ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports that the Greek club Olympiakos has reached out to the Knicks to discuss a possible buyout for Stephon Marbury. No way to guess how serious the talks might be, but Olympiakos is a serious player — this is the club that signed Josh Childress to a $10 million deal last summer. According to Sheridan, Marbury is aware of the interest but has not spoken to anyone from the Greek team.
If Sheridan’s article is accurate, one can guess that the two clubs and the player are discussing a deal that would guarantee Marbury a certain salary, to make up anything he gives up in a buyout. Olympiakos might be extra-motivated because Childress, the team star, underwent surgery this week for an abdominal tear. He’s expected to be out somewhere between 3 and 8 weeks.
On the other hand, Donnie Walsh seems dead-set on exploring trade possibilities for Marbury, right up to the Feb. 19 deadline. It seems unlikely that a buyout would happen before then, but I suppose Olympiakos could try and push him, by offering Marbury a big chunk of money – saving the money for Walsh and Jimmy Dolan.
Marbury has publicly offered to give up $1 million in salary, in a buyout. He’s also expressed interest in joining the Celtics, so he probably would consider Olympiakos a backup plan, at best. However, the Knicks have some leverage, because if they refuse to cut Marbury loose by March 1, he won’t be allowed on any other team’s playoff roster.