Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Is This Worse Than Any Isiah Trade?

It is now official, Shaquille O’Neal has been dumped traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. I think we all, more or less, agree that this is a horrible trade for the Suns, trading the better, younger player on a team with the best record in the Western Conference for an older, worse player who, as a kicker, is not just injury prone, but currently injured.

What I wonder, though, is this such a bad trade that it is even worse than any Isiah trade?

First off, let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that Francis and Jalen Rose were both “Larry Brown” trades, because I think the Francis trade is a worse trade than this one, and the Rose one might have been worse, too. So it is not a fun discussion if we count them, so let’s not. Instead, just using his other trades, is this such a bad trade that it is worse than either the Curry or Randolph trades?

In fairness to the Suns, I think we should stipulate to the following – the Suns, for whatever reason, felt that they had to trade Shawn Marion. That may or may not be true, but it is basically the only way I can somewhat understand this trade, so so let’s stipulate to that.

So it’s the Suns feeling they have to trade Marion versus:

  • Keith Van Horn for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed
  • Crawford and Jerome Williams for Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams and Cezary Trybanski.
  • Nazr Mohammed for Malik Rose and the pick that became David Lee
  • Kurt Thomas and a pick for Q and the pick that became Nate Robinson
  • Curry and Antonio Davis for Michael Sweetney, Tim Thomas and Jermaine Jackson and one unprotected draft pick (which became Tyrus Thomas) and the right to swap picks (which became Joakim Noah)
  • Randolph and Fred Jones for Francis and Channing Frye
  • There are a few other trades in there that really don’t merit much discussion (the Mo Taylor deal, the Nichols’ deal, etc.)

    It’s definitely worse than the Van Horn trade, as well as the Mohammed deal. The first one worked out pretty well, really, and the second got them a draft pick that turned into their best player.

    I think the Crawford deal is also fairly defensible (even though it has not turned out that well, as Crawford is way overpaid).

    I did not like the Kurt Thomas trade, but it was a reasonable enough deal. No one was stunned by that one, the way they are with this trade (like John Hollinger thinking it was an April Fool’s prank).

    I think it is worse than the Randolph trade, which was a really bad trade, simply because the Knicks were basically in dump mode on Francis, so even if they end up dumping Randolph for garbage in the future (which I am hoping happens), it will not be a bad return for a player the Knicks were trying to dump themselves. Here, the team doing the dumping got the much better player!!!

    In my mind, it leaves the Curry deal, and as much as it pains me to say this, I think this deal is worse than the Curry one. I think trades should really be based on what the traders knew at the time, not by subsequent events. So while it was quite foolish for Isiah Thomas not to protect his draft picks through the Top Three, John Paxson would not have accepted the pick if it was lottery-protected (according to Paxson), so Isiah’s crime here is not protecting it for top five/top three/whatever, and while it was definitely a poor decision on Thomas’ part, I think it also is explicable that Thomas did not think there was even a 10% chance of the Knicks finishing with the second worst record in the NBA that season. That is a dumb decision, but one that I can explain.

    The Suns trade, on the other hand, works only if inexplicable things happen, such as Shaq suddenly getting healthy and into shape out of nowhere at 35 years old. That might very well occur, but Steve Kerr could not know that when he made the deal, so I cannot credit him for that if it does, in fact, occur.

    The Curry trade was also bad because Michael Sweetney appeared to be as good, if not better, than Curry, as well, even before the draft picks got involved, but the disparity is not near the disparity between Marion and O’Neal.

    So, yeah, I think this trade is worse than Isiah’s trades – which is certainly saying something, no?

    77 comments on “Is This Worse Than Any Isiah Trade?

    1. Z

      Isiah trades are bad because of what he brings in, not so much because of what he gives up. Marion is better than any player Isiah has traded away, which makes this deal different.

      We’ll probably never know why the Suns felt they had to deal Marion. Because they have been on the cusp of a title for several years and have a well built team of veterans and young talent, I give their front office the benefit of the doubt that they know what they are doing.

      The Randolph trade is the worst of all of Isiah’s trades because he lost the benefit of the doubt in my mind (which I gave him with the Curry trade). If Phoenix had a recent history of bad trades and had an organization that was a laughingstock, then I’d compare this trade to Isiah’s.

      As it is, I’ll wait and see how far Phoenix goes this spring.

    2. jon abbey

      Steve Kerr is a smart guy, so I wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgment on this, even if it seems ludicrous on the surface. I’m guessing that part of it was Marion was becoming an increasingly large distraction.

