Discussions between the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies could have former No. 2 overall pick, Darko Milicic, in the Big Apple by weeks end. Barring the Grizzlies needing Darko's expiring contract in a draft-day trade, the deal is all but good.
In return, the Grizzlies would receive small forward Quentin Richardson from the Knickerbockers, along with cash considerations.
Neither player will demand solid minutes on either squad, so we can dub this a swap-of-scrubs.
I do like the deal better for the Knicks if it goes through. Of the many areas of need for New York, shot blocking is a glaring one.
Wilson Chandler led the team with 0.91 blocks per game last season, while the team averaged 2.5 per game. That stat was good enough to earn the Knicks last in the league.
While Richardson seemed to be a waste of space and a mere body on the court, so to speak, Milicic can at least be an upgrade and bring another inside presence to help in the block department.
Darko, even while having an off year last season in blocks per game at 0.84, averages 1.23 for his career. That's half of what the Knicks did as a team.
Meanwhile, Richardson, who had previously been known as a sharp-shooter from distance, has lost his touch significantly since joining the Knicks.
He has shot less than 40 percent from the field in six of the last seven years. While he does still show sparks, he is often considered a "chucker" by many. Frankly, if you're going to get that label, you better be scoring upwards of 25 points, and be a consistent All-Star contender, something Richardson is not.
The deal does get better for the Knicks, as Darko is scheduled to make $7.5 million in the last of a three-year deal he signed in 2007, while Richardson is slated for a player option that would earn him $8.7 million.
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