Tagged: New York Daily News

Knicks Met With Andre Miller

Frank Isola of the Daily News is reporting that the Knicks met with Andre Miller today at the team’s training facility but made no offer to the free agent PG.

According to Isola, Miller is seeking a salary greater than the mid-level exception and would likely be obtainable only via sign-and-trade, perhaps for incumbent starter Chris Duhon.

This news seems to fly in the face of recent reports coming out of Milwaukee that have the Knicks preparing a full midlevel offer for Ramon Sessions in the next few days. It’s certainly possible, though, that both reports are true and that the Knicks are looking at both players and met with Miller merely to keep the lines of communication open between the parties.

Striking Out in Free Agency

Donnie Walsh took his best shot with Jason Kidd and he’s made two fairly substantial offers to Grant Hill in his efforts to give the Knicks some veteran leadership and bolster the team’s credibility. But with news emerging this morning that the Suns have improved their offer and are making a late recruiting push to bring Hill back into the fold, it seems very possible that the Knicks are going to miss out on both players.

Frank Isola wrote this morning that the Knicks could turn to Andre Miller next should Hill decide to re-sign with the Suns. While I don’t think that would be an awful move, it’s certainly not the Knicks’ best option (more on that below) and I don’t see Donnie landing him anyway. As is the case with the Knicks and David Lee, the Sixers’ position vis a vis Miller has come together beautifully. The teams with substantial cap space are seemingly unwilling to meet Miller’s asking price leaving him with no other option but to accept a deal from Philly or try to orchestrate a sign-and-trade. Barring a fantastic offer, the Sixers can just sit on their hands and wait this out, basically daring Miller to sign somewhere else on a mid-level deal. In the end, I think he goes back to the Sixers on a 3 year deal for $7-8 million per.

So if these are the Knicks’ only targets, it’s starting to look like we may just whiff completely in free agency. Now, there’s still plenty of time and none of the restricted free agents’ situations have been resolved, including Lee’s and Nate Robinson’s, so I’m not necessarily suggesting that Donnie will just rest on his laurels and go to camp with this roster (though he might).

That said, I don’t want to see the Knicks haphazardly trying to add veteran players anyway. While I understand the virtue of Miller, he doesn’t offer the same cache or credibility that Jason Kidd would have and I just don’t see the same value in the incremental improvement Miller would provide. While I do think he’d help the culture, the Pedro Martinez analogy certainly doesn’t apply here because he’s not going to be a major draw to the big-time free agents the way that Kidd might have been.

If the Knicks can’t add Hill, I’d much rather see the team target Ramon Sessions than Miller. I still think Sessions would be a great add and I just have a feeling that the Bucks’ financial struggles have been underestimated and their willingness to match a substantial offer (the full midlevel?) has been overstated. Sessions is 10 years younger than Miller and offers a similar skillset. He’s the kind of young, promising PG that can grow with the team and add long term value regardless of whether we land Lebron or Dwayne Wade.

Short of that, I’d even prefer to see Nate go in a sign-and-trade for a young PG who’s reputation is a little bit tarnished like Sergio Rodriguez or Jordan Farmar over a Miller signing. Each of those players thrive in the uptempo game (Farmar’s main problem is that he’s miscast in the triangle) and are young enough where, given an opportunity, they could still blossom into good players.

We’re all starting to come to terms with some of the biggest challenges the Knicks will face in executing a fast rebuild. If Donnie can pull it off and make us instant 2010 contenders, fantastic. But he shouldn’t force it. This is where his trademark restraint figures to come in handy. Because if the Knicks aim for the fast rebuild with third and fourth tier players, as we all know far too well, in no time we’ll just find ourselves back in the dumpster. It’s time to start getting our heads around the concept of “slow-and-steady”, even if it’s only a fallback.

From Around the Knicks-O-Sphere

This morning’s draft rumblings from the beat:

  • Star-Vermin tells us that the Knicks would have interest in Rubio if he slid all the way down to 8th. Earth-shattering stuff. POST EXCLUSIVE?

My GM Saved Up Loads of Cap Room and All I Got Was This…Carmelo Anthony

Frank Isola blogged this morning about the possibility that Carmelo Anthony might become available in trades this summer given the uneasy (testy, in recent days) relationship he enjoys with Nuggets coach George Karl. Isola urges that, should this come to pass, Anthony will become a Knick.

Isola contends that Anthony bears many qualities in common with some of our favorite bygone Knicks, and that acquiring Melo would be more in keeping with the spirit and history of the franchise (no rings in almost 40 years) than would say, signing Lebron James.

While Isola did make some arguments that appealed to me in a visceral sense, as he somehow managed to favorably compare Melo to Ewing, Sprewell, Oakley, Starks, Mason, Bernard King and Earl Monroe (seriously), he also contended that Melo is a vastly superior player to Chris Bosh. On some level I do view Frankie Ice as a sort of curator of modern Knicks history, but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with him here.

Melo is a star player and I do think he could win a championship someday if he were to land in a situation similar to the present day Celtics where he was one of several star players working together. But if there were a “Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, Melo Train”, there’s simply no question that Melo would be the caboose, and that ass would be dragging.

So here’s hoping Ice’s fearless prediction is way off base. Because, as much as I hate snitches, if DW is going to all this trouble to bring us…Carmelo Anthony, I think I’m going to be really, really sad.