Last week we put together a list of potential offseason targets. As soon as I posted it, we thought of some more. Again, this is a purely speculative list:
I think Amare is off the table until he is able to get on the court and stops leaking eye juice.
Chad Ford reports that the Knicks, Pacers, and Rockets are among the teams looking to buy a pick. Who are the sellers in the first round?
…The Wizards have a high lottery pick they’d consider moving.
The Pistons at No. 15, the Hornets at No. 21 and the Blazers at No. 24 are also all willing to deal. And a few teams with multiple first-round picks — the Thunder, Grizzlies and Bulls — might be willing to sell, too.
Ideally I wouldn’t want the Knicks to give up an asset besides cold hard cash for a pick. I like the idea of building a young, core group of guys that will include Chandler and Gallo.
Ford also did a straw poll of NBA GMs to get the current consensus rankings for point guards. It has to worry Steph Curry/Knicks fans that he is currently considered the second best PG prospect:
5. Evans (I don’t believe he’s a PG)
13. Toney Douglas
I would be happy with any of Curry, Flynn, or Holiday, with Curry a strong preference (not including Rubio because I think he’ll be gone). It looks like the Knicks could definitely get one of them.
There has been a lot of talk about the Knicks trading up to get Rubio, centered mainly around the Knicks’ own draft pick, packaged with a guy like Nate or Lee. Today during his Hoopsworld chat, Luke Byrnes made the point that the Knicks might not have what it takes to get a Rubio trade done:
Mike in Toronto:
Will the knicks look to trade up in the draft maybe sign and trade nate and their draft pick for ricky rubio and possibly an expiring. knicks lineup Rubio,Chandler,Gallo,Lee,Harrington not bad
I think you might be over-estimating the market for a guy like Nate Robinson. He has certainly started to come into his own in the NBA, but Ricky Rubio is a player that many see as the next great young point guard. Nate Rob has some serious limitations because of his size and is nothing more than a role player. Rubio has the potential to be one of the game’s transcendent players.
I have to agree with Luke. Rubio is a franchise player. A team won’t just trade him without extracting a bounty. Would the Hornets have hypothetically accepted that offer for Chris Paul?
Nate and the 8th pick just isn’t going to cut it whether it’s the Wizards, Oklahoma, or whichever other team winds up with the pick. Lee? Maybe.
The wildcard here is if Rubio says he’ll hold out and continue to play in Europe if he can’t play for the Knicks. Then the Knicks basically can name any price within reason (limited by the team drafting Rubio saying to Rubio, fine, stay in Europe, we aren’t taking back the Knicks’ junk as all we have to show for you).
Donnie Walsh has two objectives, and they can conflict with one another. The deals should be examined through that lens:
1. Improve the 2010 cap situation. This deal didn’t do anything to the cap situation. Wilcox expires at the end of this year. If he proves himself, maybe Donnie re-signs him on the cheap. Think of these last months as a tryout. Alternatively, maybe Donnie just lets him walk.
Hughes expires in 2010. He doesn’t have a future with the club, much like Harrington.
Since the deals don’t effect the cap one way or the other, the grade on this objective is: N/A.
2. Stay competitive. The Knicks gave up a role player and three pine warmers for two guys who will contribute. Thomas didn’t get a lot of minutes, but he knew his role in his second stint with the Knicks and didn’t try to do too much. He had a successful half season in this go around.
However, Hughes and Wilcox will certainly trump the production Thomas offered, especially if Hughes can continue to shoot at a career high percentage from 3. He can be a volume gunner like Q was when he was at his most effective with Mike D’Antoni’s suns. Wilcox will run the floor, throw ’em down on pick and rolls, and do some resounding rebounding (look at his per 40s). Don’t be surprised if Wilcox starts to look like David Lee with his scoring and boarding (would you argue that Wilcox should earn $10+ million).
Anyway, the Knicks clearly upgraded their talent and competitiveness, and from that perspective the trades were a success. A.
OVERALL: Overall the first objective is more important than the second. In the end, making the playoffs as an eigth seed this year definitely takes a back seat to getting LeBron. The Knicks tread water in this regard. Overall the balance is still positive: B+