June 2, 2008—The Knicks’ situation so often looks hopeless, and rightfully so. With Donnie Walsh and Mike D, there is a ray of light. This is what it would take to turn that ray of sunshine into a beautiful summer:
If I’m Walsh:
1. Keep Lee, Crawford, Robinson, Chandler, Rose, and Morris (re-sign). I don’t think anyone would disagree except for Rose and Morris.
With Morris, there isn’t a team that’s going to just throw money at him, and we really haven’t seen him play. It’s little risk with a surprise opportunity for big gain in Mike D's system.
With Rose, I would like to see a strong veteran presence on the team, a player guys could respect every time he talks. We have to pay him another $7 million, and then he’s gone. I think he would take pride in this opportunity before fading out of the NBA with Marbury gone.
2. Buy out James and Marbury. Marbury may excel in Mike D's system, but he's a cancer. He needs to be taken away from all the kids that aren’t trying to have a loser’s legacy like Starfairy.
3. Trade Curry to Memphis for Mike Miller and the No. 5 pick. Memphis wants another big man. Well, they got 'em. They are getting him a lot cheaper than New York did.
4. Trade Mardy Collins and cash to Utah for the No. 22 pick. Collins isn’t the quickest but would be much better in Utah’s true half-court style. He's tall and a better than average defender. Jason Hart was a bust, so it’s cheaper and worth the shot for Utah.
5. Sign Josh Childress to the mid-level. He would be perfect for Mike D's system and would probably love to give it a run. The Hawks most likely would match, but it is more than worth the try.
6. With draft picks five, six, and 22 draft Danilo Gallinari, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
DG can play both forward positions and is a gifted scorer.
CDR should be a steal that late in the draft and a lot of boards have him going even later.
DJ is big risk but big gain. Playing for the coach that is the most sought after to play for may give him a reason to be as great as some believe he can be. I wouldn't mind seeing Ewing as an assistant helping his development either.
So far, so good. Now this is where I will probably get some static.
7. Trade Q-Rich and Balkman to Golden State for Monta Ellis (sign and trade). GS is getting $0.65 on the dollar, but it wouldn’t be the first time.
Q can play their up-tempo game as he did it well with the Suns. He has already been working toward that form with Mike D in town.
Balkman gives them a defensive presence and is all hustle. He seemed to have fallen out of favor with Isaiah during the year, but I don’t believe you can judge him as Isaiah seems to have done nothing right.
There have already been whispers about Ellis wanting to play for Mike D (Google it). With their center of the future needing to be signed and with Baron Davis making $17 million a year, how much is Mullin willing to pay for that one position? If Ellis wants it enough, he may be able to force a sign and trade to New York.
8. Trade Randolph and Jefferies to Indiana for Jermane O'Neal. For New York, it’s a no-brainer. JO even sheds $20 million off the books soon.
Why does Indiana do it? Zach’s scoring and rebounding numbers are close to JO but can’t play half the defense JO does. With the emergence of Dunleavy last year, it would give Indy a great inside-out game.
Troy Murphy is not a starter and Randolph would be a considerable upgrade (Jeffries just makes the numbers work). Also, Indy is lucky to get 50 games out of JO a year. Randolph is younger and more durable.
Even as cap space, there is only so much you can expect to get back for JO. Ask the Knicks how hard it is to try and trade Marbury.
That creates a line-up that looks like this:
PG- Ellis Robinson
SG- Crawford Miller
SF- Childress Chandler
PF- Lee Gallinari
C- O'Neal Jordan
Others: Malik Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Randolph Morris
Not only does that look like a great team for Mike D's system today, but it also creates cap space for 2010 as desired (Lebron). Also, you have the right pieces to step up as the bigger contracts are allowed to expire.
This would also set the ground work for proper financial responsibility for years to come. Above all, allow me to feel proud to ask anyone to turn on the Knicks' game so I can see the score.