    3. TDM

      Shaq has been known to play possum for years. He is a larger, and more affable, version of Randy Moss (i.e. he plays when he wants to). I’m not sure that I put too much credence in the fact that he is currently injured. I could easily see him coming back in a couple weeks and dominating in limited minutes as he spells Amare.

      On another note, Knicks-Pacers stat:
      Balkman: 6 minutes 5 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks. However, Jeffries got the start, has played more minutes and has turned the ball over 2x already.

    4. Spider Cider

      The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. If Phoenix wins the title on the next 2 years, it’s a good trade. If not, then it’s a pretty bad trade. That being said, it was becoming increasingly more obvious that if Phoenix didn’t trade Marion, he’d likely opt out this summer, and they’d get nothing for him.

    5. Ess-dog

      This is an interesting trade that I could honestly see going either way: Yes, I’m sure that Marion was becoming a distraction, and yes, he’s a very good player, but has never been a Great player and Shaq has been there, done it, 4 times.
      I think Kerr was right: he needed to add a swagger to get that team over the hump. Is it too little too late with Shaq? Maybe. I could’ve seen Rasheed Wallace being more of a sure thing (although that would never happen) but yes, with Shaq, you have to wonder about conditioning and injury.
      But… if the stars align, and Shaq is rested properly, this could work. And with Nash getting older, it does kind of seem like now or never. And Nash and Shaq have played well together in past all-star games.
      I think it’s too hard to tell at this point, just like it seemed like it could’ve gone either way when we traded for Curry (he was supposed to be the next Shaq… haha, jokes on us.)

    6. TDM

      Somewhere Zach Randolph’s stomach was rumbling as you typed “pudding.”

      Getting back to Shaq, people said he was done in LA. Then he was traded to MIA, lost 50 lbs (e.g. Nate Robinson) and won another ring. I’m not buying it . . . yet.

      On the other side of the trade, Marion is finally going to see that getting what you wished for isn’t always ideal. A few 10 game losing streaks under his belt and he’ll be pining for PHX.

    7. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

      It’s a pretty godawful trade for Phoenix. Let’s pause for a moment to bow down before the svengali-like powers of Pat Riley…

      He’s got the worst team in the East (and possibly the NBA), yet in the last three months he’s managed to ditch Antoine Walker’s contract, Shaq’s deal and get an All-Star back in the process. Assuming Wade comes back 100% next year, combined with a lotto pick, they’ve got a shot to be good again relatively quickly.

      (I still hate him…)

      Why Phoenix didn’t look into the Kirilenko deal or see if they could see what Chicago might offer, or Odom from LA? I might suggest that the Knicks could conceivably put together a better package (Randolph and Crawford for Marion, Banks and filler, anyone?)

      Meanwhile, in case anyone is still watching, it’s a pretty fugly game tonight – save for Balkman’s 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.

    8. Z

      “Somewhere Zach Randolph’s stomach was rumbling as you typed “pudding.””

      Somewhere?! He’s on the court right now…

    9. Z

      I think David Lee is confusing Marquis Daniels with Renaldo Balkman– he keeps passing the ball right to him.

    10. John

      Steve Kerr is a smart guy, so I wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgment on this, even if it seems ludicrous on the surface. I’m guessing that part of it was Marion was becoming an increasingly large distraction.

      Um…all evidence to the contrary?

      Shaq doesn’t fit this team, shaq makes more money than marion was making and screws the suns cap longer than marion did (who cares about marcus banks really? No one)…the suns themselves are openly saying they’ll be playing ‘4 on 5′ on offense, the #1 offensively efficient (and repsectable 11th in defensive efficiency) but worst rebounding team in the league added a guy who is going to drive their offensive numbers down, not necessarily make their defense ‘as better’ as he hurts their offense.

      Oh yeah, Mike D’antoni better start getting that resume together.

      Steve Kerr making his bid to take the seat of billy king at ‘worst 5 gms’ in the league table…(at which isiah sits at the head)…otis smith is trying to squeeze in too

      The nba is full of really bad GMs…so are they really bad GMs or is the NBA CBA just a crock of mess

    11. Ess-dog

      Foster, Murphy and Dunleavy have to be the slowest frontcourt in the NBA, which is why the twin twinkies don’t look half bad tonight…

    12. MattyXL

      From what ive been hearing for a while now is that Marion may be a cancer, it is known that he did not get along with other teammates most notably stoudemaire and was basically a complainer when he didnt get enough shots (and he is a chucker)to me Marion is a talented player and fun to watch but may be a stats guy and not a team guy. I believe phoenix may just want to get rid of him and getting shaq, at the very least gives other teams (Spurs, lakers etc) someone to reckon with downlow, even if it is for 20 minutes.

