Darko Milicic to the Knicks? New York Close to Deal for Former No. 2 Pick

Shady BotrosAnalyst IJune 25, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 07:  Darko Milicic #31 of the Memphis Grizzlies makes a shot over David West #30 of the New Orleans Hornets on December 7, 2007 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Hornets defeated the Grizzlies 118-116.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

New York Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh is close to a deal that would send Darko Milicic to the Big Apple in exchange for Quentin Richardson.

Yes, the Darko Milicic that was picked right after LeBron James in the 2003 NBA draft, and before guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony.

Back in 2003, I was a big Darko fan. He had monster workouts for many teams and was poised to be a star in the league.

This deal is actually a plus for the Knicks (yes, we all know Darko is a huge flop). Mike D’Antoni is the master of getting the most out of his players.

The Knicks haven’t had a franchise big man in forever. For a while it looked like Eddy Curry was the franchise center. He had a career year under Isaiah Thomas in which he averaged about 20 PPG and seven rebounds. However, I think Curry is done; he will never be the same player in D'Antoni's offense.

That’s why you can’t go wrong with this deal. Darko right now is still only 24 years old. He has never lived up to the hype, and if D’Antoni can’t get the most out of him, who can? I’m not saying Milicic is a franchise center, but they get a 24-year-old center with some upside left who can still block some shots and has the best coach willing to work with him.

As for the other side, Richardson has an expiring contract, as does Milicic, which means that the Knicks are perfectly positioned for a spending spree in 2010. However, they need to make more moves. They need to make sure that they are good enough that a LeBron or a Bosh would want to come.

As for the Knicks draft, they need to make a move if they want Stephen Curry. Walsh is in desperate need to make a move right now to move up in the draft and take Curry, because it looks like he will be gone by the time the Timberwolves are off the clock.

If not, whoever is picked not named Curry will get booed as badly as Danilo Gallinari did. If they stay put, they may have to pick a Jordan Hill or another point guard like a Brandon Jennings or a Jrue Holiday.