2010 NBA Trade Deadline: Knicks News

2010 NBA Trade Deadline: Opinion On New York Knicks Deals
M.D. Wright

***EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2010 National Basketball Association Trade Deadline is 3:00 PM EST, on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Some deals have been made, but I will focus on the New York Knicks’ moves and speculate on some future moves (waivers, impending free agency, which begins July 1, 2010 — and deals can be signed after the two-week moratorium is lifted July 15, 2010) that the Knicks may make as a result.


Knicks get G Tracy McGrady (who was traded to the Sacramento Kings for G Kevin Martin earlier in the day) and G Sergio Rodriguez from the Kings, the Houston Rockets get G Kevin Martin and F/C Hilton Armstrong from the Kings, and F Jordan Hill along with F Jared Jeffries from the Knicks.

The Kings get the Rockets’ F Carl Landry and F Joey Dorsey — along with the Knicks’ G Larry Hughes.

This move is huge. People do not realize this was the plan from the get-go after Isiah Thomas was fired as the Knicks’ GM. All eyes were on the 2010 free agent signing period and the Knicks are now in prime position to sign two MAX PLAYERS (in NBA jargon, that is signing to players to maximum contracts, which are in the 5 year/$90 million range — or 6 year/$110 million range if they remain with their current teams).

Also included are the Knicks’ 2011 and 2012 First Round Draft Picks. The 2011 pick is Top-1 protected, the 2012 pick is Top-5 protected. In essence, the Knicks are going ALL IN and “standing” on 17, if you will (Blackjack lingo), hoping their $30 million-plus in salary cap space will be enough to lure two of the big superstars who are impending free agents this offseason.

This list of big names includes:
F LeBron James.
G Dwyane Wade.
F/C Chris Bosh.
F Amaré Stoudemire.
Joe Johnson.
Rudy Gay.

If things go the way the Knicks and many Knick fans hope, the Knicks can POSSIBLY come away with LeBron James AND Dwyane Wade. Even Chris Bosh as “consolation” for not getting one of the former will be a great summer for Knicks fans and the Knicks’ brass. They were able to keep F David Lee, F Danilo Gallinari, G/F Wilson Chandler and G Toney Douglas throughout all the trades.



Knicks send G Nate Robinson, 3-time consecutive NBA All-Star Dunk Contest winner to Boston for G Eddie House, JR Giddens and Bill Walker. There is another Knicks player involved, but he has yet to be named. Most of us Knick fans think it may be Chris Duhon, whose contract is expiring — as the Knicks are likely to begin playing G Toney Douglas more often at the point guard position with the departure of Nate Robinson.


The Knicks shaved tons off their cap by getting rid of Darko Milicic earlier in the week to receive Brian Cardinal, who will most likely be waived. Larry Hughes’ prohibitive contract was moved, which helps the cap. Al Harrington, whose game has sunk to nothingness, and his $10M contract come off the books this offseason for the Knicks. So does Chris Duhon’s. McGrady’s $23M final year comes off in July, so the Knicks have the flexibility to keep him as a decent wing player for LeBron James and/or Wade, at the mid-level exception (which does not hurt the cap situation) or simply let him go and use the MLE and other exceptions to sign another player. The picks are negligible if the free agent signing period works out the way we hope here in New York.

Who wouldn’t want to play here? We can sweeten the pot more than anyone other than either Los Angeles team — and the Lakers are in cap hell, so they cannot sign anyone to more than a $6-$8M contract. The Clippers are… well, the CLIPPERS. Who wants to go there and never see their NBA career again? Definitely not these superstars.

My guess is that with all the moves the Knicks have made this week, and maybe a couple more to follow in waivers and so forth, they are going to try to get to about $40M under the cap and be able to tender their current players when necessary in 2011 so that any signings this offseason do not land them back in cap purgatory.

The Knicks have not been under the cap since we signed Allan Houston in 1996. I almost forgot what this feels like. Donnie Walsh is DEFINITELY NO DAVE CHECKETTS (all… and I mean ALL — Knicks fans LOVED Checketts) but he just made a series of nice moves that put us in the driver’s seat to have rights of first refusal for all the free agents coming up this offseason.


When the Knicks are good, it is good for the NBA. You know this. I know this. David J. Stern knows this. Hate us or not, ACCEPT IT.



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