      It works for the heat as well as they can really clear up the cap space and rebuild wit youth…hopefull wade wont want to wait for that.

      As far as Awful thomas trades…The Tim Thomas trade drove me crazy as there isnt a more selfish, soft player in the league. I did think Nazr could play….but at the time that trade happened Van Horn and Marbury were playing great together (not to mention michael doleac as well) I know there was rumors that they didnt get along but they were playing very well together.

      I always liked van horn, people claimed he was soft but it seemed to me he always tried hard rebounded well and was a good team guy.

      Thomas on the other hand was a me guy…ummm did he ever box K-mart? hes a joke.

      Also anyway we can moochie norris back? he can run the show, I believe he zekes first trade.

    13. Ess-dog

      Is there a word in the dictionary that means the complete opposite of ‘clutch’?
      If there is, please apply it to Curry.

    14. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

      Isiah took Lee out and left the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men in the game. That’s the nail in the coffin…

      It’s a good thing actually, as Indy’s yellow threads were starting to cause me to go blind.

    15. Z

      Opposite of clutch = choke

      (remember when Houston, formerly “Choke City” renamed themselves “Clutch City” during the 1994 nba playoffs…)

    16. caleb

      If shaq is mostly healthy I think he’s still just as good of not better than shawn. Marion…. And it’s not inconceivable that he’ll be 85 percent of what he was, and the suns win the title. And nash is what, 33, 34, himself? Of course it’s more likely that shaq misses a lot of games and the suns just have a horrific defense, lose in rd 2 or the conf finals.

      But what really makes it a crazy trade is that phoenix probably could have done much better, comparison shopping. Tons of teams wanted marion. It drives me nuts that teams let themselves get bullied so easily… So marion wants to opt out… Does he really want to play in philly? Memphis? Hmmmm…. Let him opt out of his 17m, and take the mid-level. As-if. Worst-case scenario, he leaves for nothing, and it’s basically the same as the shaq trade… By next year, or 1 more at most, shaq is truly done, and you’ve lost marion for nothing anyway. Except the honor of paying shaq 20 mil.
      In 2010.

      I do think this is as bad as any isiah trade… But NOT as bad as our FA signings! This has at least some chance of working. Not so jerome james, or jeffries… Or even crawford, basically a FA even tho it was technically a sign and trade.

    17. MattyXL

      maybe when Crawford is having another horrible shooting night, maybe he shouldnt be there at crunch time. Jamals a good player and trys hard I like that he wants to always take the last shot but geez enoughs enough.

      It shouldnt even of gotten to this point.

    18. Z

      “By next year, or 1 more at most, shaq is truly done, and you’ve lost marion for nothing anyway. Except the honor of paying shaq 20 mil in 2010.”

      This may be a lower risk investment than that. If Shaq has to retire due to injuries insurance companies may pay the bulk of it.

      I think Phoenix realistically concluded that they have come up short the past three years because they don’t have a defensive 5 to beat down Duncan. There are not a whole lot of people out there that can do it. Curry is not one of them. Kirilenko is not one of them. Gasol is not one of them. Shaq is.

      Since Nash is aging, and when he goes, so goes the team, now is as good a time as ever to put it all in. If they come out of the west this year it will look like a great trade, no matter what Shaq gives next year or beyond.

      It is way too early to call this one an “Isiah trade” (although the only way Phoenix would have been guaranteed to come out on top would have been if they had dealt with the Knicks instead because Isiah has mastered the “Isiah trade”)

    19. njhoops

      Jon Abbey, read that NY Sun article, it just confirms what I’ve always thought, Isiah is as bad an X’s and O’s coach as he is a GM. So what exactly is he good at, besides being a great former player?

      On another subject, Mike Breen kept pointing the high number of 3 attempts by Indy (31), but the explanation is pretty simple: when you’re standing beyond the 3 pt. line and there’s nobody within 6 feet of you, you’re gonna fire it up. And unlike the Knicks, almost all the Pacers can shoot decent from 3. Our closeout defense continues to be the worst I’ve ever seen. And on the topic of our outside shooters, you gotta cut Curry and Randolph a little slack, of course they’re gonna get double and triple teamed when there’s no one on the court other than Crawford that can hit an open shot. We are the most flawed team in the NBA in so many ways it’s scary.

    20. jon abbey

      “I think Phoenix realistically concluded that they have come up short the past three years because they don’t have a defensive 5 to beat down Duncan. There are not a whole lot of people out there that can do it. Curry is not one of them. Kirilenko is not one of them. Gasol is not one of them. Shaq is.”

      this would be much more defensible if they hadn’t given away Kurt Thomas in the offseason, simply to avoid luxury taxes. in a way, I’d be way more pissed off as a Suns fan than I am as a Knicks fan, because they may have squandered their window of chance at a title simply because they were cheap (they gave away Deng also a few years back, good call there).

