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New York's 2010 game turns into a high-stakes gamble

Feb 16, 2010, 11:21 AM EDT

With talks between the Knicks and the Rockets as serious as any other trade discussions out there, Donnie Walsh’s 2010 vision may finally be coming into focus. On a very basic level, it’s golden: Walsh draws on using the biggest market and the biggest stage the NBA has to offer, not to mention some solid young complementary talent, to lure in two of the free agent class’ elite stars.

But if the Knicks end up completing a deal for Tracy McGrady with the other principles of the reported trade staying in place, the Knicks won’t have anything in the way of a back-up plan. From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

It’s a great deal for the Knicks if they can get either LeBron James or
Dwyane Wade. If not, they wouldn’t have much to build around in terms
of young talent. Hill would be with Houston, the Jazz own the Knicks
2010 first round pick and the Rockets would get the Knicks picks in 2012.

While trading for McGrady would indeed open up the cap room to potentially sign two big-name, big-game free agents, what would be left of the rest of the roster? Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Toney Douglas are the only current Knicks under contract for next season, supposing Jared Jeffries indeed has one foot out the door and Eddy Curry remains glued to the bench. The Knicks won’t even have the promise of Jordan Hill, nor any future opportunities at a mulligan as they’re essentially forfeiting their involvement in the first round of the draft until 2013, with the sole exception being the 2011 first round pick of a consistently impressive Rockets team.

If the Knicks could somehow land LeBron, Wade, and/or Bosh, other free agents would follow. But without having two huge talents carrying the load on a nightly basis, how would the Knicks find a way to be anything other than middling? And considering that Walsh’s 2010 plan essentially boils down to gambling on the attractiveness of NYC and the Garden (the former of which means less than you’d think in the internet age) against actually competitive basketball cores in other free agent destinations, isn’t sending out all of the Knicks’ first-rounders for the near future a decidedly bad idea? The Knicks’ fans have been promised a shot in the 2010 free agent lottery, but the price Walsh pays for that opportunity could backfire and doom New York for years to come.

  1. Carlos - Feb 16, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    The Knicks need to work out a deal fast, and see if they could make a run at the playoff picture with what they got. even as a eight seed would be nice to see for once since its been so long the Knicks reached the playoffs. They need to get rid of Curry he hasn’t played in the past two years and collecting millions with a capital “M” for warming the beach. Since the Knicks have so many expiring contracts and freeing up so much Cap room to sign players. They have to make a run on Chris Bosh, he is a great player, the only problem is that the Raptors could offer more $$$ then the Knicks. The addition of Tracy McGrady would be valuable he is a proven winner and could lead the Knicks in leadership. The possibly signing of Dwayne Wade or Lebron James would be hard because Pat Riley is not letting go his primer player, he would offer the Max to Wade to stay with the Heat. Now as for Lebron James to sign with the Knicks is also a hard tasks because just like Wade he will be offered the Max in Cleveland to stay and the Knicks would have to offer everything including the kitchen stink for Lebrom to sign with the Knicks. The bright spot here is the Knicks do have some good players like Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and if the Knicks could work out some trades that would land them a good point guard to run the point like a Walt Frazier, that could run, pass, shoot and rebound the Knicks might just be back in the playoff picture and make a run for the Championship! These are my thoughts as a Knicks Fan going way back when the Knicks played the Lakers for the Championship and Reed came out the tunnel and excited the pack house in MSG!!!!

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