Thursday, February 19, 2009

Um, Nevermind: Nate is a Knick. Right?

Now, Alan Hahn is reporting that the Knicks turned down the offer from the Kings. I'm not sure if he's just a few dozen minutes behind Chad Ford at ESPN.com (see my post below) or if these talks were off-and-on during the past hour. Either way, it seems like the Knicks passed on a chance to significantly affect their 2010-2011 cap number in order to keep Nate around for at least the next few months.

BallHype: hype it up!

The Great Is Gone?


Newsday is now reporting that the Knicks will trade Nate Robinson and Jared Jeffries to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Kenny Thomas. I guess this one must have gone down to the wire after Ford's (see below) report that the Knicks had balked originally.

No More Nate?

ESPN.com is reporting that the Knicks and Sacramento Kings are in talks to about a deal that sends Nate and Jared Jeffries out west in exchange for Kenny Thomas. Since clearing Jeffries' contract is a necessary part of the club's rebuilding effort and retaining Nate isn't a given it makes sense to make this deal if it's on the table and Donnie Walsh thinks it's the best chance to move JJ. It pains me, though.

UPDATE: The Worldwide Leader is now reporting the Knicks rebuffed the Kings offer. I'm relieved. Sort of.

BallHype: hype it up!

I'm Just Spitballing Here...

But what if Donnie Walsh picked up Chris Wilcox, a key cog in the aborted Tyson Chandler to OKC deal, in an attempt to bring Tyson to NYC. Donnie Walsh has (with Cutino Mobley) already shown a willingness to make moves in spite of what the doctors tell him about a player's health.

As I wrote earlier, Chandler fills a gaping need for the Knicks on defense and seems suited to get up and down the floor in D'Antoni's offense. I think if you paired David Lee (or Nate Robinson) with the incoming Wilcox then the numbers work to swap the pair for Chandler.

But, then again, I'm just spitballing here.

BallHype: hype it up!

Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox Are Knickerbockers

With a little more than an hour left before the deadline for trading, the Knicks have pulled off two trades. The first sends Jerome James, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Larry Hughes. The second sends Malik Rose (and "cash considerations") to the StolenSonics in exchange for Chris Wilcox.

Larry Hughes (and Chris Wilcox) Is Allegedly A Knick

Hoops scribe Chad Ford, in a chat over at ESPN.com, wrote that the Knicks and Bulls have agreed to a trade that sends Tim Thomas and Jerome James to the Bulls in exchange for Larry Hughes. According to Ford, this deal is just waiting league approval.

At first blush, I dig the trade. We don't take on any salary past next season and we acquire a shooting guard while also opening up a roster space. There will be more to come from WWOD? as this report is confirmed.


UPDATE: Marc Stein at ESPN.com is reporting that the Knicks will also be acquiring Chris Wilcox from the StolenSonics and parting with Malik Rose and Anthony Roberson as the day goes along. He's unsure if this will go down as two separae trades or as one three-team deal. It seems like Roberson may be included in the Chicago deal if it is two separate transactions. Wilcox's contract expires after this season.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Anthony Roberson's name has been dropped from mentions of the trades over at ESPN.com. Maybe he's staying around.

High Noon Trade-Deadline Update

I don't exactly have breaking news in the real-time sense. This news is already broken. It appeared in a newspaper hours ago. But it was new news to me. So, maybe it is to you as well. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls might not be done dealing.

Sun-Times reporter John Jackson reports that "Guard Larry Hughes - whom the Bulls have been trying to trade for a month - didn't make the trip to Milwaukee," where the Bulls are playing tonight. Jackson mentions that Hughes is rumored to be headed to New York and then goes on to mention a deal "with the principles being Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich and Knicks power forward David Lee."



Using the ESPN Trade Machine, I've concocted a deal that includes all of these players. The Knicks send Lee, Malik Rose, Quentin Richardson (Chicago native and onetime star at DePaul) and Jerome James to the Windy City in exchange for Hinrich and Hughes. The 4-for-2 trade opens up two rosters spots for the Knicks (which potentially make up for the two spots belonging to Cutino Mobley and Stephon Marbury).

I'm not really sure what to make of this. Bringing back Hinrich (whose contract runs through the 2011-12 season) would likely necessitate moving Duhon or Nate in another deal to avoid a Bulls-like logjam at the point guard spot. Are we really committing to Hinrich as the point guard of the post-2010 Knicks? Is Duhon really going to lose his job to the same guy in two cities?

