Knicks Trade Breakdown

» November 25, 2008 9:59 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

The New York Knicks cleared roughly $28 million from their payroll last week by packaging their two leading scorers for Cuttino Mobley, Tim Thomas and Al Harrington. The Knicks are going to miss Jamal Crawford and Zach Randoph’s production, but not as much as has been reported.

Crawford put up 19.6 ppg for the Knicks, but shot just 43% from the field. Randolph averaged 20.5 ppg and 12.5 rpg, but like Crawford, did so inefficiently. Randolph shot an equally mediocre 43% from the floor.

Mobley hasn’t exactly lit up the competition this year (43%), but his catch-and-shoot ability should be a better fit for Mike D’Antoni’s offense than the dribble-happy Crawford was. Mobley is also a better defender than Crawford.

Al Harrington has been M.I.A. in Golden State after making his trade demand public 5 games into the season. Harrington is a career double-digit scorer who can stretch the defense with his three-point shooting (38% last season). Harrington’s long-distance shooting will be put to good use in New York where the Knicks rank among the league leaders in three-point attempts per game.

Tim Thomas is the X-factor. Thomas doesn’t possess great speed or athleticism, so at first glance, he appears to be an odd fit in D’Antoni’s offense. A career underachiever, Thomas was signed by the D’Antoni led Suns in 2006 and played 26 games for Phoenix. Thomas excelled under D’Antoni, averaging 15.1 ppg on 49% from the field and 44% from the three-point line in 20 playoff games. Don’t expect Thomas to pick up where he left off, but he should be revitalized after spending two seasons in Mike Dunleavy’s highly structured offense. Thomas scored 16 points in his Knicks debut against the Cavaliers, connecting on 4-of-8 three-point attempts.

The Knicks will miss Randolph’s rebounding ability, but Jared Jeffries’ impending return should help solidify New York’s frontcourt.

New York’s primary objective was to put themselves in position to go after the free-agent class of 2010, and to that end, Donnie Walsh’s moves should be considered a slam dunk. There’s going to be an adjustment period, but it’s not as if the Knicks gave up two All-Star caliber players or conceded this season completely. Give the Knicks 5 games to get reacclimated with one another, and they’ll be back to their running and gunning ways.


2 Responses to “Knicks Trade Breakdown”

  1. A-Train Says:

    Donnie Walsh’s moves were great. Not only did he save a ton of money but, like you said, he also didn’t throw the season away. The Knicks will be just as good or bad with Harrington, Thomas and Mobley as they were with Randolph, Crawford and Collins.

    Now they just need to get rid of Eddy Curry. I’d like to see them do a Curry for Mark Blount swap. Miami needs a center and Curry would be serviceable there. Blount, a career underachiever, is actually really skilled and can put up numbers when looked upon as anything more than an afterthought. The way D’Antoni’s system works, every player is almost equal in opportunity. Let Blount shoot his jumpers without restriction and he can be solid. At the very least, any contribution from Blount or whomever they get, will be a tremendous upgrade over Curry, who isn’t even playing.

    Still, at the end of the day, this Knicks team is bad. They’re really lucky they’re not 0-15 right now. They beat some really bad teams on nights when everything went right for them. The Jazz victory sticks out, but keep in mind (a) the Jazz are poor on the road, (b) Deron Williams didn’t play, and (c) it was a close game with the feeling had the Jazz two more minutes they would have come back and won it.

    The Knicks are awful.

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    A-Train,

    I couldn’t agree more. Though it’s hard for me to imagine any team — much less the Pat Riley managed Heat — acquiring Curry and his bloated contract. The Knicks may have to bit the bullet and buy him out before all is said and done.

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