    21. Roshi

      When I first heard about this trade, I thought Steve Kerr had lost his gord, but after further consideration I have to agree with various people in this forum. Phoenix has a very short window left with which to win a title, given Nash’s back problems. Nash is one of a very select few PGs that can run an offense like this (Chris Paul is definitely not available to replace him). I’m sure Kerr is thinking that Shaq will shore up interior defense in the playoffs when the game slows down. Phoenix desperately needed someone to be able to contend with Duncan, and while Shaq is no guarantee, at least he has the playoff experience and pedigree. As with the Nash situation, there aren’t many imposing big men in the league and thus, teams are generally unwilling to get rid of them. Needless to say, adding Eddy Curry or Z-bo would not solve Phoenix’s defensive woes. In the end this may be a bust for Phoenix, but they had to do something quickly.

      For Miami, this is a miraculous trade. They get to dump a $20m role-player and add one of the most versatile forwards in the league to play alongside Wade. If they get lucky in the draft, they’ll be competitive again in a year.

      By the way, with regards to the Knicks-Pacers game, it’s probably worth mentioning that Dunleavy has made a huge leap this year and is playing All-Star caliber ball. Unfortunately, the rest of his team sucks. I believe he torched the Knicks earlier this season, and none of us should be surprised that he did so again.

      I wasn’t able to watch the game, can anyone explain why Balkman is back to playing zip minutes, after playing so well lately? And what’s going on with Nate?

    22. Brendan

      Two things on the Shaq trade:

      1. It’s definitely true that the Suns have a small window, but in trading for a very broken down and used up center on a gihugic contract, I would argue that they’ve actually shortened that window even further. Shaq’s usable life- if absolutely everything goes right- is about a season. If the trade works as well in basketball terms as they hope, and the new Suns gel quickly, they’ll be very dangerous this year; they can probably baby it through and have a puncher’s chance next year; after that, they’re FFL. That’s assuming they gel as quickly as the Celtics have, and Shaq’s healthy for the playoffs.

      2. This isn’t going to help their defense, I think. Yeah, Shaq’s larger, but his lateral quickness and jumping are shot all to hell. He just can’t move anymore to rotate or deal with pick and rolls and he’s not enough of a leaper on those knees to be a major shot blocking menace. There’s a reason his fouls are at their highest level since his rookie year and that will also limit, along with health, how many minutes he can offer in the playoffs. I’m not clear how much he offers on this end over Brian Skinner (or Kurt Thomas who was given away in the offseason). Now factor in that the Suns just lost their best perimeter defender, and I don’t see how this is going to work as an upgrade.

      To me the only way the trade makes sense is if you buy that Shawn Marion had become such a total detriment to the team that they were better off without him. There’s no real way to verify that or disprove it (though his ex-teammates seemingly are happy enough to see him go), but it had better be true to justify this because it makes little sense in pure basketball terms.

      Frankly my hunch is that the team were sick of Marion, Kerr panicked after the Gasol trade, and Riley was there to offer the apple. Don’t forget- apparently he called to suggest this, not the Suns.

      As for tonight’s Knicks game, the best thing happening was Marquis Daniels’ yellow shoes. Those were spiffy.

    23. Thomas B.

      John abbey,

      One thing about that story in the Nysun: “But rather than going deeper into the bench, where capable players such as Mardy Collins…”

      I dont think anyone, even Mama Collins, thinks of Mardy as capable. He is shooting .259 from the field. He has a near flat ast/to ration of 1.4 to 1.3 In 22 games he has one game with more than 2 made fgs. 0-7 from deep. .60 from the line. If you took Eric Snow, cut off his right hand, made him wear an eyepatch, and told him he had to play basketball with either a bowling ball or beach ball, whichever is funniest, he would still be a more dependable scorer than Mardy Collins.

    24. Thomas B.

      One of my hobbies is anagrams, yes I’m nerdy. I worked on a few for the Knicks. I tried to find anagrams that said something about the personality of the Knick. Some were funny, others made no sense.

      Isiah Thomas = Oh, a sham it is (my fav)
      Zach Randolph = Hold ranch zap
      David Lee = Did leave, evil dead, ale dived
      Nate Robinson = A stone inborn (because he is stubborn see 2006 dunk contest) Into bars none
      Mardy Collins = only slim card, dynamic rolls, nod calmly sir
      Eddy Curry = Yer Cruddy, ye dry crud
      Renaldo Balkman = A man bankrolled, a normal elk band, on blanked alarm
      Jamal Crawford = J, warm cold afar
      James Dolan = Jade salmon (rich & swims up stream to die)
      Jerome James = Jeer some jam, J, see more jam

      That’s it, I hope I spelled the names right.

