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The Other Side: New York Knicks

Why didn't you trade me? (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

This is the second time that the Wizards will face the Knicks this season, but it could be the first time they will face this Knicks team. Knicks President Donnie Walsh made sure that Stephon Marbury no longer dominated the headlines - for at least a few hours - by making two trades on Friday that could potentially help the team in the short term, but especially in the long term. Marbury is still making headlines, but more on that later.

As for the trades, Walsh's first move was acquiring forward Al Harrington for shooting guard Jamal Crawford. Walsh has a long history with Harrington - he drafted Harrington out of high school in 2000, traded him to Atlanta, traded for him again, then later traded him to Golden State.

Then, later in the afternoon, he traded Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. The trades came with the Knicks off to a relatively good start at 6-5. The undermanned team dropped to 6-6 following a 104-87 loss in Milwaukee on Friday.

I asked an Eastern Conference scout about the deals and he was ecstatic. "I really like them," he said. "Not for the future, for right now. I think it makes them a better team."
The scout said the Knicks got three players who should flourish under Mike D'Antoni's uptempo style. Thomas played well during a short stint in Phoenix three seasons ago. Harrington likes to get up and down, and Mobley is a shooter. "He should have a rebirth there," the scout said. "Unless he's done."

But everyone knows the real reason why the Knicks made these trades. "For LeBron," Knicks guard Nate Robinson told reporters in Milwaukee.

Here's what you need to know about the Knicks heading into the game tonight at Madison Square Garden:

1. The Knicks Are Preparing For 2010
The trades shaved about $27 million from the Knicks' salary cap in the summer of the 2010. The Knicks will be almost $40 million under the projected salary cap to sign a maximum contract to one or possibly two free agents. The free agent class that summer is ridiculous with such names as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Dirk Nowitzki possibly entering the open market.

2. The Wizards Might Not See Newcomers
Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley were both in Philadelphia on Friday night, so they didn't have far to go to make it to New York in time for the game. But with the players likely having to pass physicals prior to the deals being finalized, there is a good chance that the Knicks won't be able to put their new team on the court until Tuesday - when the Knicks host LeBron James and the Cavaliers. A little ironic, huh?
The Knicks only had eight players in uniform against Milwaukee, with three players leaving in trades, Eddy Curry, Jared Jeffries and Danilo Gallinari injured, and Jerome James dealing with a family matter. One of those players is expected to be in uniform.

3. The Stephon Marbury Situation Won't Die
Marbury has been buried on the bench all season, with Mike D'Antoni refusing to play him and making it clear that he isn't about of the plans. With the Knicks down to just eight players in Milwaukee, D'Antoni activated Marbury and told him that he was going to get 30 to 35 minutes against the Bucks. How did Marbury respond? He refused to enter, according to D'Antoni. Marbury offered a more vague explanation. But he is sticking it right back to D'Antoni, who at least publicly said he doesn't consider what Marbury did insubordination. The Knicks will have to rid themselves of Marbury sooner than later.

By Michael Lee  |  November 22, 2008; 11:26 AM ET
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I don't care when we do get Gilby back. This team will NEVER win a championship - and that's all that should matter.

Ever since this squad got bounced by the Heat in the playoffs a few years back, the issue has been the same: we've got some talent on the perimeter, but no one we can consistently go to in the post.

How far do we honestly expect to get without a legit guy in the post??? Not even LeBron and Kobe can carry their teams to a title unless/until they've got a guy in the post.

This falls squarely on Ernie and Abe Pollin. Over the past couple of years, blue-chip caliber big men have been moving around the league: Garnett, Brand, Shaq, Randolph, Artest, Gasol, Jefferson. Are we doing anything right now to make a run at Bosh or Stoudamire in 2010? NO! The Wiz have not even ATTEMPTED to address this aspect of the team. They think that patching together some rotation of Haywood/Thomas and/or Blatche/McGale is going to get through a conference championship and a final? YEAH RIGHT!!

Ernie and Abe are content with a few playoff appearances, selling Agent 0 jerseys, and having a team of upstanding citizens (and they are banking on the Wiz faithful to be content with this as well!); but they don't have the stones to make moves to win a championship - pure and simple.

Posted by: p1funk | November 22, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Gil basically telling the team they needed to resign jamison to be able to resign him is the worst thing he could've done for the franchise. Jamison is a very likable, skilled offensive pf but defensively he is a liability and the only person on the team with the personality of grit and hard work, on the interior,Etan, is as undersized as you can be. Jamison needed to be let go so his 12.5 mil per could go to a guy who would average less points maybe even less boards but would provide an inside presence this squad sorely needs. Mcgee's length is good but he gets bodied like crazy, and for good reason, Blatche seems to be too shy around the rim, songaila couldn't get a rebound over me and mcguire's lack of anything resembling an offensive game will continue to keep our best defender/rebounder on the bench. Please address the d in some way eddie. ZONE

Posted by: bford1kb | November 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The Knicks are preparing for 2010 so they can sign a top player that will help them win a championship. While the Wizards just want you to spend your money in a below average team so Abe can pocket your money without risking his own. The Knicks at least took chances to put a winner on the court. Abe if you do not have the money to compete in this league do us all a favor and sell the team to someone who does. Hopefully that person will also want to win and will not settle for this slop.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 22, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld and Cerrato could switch jobs and neither team would be any worse. I'd be happy if either team would just stop evaluating players, read some mock drafts and, say, draft who Kiper and Zimmerman suggest we do. At least the direction of building both teams wouldn't be maddeningly incompetent

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 22, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Based on the scouting report, a Little League coach would be chomping at the bit to exploit the Knicks' weaknesses.

