Yahoo! Sports has reported that the Knicks and Rockets are closing in on a deal that includes Larry Hughes or Al Harrington, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, a swap of 2011 first round picks, and 2012 first round pick for Tracy McGrady, Brian Cook, and Joey Dorsey.
Now as Knicks fan this trade seems like an awful lot for a guy who can potentially just be a 31 game rental. Tracy McGrady, once a very prominent player in the NBA has played just 107 games in his last 3 seasons with Houston. He has struggled with recurring back issues, and now is coming off a tough micro fracture surgery at the age of 31.
The problem I have with this trade is we have seen too little of both players to pull the trigger on this deal. Jordan Hill the 8th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, was on most mock drafts as a top 5 prospect, the second best forward behind Blake Griffin.
He has barely gotten time on the court but now with the Knicks playoff hopes all but over, the younger players on the Knicks roster would be probably given time to develop over the last 31 games.
The bright side of this trade is we unload Jared Jeffries 6.9 million dollar contract. Although this frees up about 9.2 million in cap space, which is enough for two max contract offers, but I think it is very risky to give up a lottery pick and potential future lottery picks especially when the Knicks get no young talent in return.
The thing that troubles me the most is that the Knicks are trading their first round draft picks in 2011 and 2012. These picks would probably be unprotected which is a big aspect of the trade. This would put great pressure on landing big name free agents in July 2010.
The Knicks 2010 first rounder is owned by the Jazz (via the Stephon Marbury trade, yes the Marbury trade).
So why would Donnie Walsh want to trade a lottery pick and draft picks that are so far in the future for a player that so many question marks around his health? It seems this is more about cap space than anything else. This is a very high risk/high reward especially since a new CBA is right around the corner and there is a lot of uncertainty concerning the summer of 2010, draft picks can prove very important in the future.
Nothing is set in stone at this point just like a lot of early rumors during the trade deadline period but if this trade were to happen I would not know what to think of Donnie Walsh. This can either be a terrible or genius deal. If this deal were to go down it would truly be a '2010 or bust' scenario.
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