Friday, November 21, 2008

Zach Randolph Is No Longer A Knickerbocker

Both the LA Times and the News are reporting that the Knicks have traded Zach Randolph to the Los Angeles Clippers for Cutino Mobley and Tim Thomas. For the past dozens of minutes this story wasn't popping up elsewhere but Alan Hahn at Newsday just confirmed the trade, which also sends Mardy Collins to LA.

Open In Case of Emergency

If the Knicks manage to trade Zach Randolph to the Mavericks or Clippers this afternoon then does exiled point guard Stephon Marbury have to be in uniform tonight? Generally, 1-3 players are inactive for each game with Jamal Crawford (already traded to Golden State) and Z-Bo out the door then the Knicks might not be able to keep anyone in street clothes. If you let Marbury wear a uniform then do you play him? Or do you just run the Quentin Richardson and Nate Robinson ragged at shooting guard?

Z-Bo Might Also Be Traded Today...

Donnie Walsh woke up this morning with two things on his to-do list.

1. Unmake Isiah Thomas's Knicks
2. Buy kitty litter.

While, I'm unsure how's he done on that second item, it seems like he might be pretty close to accomplishing the first. Jamal Crawford is forever a former Knick and Zach Randolph may be about to join him in that category.

After being left behind all morning long, Frank Isola at the News reports that Randolph might be traded today to either the Mavs or the Clippers.

Jamal Crawford is No Longer A Knickerbocker

He has been traded to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington.There are many off-the-court and on-the-court ramifications to this deal and we'll get into all of them as the day and the weekend move along. At first sight, I'm both emotionally bummed out and intellectually energized.

Crawford is the one guy on this roster that Knicks fans have had the chance to see grow up as a player (although we're starting to see it with Nate). When he came aboard for the 2004-2005 season he was a conscienceless gunner. He shot first and took questions later. But during his seasons treading the boards at MSG we had the opportunity to watch him mature into...a.....uh....much more effective and efficient gunner.

When the stench of brimstone and bickering filled your nostrils during any trip to the Garden you could always count on Crawford to provide a breath of fresh air. He may have been just as overpaid and underachieving as his teammates and he may have taken contested shots while 454 feet from the hoop that were absolutely maddening but he was never a guy that you disliked. Not really. By the end of the 2006-2007 season you even rooted for him. Not only did his effort on the court and off of it seem genuine but his game was improving. He was trying to get better and do the right thing. He didn't always do it but you saw enough improvement to know that he was working at it. And Crawford is now capable of running the point for extended stretches and he was always the most adept at feeding Eddy Curry the ball in the post. His outside shot is still deadly but he seems to have harnessed it. So far this season he's made more 3-point shots than anyone else in the Association while shooting at a better percentage (.455) than anyone else in the top five in makes. He has a sense for the BIG moment and has zero fear of missing the BIG shot. And, that cross-over dribble is as good as it gets. So, I'll miss him and I may even, six months down the line, purchase a severley discounted No. 11 jersey when they start turning up at Marshall's and TJ Maxx.

All of that being said.....this is a HUGE proactive step in getting us under the salary cap. It's enervating to see the work being done on that front. And, on that score, it's a coup for Walsh that he was able to move Crawford instead of Malik Rose's Expiring Contract as was originally reported.

Like I said, I'll keep writing about this through the weekend. Stay Tuned.

Knicks Making Power (forward) Moves

Donnie Walsh "Reportedly" Dealing for Al Harrington

The wheels are turning. And the gears are grinding. Knicks players are holding their cell phones in their hands somewhere in the city of Milwaukee. A trade is in the works as I type. The newspapers, the Internets and I would guess, the crawl across the bottom of every channel in the ESPN Family of Networks is abuzz with word of a Knicks/Warriors trade. The Knicks are looking to bring disgruntled forward Al Harrington into the fold. And, they are looking to do it in such a way in which long-term financial obligations are sent west.

Marc Berman at The Post is writing (though pawning off the credit/blame for the story to Peter Vescey) that the Knicks are sending Malik Rose's Expiring Contract to Oakland in exchange for Harrington. One can only presume that Malik Rose the Reserve Basketball Player is accompanying the paperwork. The News has nothing on this trade so far. Great job, guys. The San Francisco Chronicle also makes no mention of the brewing trade on its website. But they get leeway that the News doesn't since it's still early in the AM out on the Left Coast. Alan Hahn at Newsday, meanwhile, wrote early this morning that the Warriors would receive Jamal Crawford in exchange for Harrington. The good people over at The Record agreed. Of course, Hahn wrote later in the morning that it was a three-way deal also involving the Clippers in which the Knicks surrendered Randolph, Crawford and Mardy Collins in exchange for Harrington, Cutino Mobley and the only man who makes Lamar Odom look like the exemplar of living up to one's potential. That last player, of course, would be Tim Thomas.

All we know for sure is that Donnie Walsh is trying to land Al Harrington. His first gambit involved Eddy Curry. Which didn't pan out. But Walsh has apparently been diligent in making this deal. Walsh drafted Harrington out of high school while he was running the Pacers. Harrington, from nearby Elizabeth, NJ, is a long, hard-to-guard swingman who seems to fit D'Antoni's scheme exceedingly well: He can shoot the 3 and cause some trouble in the paint. Most importantly, his contract runs out at the end of next season, which means he's off the books for the Summer of Lebron.

Now, the differences between trading Malik Rose's Expiring Contract or Jamal Crawford or Zach Randolph or all of the above are legion and the prospect of bringing Tim Thomas back to the Garden reminds of the sort of theological questions long ignored at WWOD?, namely how can a just and omnipotent Almighty allow for the existence of evil in this world.

It sure seems like this is happening one way (straightup for Z-Bo, Crawford or the Expiring Contract attached to Malik Rose) or another (menage a trois with the Clippers playing the role of the surprised but totally into it stranger we approached at the discotheque). But let's hold off on the analysis until we know how the deed was done.