This blog is primarily about the Yankees, but avid readers (both of you) will know that I’m also a serious Knicks fan, as depressing as that is.
Well, Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni took another step in the right direction yesterday, jettisoning Jamal Crawford to Golden State for Al Harrington and sending Mardy Collins and Zach Randolph to L.A. for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley.
Both are simply tremendous trades. This is why Mike D’Antoni is the perfect coach for the Knicks right now and why he will help turn the Knicks into contenders again: he makes players look good. The Knicks led the NBA in scoring going into last night’s game and both Crawford and Randolph were a major part of that. But both of them are flawed players. They don’t play defense. They don’t pass. They aren’t going to be the core of a championship team.
But 11 games into the season, thanks to D’Antoni’s run and gun system, they were scoring as well as ever and as a result they both suddenly had trade value. So Walsh wasted no time and traded them for some veterans with shorter contracts who fit D’Antoni’s style.
Don’t get me wrong: I actually think Randolph and Crawford will both be good fits for their new teams. It’s just that coming into the year, no one had any interest in Randolph and interest in Crawford was limited, at best.
Perhaps the Knicks will continue to build up the value of players and trade them off (though Curry is probably hopeless – he may need to be bought out), but even if this is it, they will be under the salary cap after next season, so they can throw a ton of money at LeBron. Under Isiah, that was never going to happen.
And the great thing is the players the Knicks got back are pretty good fits for the Knicks right now. With Jeffries coming back, it is reasonable to think the Knicks will still field a competitive team in the East and compete for the playoff spot. So really, no harm done.
Most of all, it’s nice to finally have all three of my teams run by competent individuals. The Giants might be the best run football team in the game. If you’re reading this, you know the respect I have for Cashman’s vision. And now, even the lowly Knicks have a plan that gives me hope.