    25. Brendan

      “David Lee=…evil dead”

      Yeaaaaaah, I think you just solved the whole “what should be nickname David Lee?” Question pretty well. Someone just needs to get him to yell “THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK” next time he dunks.

    26. njhoops

      And the winner of last night’s “stiff to star” award is…drumroll please…..Kareem Rush, 10-13, 24 points. He follows in the illustrious footsteps of Salmons, Perkins, Vujacic, etc. as marginal players who thrive against the Knicks pathetic D. Good job, Kareem, hope you put up those stats against your next opponent, but somehow I don’t think so.

    27. Caleb

      thanks, Thomas!

      as far as Shaq, he will help the offense if healthy but decimate the defense – sure he can sit on Duncan but Marion was guarding everyone from Tony Parker to Dirk Nowitzki. And who says the Spurs are even making the conference finals?

    28. Duff Soviet Union

      I just don’t see this trade helping Phoenix at all. Shaq won’t help their offense and you generally don’t improve your defense and rebounding by trading your best defender and rebounder. By the way, Phoenix just had one steal in a double overtime game. Chris Paul alone had eight.

      As for the whole “Marion is a cancer” bullshit, well that’s exactly what it is. This team was 34-14 with the best point differential in the West despite playing a road heavy schedule so far. That doesn’t exactly scream “the chemistry here is broken”. Marion might (or might not) be a bit of a selfish jerk in the lockerroom but he certainly doesn’t play a selfish style of basketball on the court (see Randolph, Zach). If Marion/Stoudemire had gotten to be untenable, I’d actually trade Amare who’s trade value almost certainly exceeds his actual value thanks to his complete lack of defense and highlight reel offense. Whenever people talk about Marion, a large portion of people say “he wouldn’t be nearly as good if he didn’t play with Steve Nash/in Phoenix”. Well, that works both ways. Phoenix won’t be nearly as good without Shawn Marion.

    29. Frank

      One side effect of this bizarre PHX-MIA trade: Miami is sure to be better on the floor with Wade and Marion, will probably start running Showtime style. That might just get us a better draft pick!

      Does anyone think the Knicks players are tanking just to get Isiah out?

      Great line from Isiah in describing his experience with Bobby Knight:

      “I tell this to a lot of our guys: We never had one play at Indiana. I don’t think we even had an out-of-bounds play. [Knight] just taught you how to read the defense and react to the defense and got you to play within the framework of the team.”

      Here’s a question: Isiah– what happens when the teacher (YOU) sucks and the players (KNICKS) are lazy and have bad basketball IQ?

      Answer: 14-35

    30. Ess-dog

      I shouldn’t even joke about this b/c the secret service will jump on me, but I think we’ve got our new code for saving the Knicks:

      “Take out the Jade Salmon”

    31. John

      I think the Shaq discussion is interesting but the fact is, the Knicks are still bad. After the reading the post today and seeing the comments from Isiah about blaming the poor play on youth is disgusting.

      Facts are facts, we have young players but it is his job to get them to perform and develop. Also, to create an environment that allows them to win. Have the Knicks youth developed? Do the Knicks have a winning locker room? Some guys have developed, some haven’t even hit the court. So, what is really holding the Knicks back is the extremely flawed team that can’t defend and plays too much “street ball.”

      What the hell is dolan waiting for? Just cut him IT loose and get a coach that can develop these guys! Veterans aside, let’s get rid of them all and play young guys. Season is OVER….

    32. T-Mart

      IN THE NY POST THIS MORNING:

      During the sadness of this season, there was some comic relief in the sight of a fan wearing a black Pacers’ jersey holding up a sarcastic “Keep Isiah” sign through most of the game.

      That was Matt Asen, the Pacers’ sign man who made the trip to the Garden to needle Thomas as he needled him across his three years when Isiah was Pacer coach.

      “I think the whole league wants the Knicks to keep Isiah,” Asen cracked.

    33. jon abbey

      “the comments from Isiah about blaming the poor play on youth is disgusting.”

      I haven’t seen those yet, but that’s pretty funny, since the “youth” is playing a lot better than the dreadful lumps of veterans Isiah brought in were.

    34. tastycakes

      The Shaq trade is one of the most depressing trades I’ve ever witnessed as an NBA fan.

