be a disaster. That would mean that Thomas is responsible for giving up 3 lottery picks over 5 years (2006,2007, 2010). If the 2009 pick is a mid first rounder, just give that to Utah, especially if the draft is not very deep. What do you think?

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