Will Eddie stick to the same old, same old?

Posted by: Izman | November 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Just think Wizard fans when the star-studded free-agent class of 2010 which includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire hit the market, the Wizards will be paying Antwan Jamison (who will be 36) 13 million to play no defense, Gilbert Arenas (who will be telling everyone on his blog that he will be ready to play in January after his 10th knee surgery) will be making 16 million, Caron will still be playing out of position and will be make 10 million, the great DeShawn Stevenson will be getting paid 4 million for playing shut down D like he did to LeBron in the playoffs last year and lets not forget Darius Songaila has a player option of 5 million and do you think any team in their right will offer him a dime? That will make the Wizards payroll 48 million and the cap will be around 64 million in 2010 which leaves the Wizards 16 million to fill out their roster. What are the odds that one of these free agents will take 5 million to come and play with these losers? The current team is the team Wizard fans get to watch for the next 4 years. So, get used to the excuses about injuries, bad luck and first round playoff losses.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"The draft class that summer is ridiculous with such names as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Dirk Nowitzki possibly entering the open market."

Too bad none of those guys will be wearing a Wizards jersey since the team is cash strapped, eh Gil?

And the Wiz will be no better by then either. What a shame.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The way things are going, even if the Knicks are short-handed, I wouldn't be surprised if the wiz still lose by double digits!

Posted by: rxs85 | November 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Let me repost this since it's another Gilby classic:



I'm watching a rerun of today's PTI and Wilbon said something worth noting.

Yesterday, Gilby said that if Les BouleS end up being in the lottery, then they can draft the next Tim Duncan.

Wilbon goes: "Gilby, Les BouleS are paying you $111 mil on your NEW contract to BE TIM DUNCAN!!!"


Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's the new guy who's beat EJ twice already this season. Read it and weep.

BTW, if EJ gets the boot, I wouldn't mind either Van Gundy or Mark Jackson as candidates for replacement.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

saying gilbert is getting paid to be the next tim duncan is flat out ignorant, they are polar opposites in the basketball world. PG vs. PF? Every squad needs an interior to win.

Posted by: bford1kb | November 22, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"saying gilbert is getting paid to be the next tim duncan is flat out ignorant..."

No it's not either. He's supposed to be the "franchise" and the "leader," neither of which he wishes to be.

He wants paid like the tops guys, but he doesn't want to lead like the top guys do. That is what is lame about "Gilby" and why Mr. Polin should have said "no" to giving him so much money.

I'm willing to bet he would have STILL gotten more money then anyone else would have paid him had Mr. Polin put his foot down.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

You'd lose that bet because, as has already been well documented, the Warriors offered Arenas a max deal for five years that would have paid him more (per year) than what the Wizards 6-year deal is currently paying him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 22, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Gilby would have been paid more per year had he not given money back based on EG's contingency that he could sign for max money, but the flexibility of the team to acquire free agents would be hampered.

Gilby of course, felt the pressure and reduced his demands, and what does EG's strategy have to show for it?

A team with a 1-9 record and the franchise player talking about being in the lottery as not so bad.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

In the world of the NBA with guaranteed contracts, having a better average per year isn't as good as having a higher total value of the contract.

Go look at guys like Stevie Franchise and Starbury. Guys still raking in big money because of their guaranteed contracts who otherwise would be out of the league.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Golden State offer to Gilby:

5 year/100 mil = 20 mil/year

Les BouleS original offer to Gilby:

6 years/127 mil = 21.6 mil/year

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 22, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I can not believe this....?? Eddie lost this game. No question about it. How in the heck can you use Songalia that long when McGee had only three fouls and AB only had 2????????

AB had a nice game going from the Houston game and the first half. Even though Eddie elected to play Etan and only give AB 7 minutes in the 2nd half.

Then not to play AB any in the second half but for 1 minute makes no sense?????? I am slowly starting to believe Eddie can not use not having Gilbert and Haywood all of the time.

I was ready to throw my chair at the tv when he first substituted Etan for McGee in the first half when AB should have come in.

Then to top it all off we keep doubling the ball leaving red hot shooters with wide open shots. Why can't we just play simple man to man and stay with your man?

I have been saying Eddie should stay here as coach but now I am not to sure right now. This dude does not have a clue on how to call substitutions in games. I am really mad right now and think I might skip the Tuesday game because I can not take his coaching anymore..........

****What kind of "mind games" is he playing with AB????? Someone please tell me......!!!!!!

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 22, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, yes that comparsions only half ways explains what's happening with the Wizards. The one half is that the Wizards stood still and didn't make moves to improve the team and bad coaching decisions. First, let me say as a fan I believe the Wizards made the right move in resigning GA and AJ (however, I do believe they over paid for his services), however, the Wizards watched over the last two years teams in the Western Conference sign players, make trades and whatever else to improve their team. The Wizards did nothing. In the Eastern conference over the last two years we've watched Boston, Orlando, Philly, ATL, T-Raptors, the Bucks... make moves to improve. The Wizards did nothing. To be Continued...

I started this comment the other day (see above) Coaching was my next point. As many of all have said. WTF is up with EJ and this small ball. Why have three 7 footers and not play them. Especially against a team does have any height in its lineup. Also, EJ does seem to know how to develop young guys. AB has been screwed up by EJ. He never knows when he's going into the game or how long he's going to play. He can't get into the flow of game.

Between not making any moves to get better these last couple years and bad coaching the rest of the NBA has caught up with the Wizards. It's going to be a long year. I hope EG is reading these comments and maybe that will motivate him to make a move before it's too late.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | November 22, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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