      The Suns are getting fleeced here. Shaq is a shell of his former self. He is currently injured and has a history of being injury prone. He is just about the worst possible fit for the Suns type of playstyle. He’s 35 years old. He gives the Suns less spending flexibility over the next 2 years. And Marion, on the other hand, is still an underrated player, a two-way force who has been instrumental in their being one of the best teams in the NBA during the Nash years.

      The Suns were my favorite team in the NBA, outside the Knicks, and obviously only one of these two teams had any chance at winning a championship in recent years. I love Steve Nash’s game and really hope the dude can win a championship. More specifically, I loved the way they played, up-tempo, frenetic, an emphasis on moving the basketball. It’s the best style of basketball there is, in my opinion, the most watchable, the more pure. It’s a type of basketball that makes casual observers into fans. And for fans of exciting, full-court basketball, this trade is a sad (and baffling) admission that such a style can’t win a championship. Never mind that the Suns were an unfair ruling away from beating the Spurs last year, and that they could have and should have won the championship. Never mind that they had the best record in the West going into last night’s play. No, blow that up to get the ghost of fucking Shaquille O’neal.

      At some point, Shaq’s massive frame is no longer going to be able to carry the load. That point in time came last year.

      Utter foolishness by Steve Kerr, whose moves thus far have been phenomenally stupid. Giving up Kurt Thomas and draft picks for nothing? Signing the ghost of Grant Hill? Dude is GMing like it’s Fantasy NBA 1999 Edition.

      Been a pretty dull NBA season thus far, though I keep tuning in to see the Knicks get beat by awful teams (the Clips? the Pacers? OMG). What a downer.

    35. Thomas B.

      Folks I am glad you liked the anagrams. I’ll work on the rest of the team soon. I’m am all for renaming James Dolan Jade Salmon especially after my wife pointed out that salmon is full of mercury, a poisionous metal that can damage your brain if ingested, and Dolan has been slowly poisoning the Knicks since he arrived in NY (her words). Thank God I married a sports fan.
      ——

      Tastycakes,

      I could not agree more. The Suns and the Warriors were some of the most exciting teams I have seen. I could actually stand to watch the entire game when these teams are playing. The style is open and fast. No lead is safe. The ball movement is just great. I never liked that slow, plodding, isolation, post dumping style of play. It seems this trade does signal the end of exciting uptempo basketball.

      Also, why is it that a new GM comes in and he feels he needs to put his own stamp on the team? This trade reeks of Kerr just wanting to make a signature move. If it is working don’t fix it. The Bulls nucleuos was together for 3-4 seasons before they broke through and won a title. This suns team has had 2-3 shots at it? And they were robbed last year. This cant be an “anti-Gasol” move because Gasol’s style of play is not the kind that you counter with a Shaq type defender. Gasol can put the ball on the floor and score from all over. Shaq cant meet Gasol at the high post and stay in front of him if he drives. Shaq cant run with Gasol on the break. I don’t get it.

    36. retropkid

      Just think: If the Knicks go on a 20 game win streak, we’ll reach full mediocrity!

      I guess Phoenix had to try something…they have been great fun to watch, but not built for playoff success (see: New Jersey Nets — nice top 3 guys over the years, good regular season, but no chance to win it all).

      I like Marion and watching him and Staudimire run the floor with Nash was great…but as others have said, Nash is getting older, maybe they are loading up for one shot…which is probably not this year given Shaq’s health, but it might be next year.

      Marion may struggle some in Miami without a top point guard getting him the ball where he likes it. Wade is less impressive this year, too, he is dribbling/dominating the ball more than he used to have to do…Marion won’t love that.

    37. cwod

      I expect Miami to improve slightly, and the Knicks are on a nice little losing streak now. Derrick Rose, you are in our sights.

    38. Thomas B.

      Is anyone else concerned about Zach Randolph taking as many 3s as he has lately? He made three last night. I think he had to take one of them but that is not why we brought him to NY. I am afraid that if he keeps hitting 3s he will become the new Tim Thomas. I remember reading a post about what happens to post players and slashers when they begin to hit outside shots. Those type of players tend to abandon the post and drives in favor of the much easier jumperer. Recent example include Al Harrington and Vince Carter.
      ——————-
      John abbey,

      I read that article you posted. There was an interseting quote from Nate Robinson, who correctly predicted the Giants would win the Superbowl, “Defense wins championships. Offense wins games.” My question to Nate: What happens to a team that does not play defense and has a terrible offense? You should know, you played for such a team last night.

    39. Z

      “the comments from Isiah about blaming the poor play on youth is disgusting.”

      His goal as GM was to get younger. Now it’s the reason he’s losing? I guess in a few years when the team still sucks he’ll say it’s because they’re old…

      “Is anyone else concerned about Zach Randolph taking as many 3s as he has lately? He made three last night”

      He banked two of them in last night. Ugly shots.

