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Knicks’ Wilson Chandler fires agent, looks to cash in next summer

Jan 21, 2011, 1:27 PM EDT

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Back in the fall, Wilson Chandler’s agent Chris Luchey tried to convince Knicks GM Donnie Walsh to sign his client — whose rookie deal was about to end — to an extension. The Knicks are all about financial flexibility going forward, so they said no.

Chandler has gone out and had the best year of his career. He’s giving New York 17.6 points a game, he’s shooting 35.9 percent from three, he finished at the rim at a crazy good 78 percent, and he’s improved his rebounding. The guy is even getting blocked shots. (That said, he’s being moved to come off the bench starting Friday night, so that Ronny Turiaf can start.)

He’s going to get paid this summer, and he wants a new agent to make sure he gets the most out of that. And of course, as with all thinks Knicks right now, it ultimately ties back into Carmelo Anthony. Chandler could be part of a package sent west if a deal is struck. From Newsday:

Chris Luchey, who has represented Chandler since he entered the NBA Draft in 2007, confirmed to Newsday that he has been let go. Luchey called it “amicable” and said he had “no ill will” toward Chandler, which is an interesting choice of words considering “Ill Wil” is one of Chandler’s nicknames….

The Knicks want to keep Chandler, who is a favorite of the coaching staff for his coachability and very quiet, hardworking demeanor (not to mention his steadily improving talent), and his status as a restricted free agent might actually be what keeps him in New York. The Nuggets like Chandler as a talent, but there is concern about what they’d have to pay him as a restricted free agent. Luchey was looking for money similar to the five-year, $60 million deal Danny Granger signed with the Pacers in 2008.

Chandler is a three who can run and fill it up. He has value (whether it’s Granger value is up for debate). How that will translate into dollars in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is another question entirely. After the deal is struck, teams may be tight fisted.

If that is the case, the Knicks may match what the market offers.

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