This deal wouldn't cut any payroll that wasn't already coming off the books by the end of next season. In fact, it would actually add Hinrich's salary to our cap number for 2010-11 and 2011-12. Everything else is more or less shifting deck chairs on the Titanic, I think. I guess, thinning out the roster would allow Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari more time to show what they're capable of out there. At this point, having Hughes at the 2 is probably an upgrade over Q at the 2/3 hybrid that he plays. But, I don't think these moves make the team substantially better in the short-term. The ESPN trade machine concurs, forecasting -3 wins for the Knicks if they made the deal I concocted.

Tick, tick, tick...

Happy Trade Deadline Day!

The National Basketball Association's deadline for trading players is 3 p.m. EST. Today. So, it's on. Like popcorn. I'm excited. I'm nervous. During the Isiah Error you just never knew what was going to happen on this day. But you knew something would happen. And, that it would probably involve taking on bad contracts and worse players, like the famed Trevor Ariza for Stevie Franchise move of 2006. Which aside from the symmetrical book stacking at the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947 is the most traumatic thing I've ever experienced.

Sort of friend of WWOD?, Alan Hahn at Newsday is reporting that David Lee is no longer on the trading block. ESPN was reporting that Newsday was reporting that David Lee is off the market. And, this is how the game is played. Someone "reports" something somewhere and then someone else reports on that report and it eventually ends up being reported on Sportscenter. Does this mean Lee won't be traded? Probably. But not necessarily.

First of all, if any club shows a willingness to take on Eddy Curry's contract then you've got be willing to include Lee in the deal. This won't be happening because Curry hasn't played all year and is likely as emotionally fragile as sort-of-Hornets center Tyson Chandler is apparently physically fragile. After being traded from New Orleans to the StolenSonics (in a salary dump), Chandler was marked "return to sender" by OKC doctors, who are concerned about his left big toe. In his own words, he was "super shocked." Me too. I didn't know we had decided that 26-year-old shot-blocking and ally-oop dunking centers were things to move around as freely as Tim Thomas. I must have missed that memo.

The only other way I see that Knicks consider parting with Lee is if the Hornets feel like they have to trade Chandler after all that has gone down in the past few days. If that happens and the Knicks can send Lee and Malik Roses's expiring contract to NOLA then you've got to think about it. It's true that Chandler's contract runs one year past the Summer of 2010 and this might complicate things. But it might not. After all, he's a top-of-the-second-tier center and he will only become a more tradeable asset as each year rolls of his pact. Most importantly, he would give the Knicks a shot-blocking presence on defense and a center who makes his living getting points without having plays run for him. If Walsh doesn't think that he'll be able to retain Lee at a rate that makes sense going forward then this as about as good value as you good ever get back for him.

As far as other deals allegedly in the works, Frank Isola of The Daily News has reported that the Knicks and the Bulls have talked about a deal that would bring shooting guard Larry Hughes to the Big Apple. Malik Rose's expiring contract would again be the key component, as Isola tells it. This deal, though, would require the Knicks to include at least one additional player in order for the dollars to make sense. Ideally (for the Knicks) the Bulls accept Rose's expiring contract and injured bench warmer Jerome James in exchange for Hughes, who was told early in the season that he will not be playing for the Bulls. Both James' and Hughes' contracts run through next season but James's costs about half as much as Hughes's. This would give the Bulls some cap relief next season while also giving the Knicks the stop-gap shooting guard (with a 2010 friendly contract) that Cutino Mobley was supposed to be. I'm not sure if the Bulls have the roster flexibility to pull of a two-for-one deal (especially when you're replacing one guy that does not play with two guys who will not play) so it's possible that any Knicks/Bulls deal would need to get even more involved. To this point, Isola does mention the possibility that David Lee could be included if Chicago was willing to part with Tyrus Thomas or Joakim Noah. Frankly, I don't see that happening. I don't think you trade Lee for those guys at this point even though they both come off the books after next season. As I said above, I think that you have to hope to use Lee to move Curry (perhaps in a sign-and-trade deal after the season) or you have to get an All-Star caliber player in return rather than a rental with potential, which is all that Noah and Thomas are at this point.

In It's-Probably-Too-Good-To-Be-True-News, there was a report this morning in a Yahoo! Sports roundup that the Washington Wizards were interesting in bringing Jared Jeffries back to the District. A few hours later, Hahn at Newsday reported in his blog that the story has "no legs". I wish it had legs because moving Jeffries (and his contract that pays him $6.46 million next season and, cue ominous music, $6.88 million the year after that) would making retaining David Lee (or Nate Robinson) far more realistic (presuming we could convince one or the other to take a backloaded deal). A swap of Jeffries for combo guard Mike James would be a coup for the Knicks. James could provide some of the off-guard scoring that the club had acquired Mobley for, share the court with Nate in the second unit and has a contract that ends after next season. But if the deal has no legs than it likely won't sprint across the finish line by 3 p.m. this afternoon.