      I get more concerned that Feb. 21st is only 2 weeks away and Randolph is still a Knick.

    40. John

      Zach’s the man…..he’ll do anything to get his 20-10 stats……

      How many games will the Heat win now that they have Marion? This could be the best thing that ever happened to the Knicks this year! maybe we’ll get the first or second round pick in the draft……….AND GET EVEN MORE YOUNGER! How about that Isiah!

      Youth movement! Morris, Chandler, Nate, Lee, Balkman

    41. Matthew

      I do think Marion had to be traded. They could not afford to resign him and they couldn’t let him walk for nothing. Nevertheless, I would think you could do better than an over-the-hill and always-injured Shaq O’Neal.

    42. Ray

      Thanks to the heat for helping our draft positon. Miami will win some more games now. Marion will be playing hard. Zeke will be gone by season end. The is hope….Beasley went for 35 and 13 the other day. Rose is also in our sights. We’ll see.

    43. Ess-dog

      I’m looking forward to about the 10th game after the all-star break, because that’s when Isaiah will give up on the season and start playing the kids (Chandler, Morris.) We’ve got to see what those guys are made of, although I doubt either will save this team. I think in order for Zeke to be fired, we have to be one of the 3 worst teams in the league. Minnesota and Memphis will both be worse but both are clearly rebuilding. To be that bad, while thinking you have a playoff team is absurd and therefore there is no other option but to let Zeke go. When (I mean if) that day comes, I’ll be so happy, words can’t even express…
      What do we think about Carlisle as the new coach? Colangelo as the GM?

    44. jon abbey

      I’ve always loved Carlisle, but none of it will matter much as long as Dolan owns the team. it’s almost impossible to succeed in such a deeply toxic organization, and that won’t go away with Isiah, that comes from the top.

    45. jon abbey

      a lot of the criticism of Phoenix and this deal is that they were breaking up a team with the best record in the West, so it’s interesting to note that they’re currently 5-10 against the other nine potential West playoff teams, 29-5 against everyone else.

    46. John

      We need a GM first, then a coach. Colangelo/Carlisle is nice but these are smart people….do you think they’d subject themselves to dumb dolan’s ways? The only way these two or any other smart executive comes in is if they are given complete control…..Dolan is an idiot but we need him to just be a check writer.

    47. Thomas B.

      As I understand it, Jade Salmon is a recovering alcoholic. Therefore, he should be familiar with a 12 step program. I have a 12 step program for Jade Salmon that will help him manage his life as an Isiaholic (a person addicted to Thomas and fully vested in his dellusions) and a poor owner.

      1. Admit that you are powerless over Isiah and that your team had become unmanageable.

      2. Come to believe that a power greater than Isiah can restore you to sanity and your team to greatness.

      3. Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of proven GM.

      4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of your team (e.g. can you really win a title with a shooting guard that only hits .40 of his fg attempts? Can you really win a title with a starting center that averages 5 rebounds a game? Can you really win a title with a head coach that does not teach defense?)

      5. Admit to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your addiction.

      6. Be entirely ready to have a competent GM remove all the defects from your organization.

      7. Humbly asked him to clean up your and Isiah’s mess.

      8. Make a list of all persons you harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all (fan base and the media).

      9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible (lower ticket prices, add seats for media).

      10. Continue to take personal inventory and when you are wrong promptly admit it.

      11. Through compentence and salary cap management, seek to improve your team, praying only for title runs and the power to carry that out.

      12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, carry this message to other Isiaholics, and warn them against letting Isiah or his ilk (McHale, Elgin Baylor) infect their organizations.

      I’ll even be your sponsor.

    48. Alec

      Latest trade talk is Zbo for Jermaine O’Neal. The only reason I like it , is because O’Neal is a better defender and has two years on his contract. The Knicks would have to include someone else too! So that means maybe Jeffries or Richardson, or James. Of course I prefer the first two because of their longer contracts

    49. Ess-dog

      Bird will never do that trade unless he tricks Zeke into giving up his draft pick. Can you imagine Zeke trading Zach and our first round pick for O’Neal? I can. Then he’ll say, “I felt we already had too many young players, so I decided this top 5 draft pick was unnecessary.”

    50. Ray

      Jermaine has what half a knee cap left? Hes good but so injured. If Isiah trades our pick that make him a sure candidate for assassination. Not by me but like in a video game or something. Ill take O’Neal though its a smaller contract isnt it?

    51. mason

      After much deliberation I’ve come to realize this is a brilliant trade. if not for one simple reason, the Suns are officially the team you most want to watch in the west!

    52. Thomas B.

      If the Suns wanted defense would not Jermaine O’Neal have been a better pick? He is younger, better suited for the uptempo pace, and will cost less money. The Pacers would have taken Marion in a minute. Of course, it would have been hard for the Suns to move Banks in that deal without bringing back Jamal Tinsley in return.

      I’m just upset that the Knicks are unable to get a player like Marion.

    53. mason

      it does suck we can’t get Marion, he would do a lot of things we need done to lead us toward respectability!

      thats also a good point about J.O.! he would make sense although he doesnt have the rings already. The Suns are counting on O’neal to re-find himself, a la wilt chamberlin.

    54. Ess-dog

      do we like the idea of J.O’N. as a Knick? He’s just so banged up. What is he, 27, 28? That’s old considering he came out of high school. I’d rather pick up expiring contracts and bomb the season and get a top 3 pick, personally.
      Do you think G.S. would be interested in Curry or Zach in return for that rookie out of North Carolina and contracts? They’ve got to do better than Chris Webber…

    55. Z

      “do we like the idea of J.O’N. as a Knick?”

      J.O. is an “Isiah guy”. He loves Thomas and has vocally supported him throughout this season. I can’t see the Knicks bringing him in, only to fire Isiah, and then believe that he will put up anything more than the apathetic, insufficient effort that has become the Knicks’ trademark.

      So bringing J.O. in may re-consolidate Isiah’s power within the franchise (like with Marbury v. Brown (Larry), the highest paid corner stone of the franchise would be in Isiah’s corner). This would certainly have more negative implication for the team than simply bringing in an expensive and injured former star.

      But that said– of course I like the idea of J.O. as a Knick, if it means Randolph is no longer a Knick.

    56. Frank O.

      You know, i was critical of this Shaq trade at the start, but if he can get healthy, if, he could provide the kind of defensive force they need.
      He also gives them an in the paint scorer to mix up their run and gun approach.
      The Suns biggest problem is stopping teams with dominant big men.
      I think they are smart and not resting on laurels.
      But Shaq needs to get healthy. And now he has a guard that distributes.
      It could be a nasty combo.
      also, sometimes people simply need a change. Riley’s style of play grinds players down. This could be good for Shaq too.

    57. Alec

      I still think Jermaine has a little in the tank left, but I really like the idea because his contract is shorter than Zach’s.

    58. retropkid

      I’d rather get a guy like Hakim Warrick than Oneal…if Memphis is going to give guys away, go after Hakim…makes over 50% of his shots, has cut down turn-overs dramatically, has length and speed which Knicks need down low…is young and on the rise…is from Syracuse, which may at least be a crowd pleaser…and was a winner in college, made big plays in big games…

      we don’t need veterans on the downside…we’ve had our fill of those guys…let the contracts run their course, dump a guy if need be…and remember that as bad as Zach can be, he’s better than Francis was…

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Shaq and Phoenix win one…but his health is a big concern, and his free throw shooting probably means he’s not playing for stretches at the end of close games…in two years, Phoenix may have a record that looks like Miami this year…

    59. JW Stringer

      Given the fact that Nash and Shaq apparently spoke before the trade, and Steve was completely upfront with his expectations for Shaq, I feel this is a great trade for the Suns.

      Either way, there team is still better off w/ or w/o Shaq than the Knicks so it’s hard to compare trades.

      Regarding the Knicks matchup against the Spurs tonight, here is some great analysis I found on http://pregame.com.

      San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks (7 PM ET)

      San Antonio continues its annual 9-game rodeo road trip and has won 3 straight after losing the first 2 games. The Spurs have lost only 3 times all season to teams with a losing record, and New York has dropped 7 straight overall and 5 in a row in the series. EDGE: SPURS

      Manu Ginobili has filled in nicely for Tony Parker at the point guard spot for the Spurs, averaging 6.5 assists in 4 games. In fact, San Antonio has totaled 57 assists combined over their last 2 games, a season-high for a 2-game stretch. EDGE: SPURS

      The Knicks have lost by an average of 6.1 points during their 7-game losing streak, falling 3 times by 3 points or less and once in overtime. SLIGHT EDGE: KNICKS

      Spurs are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 Friday games.
      Knicks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
      Favorite is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings.

    60. Thomas B.

      Ess-dog,

      I suggested Curry or Randolph to Denver and the posters correctly pointed out that they lack the motor to play at Denver’s pace. I would have argued that the same applies to GS, but then they picked up Webber, who has played the last 3 years on one leg. They could afford Webber because if it doesnt work out, he wont be stuck on the team for three years like Curry or Randolph. Webber is less a risk than Curry or Randolph.

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